North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was not ready to accept the “big contract” of US President Donald Trump at their Hanoi summit last week, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday.
Quoted by the Yonhap News agency, Bolton refused to call the summit a failure even though it was interrupted without an agreement on the dismantling of the North’s nuclear weapons programme.
“I don’t consider the summit a failure,” he said in an interview with CBS. “I consider this a definite success, because as President of the United States, Donald Trump has protected and promoted the American national interest. »
After the summit, Trump told a press conference that North Korea wanted all sanctions lifted in exchange for partial denuclearization.
The North Koreans subsequently claimed that they had proposed partial relief of the sanctions.
“The problem, in reality, was whether North Korea was willing to accept what the president called “the great agreement” that consists of the total denuclearization of Pyongyang according to the definition that the American president had given Kim Jong-un in exchange for offering the potential of a huge economic future,” he said.
In a separate interview with Fox News, the advisor said that Trump had tried to persuade Kim “to take the big contract that could really make a difference for North Korea”.
“I think he stressed the importance of negotiating with him in North Korea and other countries around the world,” Bolton said. “He is not desperate for an agreement, not with North Korea, or with anyone, if it is against the American national interest. »
Indeed, the American president came back from the Hanoi summit empty-handed with the North Korean leader. He was wrong to think of the latter as a pigeon that he could use to divert public opinion from the multiple crises he is facing in Washington.