Former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has written in his upcoming memoir that the 2018 diplomatic efforts to denuclearize North Korea were South Korea’s “creation,” more than a serious strategy on the part of Washington or Pyongyang, CNN reported Thursday.
In his book, “The Room Where It Happened,” which is due to be published next week, Bolton writes extensively about his disagreements with Trump before, during and after his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June 2018, according to the news channel.
“The whole diplomatic fandango was South Korea’s creation,” Bolton was quoted as writing, “relating more to its ‘unification’ agenda than serious strategy on Kim’s part or ours.”
Bolton also claimed that Trump was “desperate to have the meeting at any price” and that Kim had him “hooked” at the Singapore summit.
According to The New York Times, the former adviser also mocks a series of decisions by Trump. The decision to meet Kim in Singapore was a “foolish mistake,” he writes, and Trump’s desire to invite Kim to the White House was “a potential disaster of enormous magnitude.”
In another article, The New York Times quoted Bolton as writing that Trump “spent weeks” fixated on trying to give Kim an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD.
Trump also wanted Kim to know that he used the nickname “Rocket Man” for the North Korean leader as a term of endearment, according to the paper.
Trump took to Twitter to attack Bolton over his claims.
“When Wacko John Bolton went on Deface the Nation and so stupidly said that he looked at the ‘Libyan Model’ for North Korea, all hell broke out,” he tweeted Thursday, referring to Bolton’s April 2018 interview on the CBS show, “Face the Nation.”
The Libya model centers on getting North Korea to first surrender its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and then receive concessions in return.
“Kim Jong Un, who we were getting along with very well, went ‘ballistic,’ just like his missiles — and rightfully so,” Trump continued. “He didn’t want Bolton anywhere near him. Bolton’s dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now.
“I asked him, ‘what the hell were you thinking?'” Trump added. “He had no answer and just apologized. That was early on, I should have fired him right then & there!”
Bolton left the administration in September after clashing with Trump on multiple policy issues, including North Korea.