Thu May 17th, 2018 at 07:56:35 AM EST
North cancels inter-Korean talks, threatens US summit | Asia Times |
A statement by the state-run Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder exercise was "a bid to make a pre-emptive air strike at the DPRK and win the air." Democratic People's Republic of Korea is the official name for North Korea.
Max Thunder, held annually, is the largest air-warfare drill on the peninsula involving both South Korean and US assets. This year's two-week drills started last Friday. The North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) called the exercises "an undisguised challenge" to the Panmunjom Declaration and a "rude and wicked provocation."
Trump faces North Korea dilemma after John Bolton infuriates Pyongyang
North Korea's denunciation of John Bolton has forced Donald Trump to decide whether to stick with his national security adviser and his hardline tactics, or push ahead with a summit with Kim Jong-un that will provide historic spectacle but an uncertain outcome.
Continued below the fold ...
In weekend television appearances, Pompeo seemed to blur the US negotiating position, suggesting the aim was to prevent North Korea threatening the US mainland with nuclear weapons, a lower bar that would theoretically permit Pyongyang to retain some warheads as long as they did not build intercontinental missiles.
Ambiguity is not Bolton's style, however. In his own, competing, TV appearances, he was adamant that North Korea would have to take all its weapons apart and ship the fissile material to the US. It was this, coupled his earlier reference to the "Libya model" - which for Pyongyang summons up the memory of Muammar Gaddafi's brutalised body being paraded on a truck - that got the regime's attention.
○ Completing the Neocon PNAC Project
Citing US Invasions of Iraq and Libya, North Korea Says 'Repugnance' of John Bolton Threatens Talks
Specifically targeting U.S. President Donald Trump's warmongering, anti-diplomacy national security adviser as the primary reason it has threatened to cancel a planned summit with the United States, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye Gwan issued a scathing statement [NYT] on Tuesday making clear that Pyongyang will not be silent about its "feeling of repugnance towards" John Bolton.
While Bolton has made countless statements in support of regime change and reckless foreign policy adventures as both a "free agent" and an official in the Bush administration--statements that earned him the nicknames "bloodsucker" and "human scum" in Pyongyang--North Korea was particularly angered by the national security adviser's recent invocation of Libya as the "model" the U.S. should follow in nuclear negotiations with North Korea.
In 2003 and 2004, former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed to abandon its nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief. But in 2011, the U.S.-- with the enthusiastic backing of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [NYT]--helped topple and kill Gadhafi and turn Libya into a "terrorist haven."
North Korean officials believe Bolton, who has called for regime change in Pyongyang, desires the same fate for their nation.
A long read ... US intervention in Libya not for regime change, breaking UN Security Council decision made with Russian president Medvedev. The US as a rogue state on the world stage one too many times ...
○ Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War | The New Yorker |
Several months later, Gaddafi was captured by Libyan rebels, dragged into the street, and killed. A video of the event circulated around the world, while Libya collapsed into chaos. In a now notorious reaction to news of Gaddafi's death, Clinton joked to a reporter, "We came, we saw, he died!" [Source: The New York Times]