South Korea Blasts “Inaccuracies” and “Distortions” in Bolton Book
John Bolton is dropping a bombshell on the American public with his new book – and the information contained within is so damning that Bolton couldn’t have been bothered to testify under oath about it or say anything else about it until he had the chance to monetize it.
I suppose we shouldn’t have expected much else from the man who, in 2010, said that “If I had to say something I knew was false… I would do it.” He was speaking in the context of protecting American national security, but the statement apparently also applies to Bolton’s financial interests.
Ironically, in the same interview, Bolton said he “doesn’t think” he’s ever lied – but clarified that he’s really good at spinning things. South Korea’s government seems to agree.
As Reuters reports:
Accounts by former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton of discussions between leaders of the United States and the two Koreas in his upcoming book are inaccurate and distorted, South Korea said on Monday.
Bolton gives details in the book of conversations before and after three meetings between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, including how their second summit in Vietnam fell apart.
Reports have cited Bolton as writing that South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is keen to improve relations with North Korea, had raised unrealistic expectations with both Kim and Trump for his own “unification” agenda.
“It does not reflect accurate facts and substantially distorts facts,” South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said in a statement referring to Bolton’s description of top-level consultations.
Chung did not elaborate on specific areas South Korea saw as inaccurate but said the publication set a “dangerous precedent”.
“Unilaterally publishing consultations made based on mutual trust violates the basic principles of diplomacy and could severely damage future negotiations,” he said.
Trump met with Kim for the first time in 2018. In 2019 Trump rejected an offer by Kim to give up North Korea’s main nuclear facility in return to lifting sanctions.
Bolton reportedly cites Chung as relaying Moon’s response to the breakdown as, on the one hand, Trump was right to reject Kim’s proposal but on the other, Kim’s willingness to dismantle the Yongbyon facility was a “very meaningful first step” toward “irreversible” denuclearisation.
Bolton referred to Moon’s position on the issue as “schizophrenic.” Moon told reporters in response “Perhaps he [Bolton] is in that condition.”