by WorldTribune Staff, May 18, 2018
President Donald Trump, in what was seen as a bid to reassure a panicky Kim Jong-Un, said the U.S. is pursuing a “South Korean model” and not a “Libyan model” for the North’s denuclearization.
Speaking at the White House on May 17, Trump said North Korea will be “tremendously industrious” under the “South Korean model” and that Kim Jong-Un will receive “very adequate protection” in return for denuclearization.
Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet on June 12 in Singapore.
North Korea was reportedly having second thoughts about the meeting, perhaps as part of a strategy worked out with China following two trips by Kim to meet with Xi Jinping.
Analysts say North Korea is also trying to drive a wedge between Trump and U.S. national security adviser John Bolton who before holding his current position had been an advocate of hardline stances toward rogue states like Iran and North Korea. He has also discussed the merits of the “Libyan model”.
The Libyan model refers to Libya’s concession to Western demands that it give up its weapons of mass destruction in return for sanctions relief.
However that approach as applied by the Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not work out well for Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He was brutally murdered after his regime was toppled during a rebel uprising in 2011.
The Chosun Sinbo, a pro-North Korean newspaper based in Japan, warned on May 18 that Bolton may have a negative impact on future relations between North Korea and the U.S.
“(Bolton) has no clear ideology or theory. Instead, he is a simple follower of simple thinking, racism and the narrow-minded America First policy,” the newspaper said in a column.
Bolton has said there should be no guarantee of benefits to the Kim Jong-Un regime until it completely, verifiably and irreversibly dismantles its nuclear program.
Trump stressed on May 17 during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that “The Libyan model isn’t the model we have in mind at all while we are thinking of North Korea.”
Calling Kim Jong-Un by his initials, Trump said things will be different for the North Korean despot.
“The Libyan model that was mentioned was a much different deal. This would be with KJU, something where he would be there, be in his country, running his country, his country will be very rich, his people are tremendously industrious,” he said.
“If you look at South Korea, this would be really a South Korean model in terms of their industry, in terms of what they do, hardworking incredible people.”
When asked about a security guarantee for the Kim regime, Trump said, “I am willing to do a lot and he is willing to do a lot also, and I think we will actually have a good relationship, assuming that we have the meeting and assuming something comes of it, and he will get protections.”
Regarding the summit schedule, Trump said he knows of no changes and he expects it to be Kim’s “best thing he could ever do to make a deal.”
But Trump still left room for the “Libyan model” if things go wrong, stressing the U.S. “decimated” Libya.
“That model will take place if we don’t make a deal, most likely,” he said.
After North Korea canceled planned inter-Korean talks on May 16, North Korean First Vice Minister Kim Kye-Gwan said that it would be “absolutely absurd” to demand the so-called Libya model denuclearization process for his country and also expressed a “feeling of repugnance” toward Bolton.