[pjw] INFO: N. Korea rejects Bolton's idea of "the Libya model" (The Hill 5/22)
Peace and Justice Works
pjw at pjw.info
Tue May 22 13:46:29 EDT 2018
Hey PJW supporters
When I heard the other day that John Bolton made a reference to "the Libya
model" for dealing with North Korea and its nuclear weapons program, it
immediately sounded like a threat to repeat the Obama-Clinton war on Libya
from 2011 that threw that country into chaos and led to a mob murdering
Mohammar Ghadaffi. I only just now read that the North Koreans saw that
Bolton was expecting them to do what Libya did in 2003-- give up its
nuclear weapons with no guarantee of security. What this article from The
Hill neglects to mention is that the reason Ghadaffi did so was he saw
what the US did to Iraq when they didn't even HAVE a nuclear weapons
program. The deal was struck 9 months after the US invaded Iraq. (And to
further underscore the connection between Iraq and Libya, the US started
the Libyan war exactly 8 years to the day after the Iraq war.)
Anyway, there's so much going on these days I'm sure everyone's following.
I got this article from the Mercury's blog, where they also reported that
Palestine has filed war crimes allegations against Israel for its recent
slaughter of protestors at the border in the International Criminal Court.
As the Merc pointed out, Israel's not signed on to the Court (like the US,
they fear being "wrongly accused" of war crimes) but Palestine is.
That's all for now.
peace and justice works iraq affinity group
North Korea did Trump a favor by snubbing Bolton
By Tom Z. Collina, opinion contributor -- 05/21/18 12:30 PM EDT
It was pure fantasy to think that North Korea was going to turn over
its nuclear arsenal within months of the planned June 12 Trump-Kim
summit. Yet, apparently, National Security Adviser John Bolton has an
So it's a good thing that Pyongyang has rejected Bolton's ridiculous
Libya plan; Trump can now focus on realistic ways to get the
denuclearization we all want.
Bolton has been aggressively touting his plan to apply the "Libya
model" to North Korea. By this he means that, as Libya did in 2003,
North Korea should turn over its nuclear program to the United States
soon after the summit, and only then would Washington reward Pyongyang
with economic and security benefits.
Nevermind that Libya had a minuscule nuclear program hardly comparable
to North Korea, or that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in
2011 after the United States and European allies attacked the country.
The lesson to North Korea was clear: If you don't want to end up like
Gaddafi, don't give up your nukes unless you have another way to
guarantee your security.
So it should have come as no great surprise when on Wednesday, North
Korean First Vice-Minister Kim Kye Gwan issued a statement rejecting
Bolton's approach, and Bolton personally, outright.
He criticized the "so-called Libya mode of nuclear abandonment" as
"absolutely absurd" and the notion of "abandoning nuclear weapons
first, compensating afterwards" as a "sinister move." On Bolton, Kim
said, "We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him."
Kim also reiterated North Korea's support for "denuclearization of the
Korean peninsula" and that such a step would require an "end to
anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmail of the
United States." He warned against forcing Pyongyang into "unilateral
Some have interpreted Kim's rejection of "unilateral nuclear
abandonment" as proof that North Korea has no plans to ever give up its
nuclear weapons. Not so fast. This could also be Kim rejecting the
Libya model, where Pyongyang would be expected to "unilaterally"
surrender its arsenal without anything in return.
Trump got the message. The next day the president threw Bolton under
the bus, saying that, "the Libya model isn't the model that we have at
all when we're thinking of North Korea." Let's hope that is the last we
hear of it.
So if Libya is not a good model to apply to North Korea, what is?
Maybe South Africa, the only nation to have built nuclear weapons and
then voluntarily unbuilt them. The apartheid government secretly built
and then dismantled seven nuclear bombs before revealing its program to
the world in 1993.
After South Africa joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1991,
international inspectors were invited in. It took about 18 months for
South Africa to dismantle its own weapons and about two years to prove
it to the world.
But even the South African case is simple compared to North Korea,
which has more weapons, more facilities and long-range missiles as
well. Plus our standards of verification will likely be higher for
North Korea, a nation we expect to try to cheat, than for South Africa,
which had just handed power to Nelson Mandela.
The bottom line is that it takes years to disarm a country, even if it
does so voluntarily.
But the physical process of denuclearizing North Korea may be quick
compared to the time it takes to build the confidence to get to this
point. To avoid ending up like Gaddafi, Pyongyang will not give up its
nuclear arsenal until its security concerns are addressed in some other
There is no piece of paper, no agreement that can do this. U.S.
security guarantees are not enough. We must transform the U.S.-North
Korea relationship so both sides feel more secure. That will take
The Trump administration can get what it wants from North Korea if it
plays its cards right. The goal for the June 12 summit should be an
agreed statement that leads to the phased denuclearization of the
peninsula and a transformed U.S.-North Korea relationship.
Meanwhile, both sides can front-load the agreement to get things they
need to sell the deal back home. For Trump, that could mean ending
North Korea's nuclear and long-range missile testing, closing the test
site and possibly getting Pyongyang to dismantle its long-range
missiles and make available for inspection a significant chunk of its
We don't want Pyongyang to hand over complete warheads because, weapons
designers say, we don't know how to dismantle them as well as they do.
These are tangible steps that would reduce the dangers we face from
North Korea, and they could be completed before the 2020 election.
So let's forget about the Libya model. There are no shortcuts to the
hard work of building confidence between two nations that, just a few
months ago, were threatening each other with nuclear annihilation. But
by planning for a phased, multi-year process, the June 12 summit can
still be a grand success.
Tom Z. Collina is the director of policy for the Ploughshares Fund, a
public grantmaking foundation that supports initiatives to prevent the
spread and use of nuclear weapons, and to prevent conflicts that could
lead to their use.
More information about the pjw-list