The 2011 toppling of Libyan Dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi is getting in the way of peace talks between the US and North Korea.
Pyongyang’s official news agency published a statement late Tuesday night that went specifically after Mr. Bolton, a longtime skeptic of talks with the North before his recent appointment, for saying repeatedly in recent media appearances the so-called “Libya model” of denuclearization would be the best template for a deal with Pyongyang.
That’s a reference to the relatively quick deal the George W. Bush administration and Britain struck in 2003 with Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi to give up his nuclear materials — which were far less developed than North Korea’s program — in exchange for sanctions relief and the promise of normalized relations with the West.
The problem, from North Korea’s perspective: Gadhafi’s nuclear weapons-less regime was toppled in a NATO-backed revolt ignited by the 2011 Arab Spring, and the dictator himself was hunted down and shot by rebel forces.
North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan, in the first comment by a North Korean official about the abrupt shift this week, chastised Mr. Bolton for “letting loose the assertions of the so-called Libya model.”
“This is not an expression of intention to address the issue through dialogue. It is essentially a manifestation of an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya or Iraq, which had been collapsed due to yielding the whole of their countries to big powers,” the North Korean foreign minister said.
This is another consequence of the regime change strategies put in place by the last two administrations. Due to the overthrow of Libya even after Gadhafi’s surrender of his nuclear program to the west. Kim Jong-un has decided he can trust the west to stick by its word if he does denuclearize North Korea.