Donald Trump promised North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to consider lifting the UN sanctions without consulting anyone during his 2018 summit, according to the memoir of former national security advisor John Bolton, which will be released despite protests in the Trump Administration.
The US administration itself objected to the book being published because of the “classified information” it contains. Bolton has ended up taking responsibility for publishing it without obtaining “the final approval of the intelligence authorities.” Precisely the details of the meeting between Trump and Kim reveal previously unknown information.
In June 2018 in Singapore, upon leaving the meeting, Kim stated that he was pleased that both he and Trump had agreed to follow the action-for-action approach in exchanging North Korea’s denuclearization for US concessions, Bolton writes in her book The Room Where It Happened, which is finally published on June 23. Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA analyst who currently works for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, has quoted excerpts from the book.
Kim asked if he should wait for the lifting of the UN sanctions, and Trump replied that “he was open to it and wanted to think about it,” reveals the analyst.
“So Kim left with optimistic expectations,” he adds.
As for the joint military exercises between South Korea and the US, Trump repeatedly complained about how expensive and provocative they were, and how he viewed them as a waste of money, Bolton continues in his book.
“So when Kim said he wanted the US to reduce or completely eliminate the exercises, Trump said he was going to ignore his generals to fulfil his wish,” writes Terry.
“Neither [John] Kelly, nor [Mike] Pompeo, nor Bolton, who were sitting right there! Weren’t consulted, nor, of course, [James] Mattis. Neither was South Korea consulted. Trump simply yielded to Kim. without consulting or notifying anyone,” Terry added, citing Bolton’s memoirs.
According to the former adviser’s book, Kim asked the US president for the personal opinion that the North Korean leader deserved, to which Trump replied that he loved the question and considered him “really smart, quite reserved, a very good person, totally sincere, with a great personality.”
Before the second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, Trump considered three options: a big deal, a small deal, or leaving without a deal. In the end, the big one was not possible, the little one was not enough for not being “spectacular”, and he decided to leave without an agreement since that way “it would look good”, Terry quotes Bolton.