Not just North Korea, even South Koreans hate hardliner John Bolton: Report
The North Korean peace initiative was on track till May 16 when Pyongyang abruptly called off an official-level meeting with South Korea to protest the US's leading an air drill in the Korean Peninsula and the American establishment excessive posturing over the impending talks between North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump.
North Korea got so furious with the South even after Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a historic summit on April 27 that it even declined to allow journalists from Seoul to attend its nuclear site dismantling event this week.
But while North Korea and the US engaged in a blame game to prove the other side is less interested to take the peace process forward, a report in the Washington Post said it was not only the North Koreans who felt furious with the US leadership's one-upmanship gestures, especially those by Trump's national security adviser John Bolton. Even the South Koreans are disappointed with the hawkish top official and also did not refrain from calling the moustachioed man a "landmine".
Chung Dong Young, a former unification minister of South Korea and currently a lawmaker, for instance, told YTN Radio that there were "several landmines on the way to the summit between North Korea and the US" and "one of those landmines just exploded: John Bolton", the Post said.
Woo Sang Ho, a lawmaker of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party, also echoed a similar view, writing in a Facebook post that Bolton's "preposterous 'Libya solution' is a red light in North Korea' summit talks with the US and South Korea".
Mr. Woo Sang Ho, a lawmaker in Mr. Moon's ruling Democratic Party, agreed. "Bolton's preposterous 'Libya solution' is a red light in North Korea's summit talks with the US and South Korea," he wrote in a Facebook post.
According to the Post, Bolton is not a new name for officials serving in the current administration in Seoul. Many among them were working under South Korea's pro-engagement president Roh Moo Hyun (Wednesday marked his ninth death anniversary) of the 2000s when Bolton also featured in the George W Bush administration and was a vocal supporter of invasion of Iraq and toppling the regime in North Korea.
According to one expert, the previous Roh administration of South Korea was also concerned about Bolton because of his neoconservative approach and he could scuttle the peace process this time as well, the Washington Post report added.
Bolton annoyed the North Koreans recently by seeking transfer of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons to the US as they refused to buy the Americans' line of thinking to humiliate countries - something Muammar Gaddafi's Libya experienced in the early 2000s.