It is good that John Bolton is to serve as US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser going into talks with North Korea because of his “very healthy skepticism,” Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham said
A US-North Korean summit is slated for May and hopes have been raised that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might be willing to discuss the country’s nuclear weapons program and other measures to reduce the threat of war, possibly in exchange for security guarantees and an easing of the international sanctions that have severely pinched the already struggling North Korean economy.
Graham said he had dinner with Bolton a few nights ago and Bolton, a hawkish former ambassador to the UN, expressed fears that North Korea is “just buying time’’ as it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile.
“He sees these negotiations as a way of buying time. That’s what they’ve done in the past,” said Graham, a member of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services.
Bolton is to replace US Army Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster on April 9.
Graham said he would be skeptical about the terms and conditions of the summit, but he does hope the president will meet with the North Korean leader.
He called for negotiations that are “very focused and get quick action.”
“We don’t want to give him nine months or a year to talk and build a missile at the same time,” Graham said on TV show Fox News Sunday.
At the same time, Graham warned Trump not to remove troops from Syria.
“Let the other people take care of it now,” Trump said on Thursday last week.
Leaving Syria would allow the Islamic State group to strengthen, Graham said, adding that the ongoing fighting between Syrian Kurdish militia and Turkey would get out of hand, and Russia and Iran would go on to dominate Syria.
“It would be the single worst decision the president could make,” Graham said
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