Perhaps John Bolton thought screwing up Trump’s negotiations with North Korea would keep the status quo in place. He couldn’t have been more wrong. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The summit between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un is over. And their message was clear.
The U.S. is welcome at the negotiating table but they are not necessary to resolving the situation. Russia, however, is.
Kim went to Vladivostok to build a relationship with Putin and put the U.S. on the spot. Per Putin’s comments after the summit:
We are going to discuss the situation with the US. Russia is always open on this – there are no conspiracies. More than that Kim Jong-un personally asked us to inform Washington of his position and the issues he wants to ask about.
What Kim has done is elevated Russia and Putin to the level of mediator between North Korea and the U.S. Russia is now an equal partner in the process.
And the U.S. has been diminished in its position in these talks.
As I said yesterday, I expected something big to come from this meeting and this was it. Kim is no longer willing to talk with the U.S. directly and they must go through Putin and his staff of professional diplomats to do so.
What’s the U.S.’s response to this? Ambassador to Russia and Deep State mouthpiece John Huntsman said of two aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean, “When you have 200,000 tons of diplomacy that is cruising in the Mediterranean, this is forward-operating diplomacy — nothing else need to be said.”
This is the kind of statement that is completely counter-productive and Huntsman knows it. It betrays the kind of thinking that led us to this point.
In fact, it is now exactly that kind of thinking that is precluding a settlement with North Korea. And that’s exactly what John Bolton wants and Trump isn’t strong enough to see the situation for what it is and rein in his foreign policy staff.