South Korea is denouncing former US National Security Adviser John Bolton over what they call his distorted recollection of events in his new tell-all memoir.
In a statement released Monday, South Korea’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong disputed Bolton’s account of how talks broke down between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“It does not reflect accurate facts and substantially distorts facts,” Chung said regarding Bolton’s characterization of senior-level discussions.
While he declined to elaborate on the specific claims by Bolton that South Korea took issue with, Chung cautioned that the publication of Bolton’s book had set a “dangerous precedent.”
“Unilaterally publishing consultations made based on mutual trust violates the basic principles of diplomacy and could severely damage future negotiations,” Bolton’s former South Korean counterpart said.
Chung’s comments come following a week of headlines about allegations from Bolton, who is promoting his new tell-all book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” due out Tuesday.
Chung has played a significant role in denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea, having hand delivered a letter requesting a meeting invitation to President Trump from North Korea’s leader.
In that letter, delivered in March 2018, Kim said he was “committed to denuclearization.”
Chung was also heavily involved in all future meetings between Kim and Trump.
But according to Bolton, South Korea’s role in the efforts did not merit much praise.
“This whole diplomatic fandango was South Korea’s creation, related more to its ‘unification’ agenda than serious strategy on Kim’s part or ours,” he wrote in his memoir.
Nuclear talks between the US and North Korea have stalled since a February 2019 meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam between Trump and Kim.
At the summit in the Vietnamese capital — Trump and Kim’s second — the US attempted to get North Korea to agree to denuclearize. Pyongyang argued for relief from sanctions. Talks eventually broke down, and the summit was cut short.
Since that summit, North Korea has resumed test-firing missiles.
The nearly 600-page tome by Bolton — who served as Trump’s national security adviser between April 2018 and September 2019 — is set to be released after the Justice Department failed to block it.
The effort was quashed by a federal judge, who argued the book’s release would be too difficult to block since at least 200,000 copies had already been distributed.
Trump has strongly and repeatedly denied Bolton’s claims, blasting him in a tweet Tuesday morning, “Washed up Creepster John Bolton is a lowlife who should be in jail, money seized, for disseminating, for profit, highly Classified information. Remember what they did to the young submarine sailor, but did nothing to Crooked Hillary. I ended up pardoning him – It wasn’t fair!”
With Post wires
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