As the WH purges its NSC, DPRK talks broke down in the wake of the John Bolton resignation.
President Trump said last month that he was open to exploring a “new method” in the negotiations. Kim Myong Gil quickly responded with a statement welcoming the”new method” in place of the “Libyan model” of shipping out North Korea’s nuclear weapons before granting sanctions relief.
The Libyan model had been promoted by John Bolton, who was ousted last month as Trump’s national security adviser.
Chad O’Carroll, chief executive of the Korea Risk Group, said the North Korean negotiators might have gone to Stockholm with a “radical expectation” after Trump fired Bolton and floated a possibility of a “new method” in talks.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry accused Washington on Sunday of “abusing the DPRK-U. S. dialogue for its domestic political events.”
Saturday’s talks were the first since Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February. Trump’s personal diplomatic overtures to Kim Jong Un, including an informal meeting at the Korean Peninsula’s demilitarized zone in June, were put to a test as Pyongyang resumed weapons tests.
North Korea tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile on Wednesday, days before the nuclear talks with Washington were set to resume.
Van Jackson, a former Pentagon official, said the breakdown of talks in Stockholm revealed the risks of Trump’s personal diplomacy.
“From North Korea’s perspective, there is nothing to be gained from working-level talks as long as Trump is a doormat,” said Jackson, a lecturer at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington.
He said Pyongyang will likely boycott further working-level meetings in favor of planning another summit with Trump, and could return to weapons testing.