U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday that former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton will be appointed as his new national security advisor. The appointment of Bolton, who is known for his hawkish views on North Korea now casts a shadow over the future of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s initiative that promotes a peace package among South, North Koreas and the United States including concluding a peace treaty and achieving the denuclearization.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor,” Trump said in a tweet later that day. Bolton previously served as undersecretary of state and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush and is best known for his hard-edged, hawkish views on issues such as North Korea and considered key proponent of neoconservatism who declared North Korea the axis of evil. He has advocated American military action against North Korea, before the regime is be equipped with full nuclear and missile capabilities that can target U.S. mainland, rejecting the argument that the regime will give up its nuclear power ambitions.
Bolton’s arrival comes just nine days after Trump replaced Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the CIA head, which is a radical shakeup in the White House foreign policy and national security team. Along with Bolton and Pompeo, another hardliner is the current U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley who has led maximum pressure on North Korea, publicly arguing for a preemptive strike on North Korea.
Trump’s decision to appoint super-hawks before a planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, hints at the Trump administration’s stronger determination to put more pressure on the regime than ever for the denuclearization. But the possibility that Bolton will request for short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities in North Korea also raise grave concerns in Northeast Asia about a coming military conflict.
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