In his letter cancelling the scheduled summit with North Korea, President Trump blames his decision on Kim Jong Un. But anyone who has been following recent events can clearly see that the blame for this situation falls on President Trump and his team. Their reckless approach to what should have been one of the most nuanced diplomatic negotiations in decades doomed the meeting from the outset.
For weeks, President Trump’s advisors have been in the media referring to the “Libya” model of nuclear disarmament. In theory, the Libya model references an approach to denuclearization where the disarming state gives up their nuclear weapons before receiving any benefits. In reality, the way that Libya’s denuclearization played out is far more complex. Eight years after giving up their nuclear program, Libya experienced a domestic uprising that, with the backing of a NATO-led coalition, toppled the regime. President Trump’s advisors know full well that to North Korea, the Libya model is inextricably linked to the image of Gaddafi being pulled from a drainage pipe and his ultimate demise.