While Trump is preparing to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) that President Ronald Reagan signed with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, Trump's top national security adviser John Bolton is preparing to lecture the Russians about North Korea's nuclear weapons.
Bloomberg reports that Bolton is traveling to Moscow where he will insist that Russia enforce economic sanctions against North Korea.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton will tell Russian officials in Moscow that crippling economic sanctions must be maintained against North Korea until its regime abandons its nuclear weapons, according to a senior administration official.
The Russians and Chinese have suggested that sanctions against Pyongyang should be relaxed, but that is not the American view, the official said.
Even if we set aside Trump's pending withdrawal from the INF treaty, Bolton has another big problem.
His boss already gave the game away. Trump says he "fell in love" with Kim Jong-un. He says they've already started dismantling their nuclear program. He says everything is good now. He says a lot of things.
The Russians know North Korea hasn't given up anything, but why not take Trump at his word anyway? Why should they enforce sanctions when Trump says there's no need to?
I know there's nothing necessarily funny about this, but I laugh my goddamn ass off every time I think about it. And don't get me wrong -- I believe the world should enforce sanctions against North Korea until they give up their nuclear weapons, but Trump continuously undermines his own stated goals. Even if you trusted John Bolton to get the job done, which I certainly don't, he has at least one hand tied behind his back. And he probably tied it himself. I'm sure he supports withdrawing from the INF treaty.
These are the most incompetent people on the planet.