If there were a prize for tendentious book title, John Bolton’s memoir Surrender Is Not an Option would be it. On the one side are those advocating surrender; on the other, Bolton. You choose! I did a review of Bolton’s book at the time he was being tapped by then Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 and then got involved in a friendly debate with Josh Stanton over the history of Bolton’s time in office. While there can be little doubt that the North Koreans were cheating, it was also the case that the intelligence was handled in a way that probably contributed to North Korea’s ultimate breakout.
Bolton coming on board as President Trump's new national security advisor prior to the proposed US–North Korea summit is an ironic turn of events that I will deal with in a later post. Holding a hard line with the North Koreans on sanctions is the right policy, as I argued in a piece for NKNews. But if the summit strategy is to offer nothing in the subsequent negotiations, they are unlikely to transpire. For now, the following may be of interest to those who want to revisit the origins of the nuclear crisis: