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[John Bolton’s statement that the North Koreans “have not lived up to the commitments” made in Singapore] totally cuts Secretary of State Pompeo and the special representative, Steve Biegun, at the knees. What is the incentive for North Korea to actually talk about the meat-and-potatoes of denuclearization with the special representative and with the secretary of state if the national security adviser has said nothing is happening so we have to go straight to the top?
We're at an impasse where we're not going to give North Korea what they want, and the North Koreans are not giving us what we want. [Each week that passes without progress] really lays bare the anemic nature [of the declaration President Trump and Kim Jong-un made in June in Singapore].
I think Pompeo again is in a bit of pickle. North Korea has been clear about what they’re not willing to do. [North Korea’s offers so far have been minor compared to what it is asking of the United States in return.] Because the North Korea nuclear program is so advanced, this is like North Korea offering to sell us Windows 97 at a price higher than it warrants.