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O'Brien likely to go in line with Secretary Pompeo's FFVD policy on North Korea: Reports Updated: 2019-09-19 16:20:21 KST

Not much is known about President Trump's new National Security Advisor, Robert O'Brien and his views on foreign policy, but the general consensus seems to be that he will cause less friction in the White House on North Korea.

Politico, citing a former official at the Defense Ministry said, that O'Brien might be just as hawkish as his predecessor John Bolton, as they were at the United Nations together back in 2005.
But the official added that O'Brien is certainly not as willing to start a fight.

Bolton had angered North Korea on numerous occasions and put the talks at risk by trying to use the Libyan model on the North, when Pyeongyang's nuclear program is much more developed.

Politico also cited another person close to the new advisor, to say that O'Brien is definitely hawkish and in the same school as Bolton on Iran, but that he is more of a team player and "more compliant with Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's demands."

O'Brien's closeness to Secretary Pompeo is widely known, and many speculate that there will be less friction between him and Pompeo on the denuclearization policy for North Korea.

But Voice of America suggests that O'Brien might not be playing much of an active role on North Korea.
While O'Brien was involved in a number of issues involving Afghanistan, former State Department Policy Planning Director Mitchell Reiss told VOA that Secretary Pompeo and Special Representative Steve Biegun are expected to continue taking the lead on Pyeongyang.
It added, former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction Gary Samore said, that O'Brien doesn't have strong views on countries like North Korea so he could be more flexible in pursuing a diplomatic approach with the North.

An expert on American Politics, James Kim, said O'Brien's appointment is unlikely to cause any major shift in policy toward North Korea.

"O'Brien is currently a diplomat, so he's expected to have a more balanced view compared to Bolton. But the Trump administration's North Korea policy wasn't heavily influenced by Bolton in the first place. Thus, the approach and tactics won't change due to a change in one person."

The general view is that the main points of contention between the two sides will still be on sanctions alleviation and security guarantees.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
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