Foreign Affairs: Historic Breakthrough or Historic Blunder

Post-summit consensus is that the US president was naïve, too trusting of a brutal dictator seeking attention for developing nuclear weapons. Trump, who withdrew from a detailed deal with Iran, signed a vague agreement with North Korea extracting a promise “to work toward complete denuclearization” – the terms weaker than what were offered to previous presidents before subsequently being broken. Trump treated the summit like an episode in a reality show – pomp and promises with no specifics. “No previous U.S. president considered it prudent to embark on summitry with so little preparation or on terms so favorable to the other side, let alone to promise to unilaterally discontinue defensive joint U.S.–South Korean military exercises on the Korean Peninsula,” writes Daniel R. Russel for Foreign Affairs, emphasizing North Korea’s troubling record on compliance. “Kim is not interested in the Libyan model; he’s interested in the Pakistani model.” Kim seeks reductions in sanctions and US troops in South Korea as well as divisions among US allies. Trump has a reputation for back-tracking. Government experts have some cleanup to do, clarifying terms of the agreement, but the United States has lost leverage with other countries for containing North Korea. – YaleGlobal

Foreign Affairs: Historic Breakthrough or Historic Blunder

The consensus is Donald Trump was too eager, and by even agreeing to the a summit, Kim Jong Un outwitted him
Daniel R. Russel
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Read the article from Foreign Affairs about the agreement signed by Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

Daniel R. Russel is vice president for international security and diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute, in New York. He served as US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2013 to 2017 and was special assistant to the president for East Asian Affairs during President Barack Obama’s first term.

©2018 Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.

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