Trump or Kim: Who Really Knows the Art of the Deal?
How do we grade the Trump-Kim summit? For a meeting that was supposedly aimed at reaching an agreement, people are hungry to know who “won.” Unfortunately, we may not know for some time how sincere Kim’s talk of denuclearization was, but that isn’t stopping some people from declaring that Kim trumped Trump.
A dictator who has ordered the murder of his own family members, and who oversees a gulag comparable to those of Hitler and Stalin, was able to parade on the global stage as a legitimate statesman… President Trump offered Mr. Kim a major concession, the suspension of U.S. military exercises with South Korea… Mr. Kim, meanwhile, did not commit to the “complete, verifiable and irreversible” denuclearization the United States has demanded — nor to any other change in his regime’s criminal behavior.
Trump said Tuesday he trusted Kim to hold up his end of the agreement. But he added: “I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.” Kim doesn’t need an excuse. He returns home to North Korea more in charge of his country than ever before. The world’s cameras and TV screens showed him shaking hands with the American president. Even if Trump’s earnest effort at ending the conflict on the Korean peninsula fails, Kim can walk away happy.
So far both leaders are getting what they want out of the exchange. Kim carefully orchestrated the exchange to create the illusion that he’s an equal power to the leader of the free world… For his part, Trump gets to revel in a characteristically bold moment on the international stage that had eluded his predecessors — never mind that they had intentionally not granted North Korea an audience until it had shown more progress in ending its nuclear program.