The Singapore Summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un was clearly more than just a media event. It was the first meeting between an American president and North Korean leader, and it opened the road to a diplomatic process that could lead to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the long run, a peace agreement could lead to the end of the Korean War. As President Clinton said, Americans should “be rooting for President Trump to succeed with the North Korea negotiations.”
At the same time, criticism of President Trump is certainly legitimate. The President displayed a form of amateur diplomacy and there was no serious preparation for the meeting.
President Trump reversed the normal process in which aides to leaders come up with an agreement and then the leaders meet to sign it.
Plus, President Trump provided a certain legitimacy to Kim Jong Un, who is one of the worst human rights violators – murdering thousands of his own people.
Unfortunately, the summit came after President Trump snubbed America’s allies at the G-7 meeting, creating the impression that he’s friendlier with Kim than with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
There’s also the perception that Kim won more concessions than Trump did at the summit.
In any case, we have to be prepared for a year or two of negotiating that could eventually transform the balance of power in Northeast Asia and require the US to make critical decisions about its military relationship with Japan and South Korea, and its evolving ties with China.
–-Alyn Hadar, Chair, Foreign Policy Task Force