What Happened in the Trump-Kim Meeting and Why It Matters

Ten simple takeaways from President Trump’s summit meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.


Comments: 173

  1. I think Trump is doing every effort to make America Safe. He has been working hard to make this summit a success. Americans may not realize the misdeeds of his predecessors which have inflicted the Americans without their knowledge. Even that is the Trade with Canada, Mexico & Europe, or this is a deal with other countries, Trump has proved himself a " dealmaker " which is of course for the benefit of the American People. ( IMO ).

  2. trump just threw knives at our allies. What good did that do. Trudeau is the leader of a nation. He isn't weak, just civil, of which trump doesn't know the meaning.
    So, even on the world stage trump looks the fool and only a north korean leader would see an advantage in that.

  3. I think what is significant, and like that you pointed out, is that this cessation of testing aka "war games" is EXACTLY what Putin has hoped for.
    please don't let that go unnoticed!

  4. Dear Ambitious:
    I can see by the way this note was written that you are very unlikely to be a native English speaker or writer. You also suggest that you are not an American by the way the second sentence is constructed. You also do not appear to have done fact-oriented research on the "dealmaking" in Trump's past with the resulting thousand's of lawsuits from those he cheated. Trump, in his life, has never done a deal for the intended benefit of anyone but Trump.

    Are you a troll? Is this another effort by the Leningrad GRU troll factory to sway opinion?

  5. My concern about all of this...the presidents enemies and detractors playing politics with all of this. FACT - in the 90's we stopped our joint exercises with South Korea in an attempt to get the North talking. It didn't work and the joint military exercises with South Korea and other allies in the region were restarted. We were right then and we are right now. If it takes us stopping these exercises to get them to come clean on their nuclear program and other bad weapons...it is well worth it. The next scheduled major joint military exercises are the spring of 2019. I do believe if we don't see movement between now and then they will move forward with the exercises. So really, what do we lose here?

  6. This seems to be exactly what NYT said in this article. How is it president's enemies playing politics. They state that exercises can be restarted and chide him for (apparently) not informing the South Koreans. These things seem correct and in line with what you are saying.

  7. So, we got a degree from Trump University and a promise for a deluxe order of Trump steaks. Great. We’re winning.

  8. Tom

    I agree we don't have much to lose with this cancel-the-war-games gambit, unless you consider the confidence and trust of two of our best allies. But, really, how much of that is left by now anyway?

    What I'm interested in is your subtext which says, essentially: "So, Trump is doing the same thing the last few administrations did and which didn't work".

    Which leaves me befuddled by the brass bands, the weeping women, the giddy children, the big, burly, American men sighing with satisfaction and relief and casting loving glances at our wondrous executive.

    Who else, oh who, could have tamed North Korea in forty five minutes of Private Talk?

    Although, speaking of North Korea, and considering the shoddy coerced displays of patriotism our magnificent President foisted upon football players in the name of executive power and better ratings, I do have to wonder if all this "Thank God, Trump saved us...bless you oh mighty deal-maker" hoo-hah isn't more like the staged parades of public adoration in the North Kor, participation under pain of limited grass rations for the rest of one's life.

  9. And Trump's groupies will applaud and hail him as a great deal maker. And, maybe hand him a second term in office.

  10. Heaven forbid!

  11. Unless both Kim and Trump resigned at the summit, NYT (D) would declare that the meeting was a failure. Keep it up boys and girls... and watch what will happen in midterm elections. There will be no blue wave, there will be no red wave but you'll experience another anti-establishment and anti-Fake Media wave.

  12. Would have been nice for them to resign but did you read the article? They gave credit where due and reiterated that they thought it was good to talk. I don't see how you could argue that it was good to cancel the joint training exercises without telling the other party in the "joint."

  13. Did you read the article? It was actually very positive about what was achieved.

  14. Same thing twice.

  15. This "meeting" leaves a bad taste. Bare bones, it's no more than the US eliminating joint military exercises and from NK, nyet. So we have now seen exactly what?

    If we and the rest of the world are looking for monitored nuclear disarmament will it ever occur? Is this the stuff of future meetings? If so, let's not dilly dally.

    Successful negotiations are far more than a handshake.
    So far, this highly touted meeting is political fodder with very little meaning. Bottom line.

  16. Sounds like Trump just had his "Mission Accomplished" moment.

  17. Hi, I think it resembles "Peace in our time" starring Neville Chamberlain more.

  18. My key takeaway (verbatim) from your article ... this should not be overlooked or minimized, so I will reiterate this positive news again:

    "Still, it’s worth reiterating that first point: Almost any talks, even if they elevate Mr. Kim and grant him concessions for little return, significantly reduce the risk of war."

  19. Oh Mary...

    First of all, this whole "edge of war" deal is classic Trump-and-switch.

    The only reason the edge of war was anywhere in sight was because Trump brought us there with huge ego, big mouth, and shockingly dim awareness recent history.

    Yes, Kim was diddling around with nukes, as he has been for decades. And no, getting rid of nukes does nothing to secure SoKor or Japan, it just limits their options for annihilation.

    Also no, these talks did nothing at all to decrease the chance of war. They were an opportunity for Kim to show how easily he can outmaneuver the lumbering clod that is our President, then run home and declare massive victory, as he already has done.

    Oh sure, I want these talks to proceed and, like you, I hope for a meaningfully positive outcome.

    But if we insist on the Trump-saved-our-sorry-butts narrative, he will never learn to do this right way and nothing he does will last.

  20. Not in the long run. No.

  21. With all the criticisms in this “analysis” by this pair, it is overly optimistic. We need to worry about Trump giving away the ranch in his his quest for a Nobel and world adulation. He would sell us out in a minute.

  22. Mr.Kim is enjoying playing on the world stage.He has met with his sponsors in China and is talking of meetings with Putin and Assad.He wanted the prestige of a meeting with an American president.He des not care if Mr.Trump praises him- he is a god in his country.He will not give up nuclear weapons now that he is in the same club as China,Russia, the US and a few other nuclear powers.Mr. Kim is third in a line of despots who can only stay in power with the help of powerful weapons.They will stay and so will he.

  23. This will only last until November. Once the optics of Trump being a world leader are of no use politically he'll shift back to his strong man stance and threaten War. The Pulitzer should go to the leader of South Korea since he was elected to make this happen and set the ground work with China. the Johnny Come Lately Trump Administration who only have the ill conceived tax bill in their win column and needed the photo op as much as Kim.

  24. Dear James K,

    I think you mean the Nobel should go to the leader of South Korea. As far as I know the leader of South Korea is not known for his journalism.

  25. Every time I think that Trump's blatant disregard and contempt for America has finally reached its limit, he proves me wrong. I cannot get the image of the US flag [next to the one of a rogue enemy country] out of my mind. So much for respecting the flag, you impostor of a president.

  26. All hat and no cattle.

  27. Agree on your Kim comment

  28. This meeting was all for Russia. Trump's love of thuggishness, autocracy, and oppression makes this a perfect friendship.

  29. Actually, Kim is the perfect role model for "our" prez .... Trump claims he could shoot someone and no one would prosecute him..... Kim has already done that (repeatedly).... and the result? he gets Trump for a best friend.
    (Maybe that's punishment enough?!?)

  30. Unscripted moments always steal the show. That’s why there’s usually a script- to avoid screwing up when stakes are yuge.

  31. What a deal maker! A deal maker like the world has never seen! Believe me.

  32. Actually we have seen a deal maker like that before, Neville Chamberlain.

  33. "And Mr. Trump’s habit of making misleading statements, along with his record of defying norms, can make it difficult to parse which of the summit’s outcomes matter and which don’t."

    Please stop using euphemisms. Trump is a liar who will say anything to make himself look good.

  34. Stop parsing and start hoping. better for all

  35. Can't agree with this enough. Why is it that other media can use the lie word but not the NYT?

  36. Trump is smugly happy that he has forged relationship with Kim. He has an eye on properties development in Pyongyang, and “even suggested that North Korea could become a major tourist destination,” as if the tragic death of Otto Warmbier wasn’t an urgent reminder of human rights abuses in that country.
    North Korea is reportedly sitting on natural resources worth $6 tn - in metals such as magnesite, zinc, tungsten, and iron. Its magnesite deposts of 6 billion tonnes are the second largest in the world. If Trump brings Kim in from the cold, he would be hugely rewarded.

  37. Otto Warmbier did not die in vain.

    He died for a poster...allegedly.

    And Trump is OK with that.

    Discuss.

  38. Thanks for the thoughtful and balanced analysis. Yes, it is a really good thing that ongoing negotiations will help deter aggression in the area by North Korea. We have to thank Moon and Trump for that. And, yes, it is highly unlikely that Trump and his negotiators will achieve much more than that given geopolitical realities.

  39. I imagine that Putin is pleased by the meeting. Also Kim appears to now be on the very short list of rulers that Trump admires. Trump said he likes how “tough” Kim must be to have ruled the NK at the age of 26.

    That being said I like so many others give credit for and greatly prefer talking peacefully to threatening nuclear war.

  40. The only lasting result of the meeting is that the world has been given a green light to engage with North Korea and Mr. Kim. North Korea and Mr. Kim have been normalized; they are no longer pariahs on the international stage. Now there will be pressure on the US to ease up on sanctions.

    This is a very significant and lasting win for Mr. Kim. And it cost him nothing, not even the air fare to and fro and lodging while in Singapore. That my friends is the Art of the Deal North Korea style. I'm impressed.

  41. Perhaps but it will be very short lived if he does not follow through with his commitment to denuclearize. No money nor sanctions lifted.

  42. There are talks. Given that there have been talks and agreements and failed agreements previously, that is not much accomplished. Yes, it’s better than no talks.

    We have not seen this President show much skill in making deals as our President. He seems to give away things that the people with who he is dealing want like door prizes instead of using them as bargaining chips. That is very strange. What exactly does he think constitutes the compensation for services rendered in negotiations?

  43. If the summit were compared to a football game, I would say the singing of the national anthems went off without a major hitch. That is far too little to declare, as the president did, that North Korea is "no longer" "our biggest and most dangerous problem." It is also far too little to declare the president's initiative a failure.

    All we really know is that the team's have taken the field, and the game itself is about to begin. Like the beleaguered citizens of North Korea -- and the good people of South Korea, Japan, China, and the U.S. -- most of us have no better option than to sit in the stands and hope the game goes well.

    But above all, we mustn't be lulled into thinking the game has been won, or even started.

  44. "The simple act of talking changes North Korean and American behaviors and perceptions in ways that make conflict far less likely. That’s a big deal." No big deal. Trump reducing the possibility of a conflict that he largely caused in the first place.

  45. One does not get prizes for putting out fires that you started yourself!

    Neither do you gain respect: Normally you just end up in jail for Arson and then Insurance Fraud for trying to claim damages.

  46. An alternative view, relying on a different reading of context and omitted details.

    The audience co-stars, Trump and Kim, made it to Singapore, Kim on a China-borrowed, American-manufactured plane. Fittingly, they arrived at a golf resort whose beach was built with imported sand. They spoke alone. They spoke with staff. They signed an agreement of general principles written before the meeting to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, a position long sought by North Korea. The moment has been declared as “defining,” “historic,” a “new chapter.” Two bandits and bullies, as heads of state, their handshake. The murderer didn't have to kneel as the nations flags stood side-by-side.

    In media, essence was replaced appearance. Appearances overwhelmed a myriad of details, and missed descriptions and comparisons—even the media's joyful shame. Shame on media cheerleaders—omitting details of truth/essence.

    72 hours before the Summit, Trump and staff viciously attacked Canada's Prime Minister, who hosted the G7 conference to which Trump arrived late and left early. Trump hit Justin Trudeau with made-up lies, smeared him as “weak,” “dishonest,” and used Air Force One's 20 tv's to justify the lies. The media left-out details about Canada's dairy supply management, real answers that defend Trudeau and say otherwise.

  47. (Part 2)
    Trump quickly flew to shake the hand of the life-appointed dictator of the world's most vicious regime. North Korea denies basic human rights, imprisons and kills its citizens, who are among the world's poor. The media endlessly repeats the endless round of Trump cliches of Kim's talent, love, his being tough at an early age. (Never mind the constant pall of death.)

    North Korea had a nuclear warhead and delivery capacity. Canada, by choice, has none and is not a nuclear state.

    Trudeau spoke before his country's citizens, from a podium in one of Canada's provinces. He wanted to make clear to Canada--French and English, African and Native, to immigrant communities in Toronto and Ottawa, the Asian community in Vancouver, to farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, to the farming cities of Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Calgary on tariffs/trade Canada would “not be pushed.” No bullying, a review of new deals.

    None of what Trudeau said on tariffs had anything to do with G7 agreement! Why pivot from harangues on China's trade, cancel your signature, and refuse to sign, while projecting “a special place in hell” for Trudeau?

    48 hours later, Trump provided a major clue: heannounced a major military policy change as an interview aside.

  48. “Almost any talks between the United States and North Korea, while those talks are continuing, significantly reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended slide into war, which could kill millions. The simple act of talking changes North Korean and American behaviors and perceptions in ways that make conflict far less likely.”
    Indeed, Trump knows that he has treated Kim as an “equal” — elevating him “from global pariah to a superpower’s peer.”
    Should Kim fail to reciprocate, Trump would feel humiliated, like the way he feels about America being taken advantage of by its European and other allies. Just imagine what he would do should he turn his tables on Kim.

  49. I to am glad that Trump and Kim aren't hurling nuclear threats at each other like angry children. It's better to have a happy pageant than an embarrassing brawl.

    However, I won't be at all surprised when they start up the theater again to keep those ratings up. Wrestle-mania!! Reality Show, Here We Go!
    Let's be honest, there is no way Kim is going to give up those nukes. He's not stupid.

  50. North Korea won't be a nuclear threat until Trump says the contrary, but it is a nuclear power, whatever Trump says.

  51. I'm learning from Our Great Leader. This is what I will do when I see my wife after we've spent the day apart. I will hand her a piece of paper that says the following.

    Honey, we're rich. All the things lying around the house that should be gone, are gone. Our private aircraft will arrive to fly us around the world, where the best hotels are waiting for us. They offered us free rooms, but since we now have unlimited capital, no matter. Our cars are brand new. We're not allergic to cats any more. We can have as many cats as we want because they clean up after themselves. Don't ask me how, and don't check, but it will happen. All the tensions with my family are resolved. Don't call my relatives to find out, but let me assure you.

    What's next? If I were South Korea, I'd be really worried. Maybe they should read the history of Munich and Czechoslovakia and start getting prepared.

  52. They talked about each receiving the other for exile if necessary. No extradition treaty.

  53. We won!!! But, what did Trump, the grand negotiator and this country win?
    A photo op with Rocket Man.
    Where are the real results that makes the dotard much better than Obama at negotiating?
    Oh, he had a photo with Kim, made a concession with nothing in return. Good job, Donald.

    That is basically it. Now the push for a Nobel prize will begin saying a Trump was magnificent.
    No, just another episode of The Trump Show.

  54. Here is a summary of the deal Trump made with Kim:

    We'll see what happens.

  55. Adams' "Nixon in China" is a wonderful opera----maybe the best thing to result from Nixon's presidency---before he resigned to avoid possible impeachment and jail.

    "Trump and North Korea" also could make a fine opera. (What might Verdi have done with all that pageantry?) The opera could be the best thing to result from Trump's meeting with Kim.

  56. A Mozartean farce might be more appropriate.

  57. "Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office," now joins, "Mission Accomplished" and "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job". Well, we're still waiting!

  58. '' Almost any talks between the United States and North Korea, while those talks are continuing, significantly reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended slide into war...''

    Says who ? ( you lost me on the very first point )

    There was a handshake, a photo op, a secret meeting, and then a waving of a piece of paper with wildly hyperbolic (as usual) adjectives from the President.

    This is what we actually know :
    1) The North Korean regime has made multiple similar ''deals'' and has reneged on every single one of them
    2) The North Korean regime finally achieved what they have wanted all along, which is legitimacy through simply meeting the U.S. President
    3) Any ''deal'' was inherently lopsided to the North Korean regime, since they gave up nothing concrete and achieved number #2, while still being able to do #1
    4) That's it.

    Everything else is as secret as the President's tax returns.

  59. What a deal maker!

    It certainly looks to me that the chubby 32-year-old dictator neatly outmaneuvered our great nincompoop in chief, mainly by saying nothing of consequence & maintaining his signature Buddha like smile.

    That’s all he had to do; and let the great deal maker babble on and on and finally blurt out that we would kindly cancel our longstanding military exercises with our ally (well at least is was our ally).

    Oh the unscripted stuff was great! An amateurish video & a look inside the thinly disguised tank that our President rides in.

  60. Palliatives are easy, cures are not. Trump is a transactional deal maker rather than a strategist.

  61. All I could think of was the wasted years of my father's life, as a Korean War veteran, when he was on security of the Alaskan border in extreme conditions. Many people have made sacrifices to rein in the violence inflicted by North Koreans. There are also terrible sacrifices made by South Koreans, especially those who cannot see their loved ones in the North. Yet, Trump, who never made any sacrifices or gave military service in his life, thinks it's a chance to back-slap and get really good ratings for himself (maybe a Peace Prize) toward 2020. I also thought of Otto Warmbier, when I saw all of the flags, and how he was treated for pinching a small poster. Trump has elevated Kim the despot and given him everything for nothing because Trump doesn't recognise all of these sacrifices. John Kelly, who does, had a face on him at the table which said it all.

  62. @gf - Excellent comment and indeed, that Kelly's face says it all, but he is complicit for being there as well. (let alone all of his shortfalls)

    There are innumerable republicans that have decided to be complicit and go along with the cult of personality and these are the results: photo ops and hyperbole.

  63. John Kelley always has that face. It's been frozen that way since he joined this administration.

  64. And yet Kelly was silent. He is an accomplice.

  65. Very concise and well written. Under your point #4, perhaps the South Koreans were not informed of this small nugget of statesmanship, the suspension of military manuevers, due to the porous nature of the South Korean government's abilty to keep secrets due to leaks and spies.

  66. A made for TV spectacle. Where's the BEEF ????? Sad.

  67. Reading the agreement and listening to Trump profusely praising the murderer regime one is getting a very worrisome conclusion.

    It seem like that it has been US who was at fault all these years and NK finally got some concessions to make things fair.

  68. Trump got more concessions out of his prenuptial agreements than he got out of Kim.

  69. "Why it matters"? I question the premise that North Korea is/was a top level 'threat' to peace in the region and the world.
    N.K. developed nuclear weapons for the same reason we did: deterrent. Also as a bargaining chip for concessions. With the greatest super-power sitting on their border, in a state of 'suspended war', they are well aware that any military aggression on their part would result in the complete destruction of their regime.
    N.K. is in practice, a slave colony of China; from whom they receive 90% of their goods. They act as a distraction for the US, while China continues to expand its empire; economically, territorially, technically, monetarily by illegal and unfair practices.

  70. @Socrates - take off eh ! :)

    Always like your biting comments. All I can add is that people have to get involved in the primaries to really get the candidates that we want. Many just show up for the general when it is too late.

    We cannot say this enough.

  71. Based upon what I read, this summit is playing very well in North Korea. Let's face it The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) is not what you call a place to get news. But, in the 13 June edition of the Korean Worker's Party Newspaper, the published a number of photos, the actual signed agreement and an account of the meeting itself. Google Translate does a reasonable job of translating Korean to English.

    What was unusual was that it portrayed the US in a positive light. Up until a few days ago, the US was portrayed as a bitter enemy, unethical, a major threat, etc.

    So, what did KCNA tell the North Koreans? That Kim and Trump met. They forged a new relationship. That Korea will be a nuclear free zone. The US will stop war games with South Korea and entering an era of long term peace. New economic opportunities for the North Korean people. Other than the praises fro Kim; it was the closest to real news that KCNA gets. They did the same thing with Kim and Moon met twice over the past several weeks. An unusual openness for North Korea.

    So, from a North Korea perspective, this went rather well. Well enough is that the US is no longer seen as a pariah. There are certainly a great deal of anti-US and anti-South Korea propaganda the North Koreans are exposed to; that will be toned down.

    One interesting thing was that both Trump and Kim agreed to hold summits in Washington and Pyongyang.

    Only time will tell if this actually good US-DPRK propaganda, or a beginning of a new era.

  72. Trump immediately lost face when he said he was "honored to meet" Kim. Honor belongs to one admired for his superior accomplishments, and Kim understood that to mean that he was so admired by Trump. The compliment was not returned by Kim.

  73. The realpolitik of the situation is that Kim has no reason to give up his nuclear capability and it would be against his personal interests to do so. North Korea is not Iran. It makes sense for Iran to trade its military advantages conferred by nuclear weaponry for entry into the world community; Iran wishes to be engaged with the rest of us. Kim (who is North Korea as we know it) has no interest in opening up his country to an inflow of goods and ideas that would make a lie of North Korea's socio-political structure and lead to his own and his dynasty's destruction as it inevitably would. Trump is playing for headlines and his puerile need for attention, but Kim is playing for his life and he dearly loves the life he leads now. To put it in terms Trump might grasp one might say that Kim really has no interest in selling, he's just trying to raise his property's perceived market value in the eyes of his bankers, the Chinese. Let the games begin.

  74. I would elevate your point #7 to #1: Kim’s pursuit of nuclear & ballistic missile weapons finally worked. The USA blinked first. If Tump had kept his mouth shut, the sanctions would most probably have brought a more compliant North Korea to the table. He could have achieved much more than just an agreement to talk again, sometime, somewhere. But Trump opened his mouth and put himself in the way.

    He did so, in my opinion, because Trump sought a “win” for himself, not the American people. Detached from the minutiae of American-North Korean relations, dismissive of the warnings about North Korea’s history of treaty treachery, and determined that the outcome be a reflection of his own prowess as a negotiator, Trump had snookered himself before he even stepped off the plane in Singapore. He had to come back with a trophy of any kind to prove to all that which he implicitly believes - that he is as great a President as any who have come before him.

    But it is a cruel reflection of the man that the “win” in Singapore is good for one day only, a week at best. Tomorrow, he will crave another; and tomorrow, will he trade away something else to be able to stand at the podium and declare success? “My kingdom for a horse”, one monarch was reputed to have called out as his reign neared its end; might Trump do something similar with American assets & advantage as his Presidency dwindles?

  75. Thanks for leading this with "(1) Almost any talks..."

    I wish I could write my knee jerk opinion about this topic; but it is way beyond my pay scale to know what is the best course of action on such matters.

    As much as I disapprove of the President Trump persona and many of the big issues he has worked to implement, I will stand behind this effort. After all, if anybody can go head to head with giant egos, it's him.

  76. To state "it costs the United States little to make these concessions" is completely niave and foolish. There is a reason no U.S. president or world leader with a brain has ever sat down with any Kim. Trump is single-handedly destroying everything my grandfather fought for in WW II. His foreign policy initiative of thumbing our allies in the eye while embracing Russia, China, and NK will have lasting and damaging effects that will be difficult to undo (especially if they lead to WW III someday).

    The dreamers of the world can believe something useful will come out of this. The realists know better.

  77. One day before the summit with North Korea Trump and his aides trashed our western allies, as he seeks a new alliance with dictators and thugs. This summit was all sizzle and no steak, for the U.S. The "Art of the Deal" this was not for our country. Kim Jong-un walked away with a major concession, with the freeze on military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea, which came as a surprise to South Korea and our own U.S. military. Also, this brutal dictator has now been legitimized by Trump. A major win for Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-un gave no concessions on his nuclear weapons arsenal. The one thing achieved by Trump is that he did garner the kind of publicity that will have his base chanting "Nobel" at his self-congratulatory rallies.
    Does this summit bring some trust between North Korea and the U.S.? I doubt it. The talking was all one-sided with Trump fawning over Kim Jong-un and making the absurd statement that this man, known for his barbaric treatment of his people, "loved them" (to paraphrase). How can there be any trust with Trump? We are always one tweet away fromTrump undoing a deal he has made, and lashing out if he thinks someone has even hinted at criticizing him.
    This moment in history is over, and no one knows what the next step is, or even if there will be a next step. We will have to wait for the next "Tweet" for that. All we know is that Trump had a great photo-op and a dictator was elevated to world leader status.

  78. '' Almost any talks between the United States and North Korea, while those talks are continuing, significantly reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended slide into war...''

    Says who ? ( you lost me on the very first point )

    There was a handshake, a photo op, a secret meeting, and then a waving of a piece of paper with wildly hyperbolic (as usual) adjectives from the President.

    This is what we actually know :
    1) The North Korean regime has made multiple similar ''deals'' and has reneged on every single one of them
    2) The North Korean regime finally achieved what they have wanted all along, which is legitimacy through simply meeting the U.S. President
    3) Any ''deal'' was inherently lopsided to the North Korean regime, since they gave up nothing concrete and achieved number #2, while still being able to do #1
    4) That's it.

    Everything else is as secret as the President's tax returns...

  79. One major concern of mine is Trump's overconfidence in his ability as a negotiator. It is one thing to strike a real estate deal; it is very much something different when dealing with a dictator of one of the most repressive nations on earth.

  80. I don’t know why Trump thinks he’s a good businessman. This is a guy who bankrupts CASINOS! God help us.

  81. Not a good comparison, Richard. All Mr. Trump's real estate deals go bad. His lifetime record in the real estate business is heavily in the red.

    You could almost think of him as an overgrown Jared Kushner.

  82. Trump is like a dog that lives only in the moment. As long as he gets mostly positive attention, he feels rewarded, that's all that matters to Trump. He can't see beyond the cast of his shadow at any given time.

  83. It is always a good thing to speak in person to anyone who one is trying to convince or get a point across to. We certainly could have done without the offensive profusion of American flags standing alongside those of North Korea as if they were our equal. It's also been sad to see clips of the apoplectic reactions of the Republican state media when Obama dared mention the idea of this exact sit-down.

  84. I am pleasantly surprised how sophisticated Mr.Trump was in negotiating with North Korea. He seemed to understand more deeply and clearly now how North Koreans( Asian cultures in general) approach negotiation differently than Western countries. You must build trust first before bringing up the real points. Personally, Mr. Trump saying about pausing the “certain kind of” joint military exercises in Korean Peninsula was a brilliant card he used to test North Korea’s sincerity cause it is North’s turn now to prove their words. Just wishing why Mr. Trump is not applying the same skills for the USA domestic policies...

  85. "You must build trust first before bringing up the real points." ….No, no. You must have missed Trump's statement that the threat of a nuclear North Korea has now been eliminated.

  86. I understand and sometimes it has been useful for me to understand Trump better when i tried to understand btw the lines of Mr. trump words instead of taking everything literally. We shall see, indeed.

  87. The biggest "takeaway" is that Kim took away everything he wanted and gave the president nothing in return except vague assurances that things would change in the future. Kim took the president to the cleaners. He picked the president's pocket while they shook hands.

  88. This meeting was a farce from the beginning. Trump and the republican party with their disdain for science have no scientific advisers to draw from for expertise. Look at the unfilled positions in reference to scientists in this pathetic incompetent administration. Great photo op though with the so-called leader of the free world giving face time to one of the worlds most unhinged dictators.

  89. They’ll prolly just send Rick Perry.

  90. "a four-minute video that Mr. Trump showed Mr. Kim, gave the event an air of surrealism."

    -Another surreal aspect; People trying to assign any serious motives or strategy on Trump's part. It was a real estate pitch in Trump's mind.

    - Lowest bare ever for success.
    It didn't end in catastrophe! A++!
    (Not NYT, but others)

    "The United States will suspend its joint military exercises with South Korea. "

    - Probably makes sense, but as NYT points out, it sounds like neither the SK's or our own defense est. knew that it was coming. Also, this was on both Xi's and Putin's fever dream list.

    "Because Mr. Kim’s legitimacy is among his greatest vulnerabilities at home and abroad, this staging was a big gift to him."

    -I would add that Trump's legitimacy is also in question.
    And, his credibility is zero.

    "they can be given away only once, and the United States received relatively little from North Korea"

    -This was Trump equivalent of sneaking downstairs on Christmas Eve, ripping open all the gifts only to find out poor Donny didn't get what he wanted.

    - What did Trump mean when he said 'Otto W. did not die in vain?

  91. "Kim kills his own people, but it’s not like he kneeled during the national anthem.”
    ~ Stephen Colbert

  92. STOP for pete's sake saying that ANY conversation is good conversation... shame on you NY Times and every news outlet for perpetuating this nonsense...

    "Talks" are not some new inspiration of Mr Trump's... "talks" with North Korea occurred under every administration prior to Mr Trump... they did not keep the world from a nuclear North Korea, and neither will this "summit"... however, the prior talks were not held before cameras, not on a stage with a backdrop of alternating North Korean and United States flags, and did not elevate the despot of North Korea to a prominence equal to Mr Trump and other world leaders. All this gushing over "talking" with Mr Kim will do more damage than even Mr Trump could manage.

  93. At least the damage was limited: it was Only Trump on Stage, not some respected World Leader.

  94. My takeaway?
    SK: you're on you own now
    Japan: You're next, watch out.

  95. Of course the responses to "What Happened" should be filled an assortment of 'the eleventh major takeaways". Mine?

    The President of the United States proves once again that he has no moral compass. By embracing the "charming and funny" murderous little dictator Kim, he continues to drag down the rest of us with him as he travels along his cynical and narcissistic path, unable to complete a sentence within a given paragraph and unwilling to conform to the norms that we expect from the leader of the world's oldest and most powerful democracy.

    The Fake President is creating Fake News every day with Fake Accomplishments. What is your 11th Takeaway? Thanks for playing...

  96. "Mr. Trump was setting a policy that analysts refer to as “freeze for freeze” "

    Oh, do please stop.

    Trump was not "setting a policy" he was doing what he always does, jive-riffing off-the-cuff commentary directly from the thinky-place in his head into a microphone.

    Sure, its possible he again painted himself into a corner by mumbling in public and will actually follow through. But its just as likely he will not.

    Trump's estimation of optics will control that choice, not some faux policy concern.

    You policy wonks may call this humiliating debacle "freeze for freeze", but you would be wrong.

    Because, relative to the first point above, Trump already gave away his freeze and Kim gave away nothing at all. Nothing.

    So, big win for us, huh? Yay!

    Also, will you media wizards please get off this "...significantly reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended slide into war, which could kill millions" binge?

    If we're anywhere near war its because Trump put us there. Nothing new other than the Mouth in the White Houth.

    Kim has been putzing around nukes'n'missiles for decades.

    Occasionally he pulls one string or other just to watch the Japanese scream a little and then stoically prepare to meet their fate.

    Best of all, he gets to watch SoKo run screaming to the US and then we say...wait for it..."Hmm...no good options, let's wait and see." As we always have done.

    Kills Kim every time. Dude loves this stuff.

  97. I’d
    warn N.K. That if they do not see a signed treaty passed by Congress, be wary, very wary. Just as Iran and Libya found out, presidential promises mean nothing to the United States. Democrats should not obstruct, the GOP will take forever to find what they agree with in such a treaty.

  98. Did it ever occur to Trump (or his supporters) that NK gave up testing because its test site collapsed? Or that one of the reasons diplomacy has failed so much in the past is because NK has refused to give up its aspirations for controlling the entire peninsula? (the manifestation of which was the causus belli for the Korean War in the first place) All I can say is that if Mr. Trump wanted to negotiate peace, his starting point should have been that Kim gives up on why his nation invaded South Korea in the first place.

  99. Everyone except Trump's family knows that he is not exactly a geopolitical mastermind. Trump judges events on how loud and colorful they are. The "summit" was another episode in the eye-dazzling show that makes up Trump's reality.

  100. Jimmy Kimmel summed it up succinctly and beautifully -
    ""Trump wanted to make it look like he did something big, whether he did something big or not. He was not leaving the summit without claiming he made a deal," Kimmel said. "So he sets the meeting, he has this sit-down, he hears what he wants to hear — blah, blah, blah. As soon as the meeting's over, he runs out, calls a press conference, declares victory, everyone goes home, Kim Jong Un does nothing differently at all, and we go back to our lives, too."

    Trump is an entertainer - a salesman for whom perception = reality. He is no more qualified than Sarah Palin was, yet because of his (inherited) wealth and media savvy, he succeeded where she failed.

    The need on our part to take him seriously and look for silver linings stems from purely selfish motives on our part- we're stuck with him running our country, but there is no reason to believe that other leaders regard him as anything other than what he is - an ignoramus and buffoon who is in over his head and is only playing the part of statesman.

  101. I am relieved that we are not on the brink of war. I am happy that talks will continue. But, I am dumbfounded that the President seems to think that he has made a huge international deal. He described, in the past, that the deal that Obama and Kerry, and our allies, made with Iran as "the worst deal in history." If you compare the deal made with Iran and the non-deal Trump just made with Kim, and if you are honest, this one would go down as a fiasco. There was no tit for tat, no give and take, only concessions by Trump. That's "The Art of the Deal?" Phooey, and you can quote me!

  102. My fear is that Trump is more interested in a Nobel irrespective of anything having to do with peace.

  103. Not to worry. Trump rejected TPP, withdrew from the Paris accord on climate, has trashed NAFTA not to mention Canada and Mexico, and removed U.S. support of the Iran Nuclear deal. We hope that the talks with North Korea continue in a positive manner, but one step forward does not negate four steps backward.

  104. WoW I just about fell out of my chair. Given the constant non-stop Trump bashing the Times does I expected a lambasting. However to my great surprise an even handed as the article states in very basic terms the good and the bad and most indifferent things about the summit. A lot of "show", at least we are talking, some concessions but nothing that can't be easily reversed on our part. Only thing left out was a NK commitment to restart the repatriating of US serviceman's remain as they had been doing about a decade ago and the three US citizens freed ahead of the talks. I rarely say this but Kudos to the Times for some straightforward analysis without much if any bias.

  105. Trump brought himself and Kim to the table for a discussion. That is significant.

    Obama, Bushes 41 & 43 as well as Clinton did not achieve that with the North Koreans.

  106. NK has wanted to meet previously. We refused.

    Now, I will agree that talking is better than shooting, but the most heated our relationship with NK has been in years was caused by Trump's mouth. All he did was ratchet down his own baloney.

  107. Is Trump's willingness to give away anything to Kim Jung Un to do this deal his answer to the Mueller investigation? If he can make N.K. denuclearization happen, will he be forgiven whatever corruption the investigation links him to?

  108. Trump has told us clearly what he wants from this initiative --- to build Trump hotels in North Korea.

  109. This came to mind when I saw photos of Trump grinning from ear to ear when he met with Kim - "I need a photo opportunity. I want a shot at redemption. Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard." - Paul Simon

  110. Ultimately the key factor which will determine the ultimate outcome depends on whatf non- aggression guarantees Trump will deliver to make Kim feel confident that the regime can rely on them.
    Let us not forget that the US since the end of World War II has tried by any means to overthrow any and all communist regimes.
    It accounts for 3 generations of the Kims
    to engage in the nuclear project All else is background noise

  111. Trump escalated the situation and then de-escalated the situation. If he’d never been born we’d be in the exact same position except we wouldn’t need to shudder every time we turned on the news.

  112. how low our expectations have sunk! have sunk. We are glad Dismal Donnie did not get in a screaming match or give away the store. Folks, if you are not doing election work now- better start up. Contact the closest Indivisible group or Democratic candidate and get engaged. Now!

  113. I find it very difficult to take the apparent seriousness with which the "media" present the actions of Trump as though these self-serving theatrical gestures have any substance beyond gratifying his desire to puff up his ego and further delude a large proportion of the American electorate. Collusion? Here it is.

  114. "Mr. Trump even suggested that North Korea could become a major tourist destination, almost exactly one year after an American tourist, Otto Warmbier, died of what appeared to be torture endured while in North Korean custody."

    But if tourists stay at a glitzy new Trump Resort...that will be okay. Security can be assured...and the only torture will be that of a tourist's soul.

  115. These talks mean nothing, they're just attempts at manipulation (which is the only means by which DT and KJU have any kind of power without using actual physical force). Once they are done it's back to business as usual. For DT they are one more joke of a commercial message about how "fantastic" he is and KJU is trying to show the populace of North Korea (literally a captive audience) how powerful he is since the supposed leader of the free world is at his beck and call.

  116. The major point here, unspoken by all the pundits, and not mentioned here, is that the world has changed. From reading media like this, you might conclude that Donald Trump is the only one who understands that.

    Virtually all the western post-war structures that exist today were built in a different era and for a different purpose. The US military engagement in Korea and the G-7, both in the news currently, and all other western post-war economic and military agreements and alliance, are weapons in a the cold war that we won. They were designed to strengthen and defend the west against an existential communist menace that has now disappeared.

    It's high time to re-evaluate the utility of an international framework that is now obsolete because, like all those US Navy warships that were scrapped in 1946, it has already served its purpose. That Trump is doing so, in his crude and graceless manner, is a service to the nation and, ultimately, probably for the whole world. It's far better to have a crass loudmouth change course than to have the smooth and mellifluent Barack Obama, or his successor, continue to plunge us down a path that leads to ambush after ambush, for no purpose.

    The old western international order achieved it's purpose. The west won, and it is time to understand and appreciate that victory, and to put down the swords.

  117. This is great if you're Russia, or China, or North Korea. Bad if you're a U. S. ally--or the U. S. Russia and China are still our main adversaries on the global stage. North Korea still has missiles that may well be able to land nuclear bombs on U. S. cities (not to mention those of South Korea, Japan, and other countries). The main point here is that all of these things are still true.

  118. This is an odd take, prefacing on the disappearance of an "existential communist menace" and that the "west has won". The world has changed, but not as you portray. I also think you give the current president too much credit in attributing this event as thought-through.

    In the context of "Third World", the "Second World" was Soviet Union, China, and their allies. That Second World has not disappeared, and combined have more nuclear warheads than the US. That way of viewing things called "The Cold War", may be past, but the underlying threat remains. No more Nikita pounding his shoe, but Putin is every but as dangerous.

    Today, it's the "Third World" that is hard for the western powers to deal with. Things have changed, as we saw in the Vietnam War, and most recently Afghanistan. Western powers can no longer wage war the same way. The US lost Vietnam and there is no "winning" path out of Afghanistan. Shock and awe did not produce the expected results in Iraq. And this does not begin to cover the those who wage war through terrorism because they cannot engage world powers in full frontal attacks.

    But the view presented is consistent with making America great again. It's a filter that makes more comfortable the world as it has become. But that is not the way things are now, but more of hoping that's the way they will be once again.

  119. there is always an excuse for FASCISM.

  120. Since when were human rights ever an issue for Trump--from the Mexican border to Korea. They don't register in his mind.

  121. Once again, the myth of Trump as the "Great Dealmaker" is exposed. He gave away the store to keep Kim Jong Un engaged. What happened to being able to walk away from a bad deal?

  122. Two narcissistic men met, for whom compassion for others is low, and bullies ways are high, both ignoring South Korea, and whose sudden friendship might turn sour, as fast as Trump's friendship with Macron did. Things are as uncertain at best.

  123. Do not know why NYT is after Trump. Yes Trump is an unconventional go-getter. So what? My question is: what has conventional diplomacy given USA since the time of William Jefferson Clinton? Nothing that can be recalled with grace. USA had been on the spiral of devastation from the needless Iraq war, with Obama bowing down before the Muslim world in Cairo and lashing out at USA after he won the US elections.

    The problem with this class of pontificators is that they can only portray themselves as armchair pundits.

    Give Trump a chance, and don't keep cursing him or be always negative about what he does. That's yellow journalism.

  124. The alt Fox worldview...

  125. The clear result is that we must take steps in congress to never allow Trump to negotiate on the international scale again. It is too big risk for us and the world.

  126. Dear WaPo: As much as I wanted to read what I thought was going to be a useful article, I was stopped by the first line in the third graph: "Trump's habit of making misleading statements". When in the world are you going to call him a liar? He lies all the time. He isn't shading the truth; he never has. He isn't a spin doctor; he's a liar. He is not smart enough to parse his statements to that degree; he tells lies all the time.
    I can find the information I need elsewhere, I really can. This kind of statement makes me doubt the remainder of what is on the page. I am still a subscriber, but I deserve greater truth than what you are giving me.

  127. Wrong newspaper dude.

  128. Russia has been lobbying strongly in the past two years for the US to end it's "provocative" military exercises in the Korean peninsula. They share a small border with North Korea and have been supplying oil to them for years. Russia considers Korea in their sphere of influence. Seventy years of American policy would have to be overturned to get the Americans out of Korea. All they needed to achieve this goal was to have a Russian puppet become the United States president.

    Mission accomplished.

  129. Sounds like a truly disastrous meeting for America's standing in the world, and future safety. NK can now proceed to bully the rest of the world, too.

  130. Of course, Mr. Kim didn't meet with a real U.S. president, the one we actually voted for in 2016. She was back here in the States.

  131. When asked by the press about the specifics of de-nuclearization Trump claimed he thought that Kim would begin the process immediately. And that if they had not done anything in six months he may have to admit he'd made a huge mistake believing Kim.

    Will the Republicans controlling Congress hold Trump to this six month deadline? And hold Trump accountable between now and then to monitor and report to the American people on the progress NK is making each week so we and the world knows if and how this "agreement" is going?

    Something tells me this shotgun wedding is merely a ploy to help Trump's party in the upcoming elections. To maintain GOP control of House and Senate and their complete subservience to Emperor Trump.

    Not widely reported was that after the two leaders parted a reporter had the opportunity to ask Kim if he had agreed to give up his nuclear weapons. Kim's answer was a belly laugh.

  132. In a nutshell, Trump tells the world that he forced himself to this unilateral giveaway (sharing the stage with Kim) by raising the threat of nuclear war. Great negotiation with himself! Can’t wait for the China version, the Iran version, and the Russia version of this strategy!

  133. Paragraph #4 is stunningly frightening. A quote from the linked article in that section:

    "Lt. Col. Jennifer Lovett, a United States military spokeswoman in South Korea, said in an email that the American command there “has received no updated guidance on execution or cessation of training exercises — to include this fall’s schedule Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”"

    Yet again, our CIC is using our troops as a bargaining chip without consulting his generals.

    Do I think we should have stopped the exercises? If we are serious about peace, then yes we should, and I've said so before. The appearance of peace matters to the creation of peace.

    But it looks absolutely horrible when we have total disconnect between the President and the Pentagon. That email from Lt. Col. Lovett shows the stoppage of exercises blindsided everyone in the chain of command - except Mr. Trump, of course, a man with no prior experience in military or geo-political strategy.

    When you sit at the negotiating table, you need your ducks in a row. Right now, ours apparently haven't even been told it is time to line up.

    No, Mr. President, one duck does not make a line.

  134. One can put as much lipstick on a pig as one will. But the pig remains a pig. This summit was an exercise in futility reflecting nothing more than the theatrics of reality TV.

    Both Trump and Kim have proven themselves to be ruthlessly unreliable and untrustworthy liars. No good will come of this.

  135. Nobody cares! If there are no nukes over Broadway we are OK. I fail to understand this derisive attitude towards Trump. If Trump, as you and others have stated, is bad and unreliable but if he still can get the job done, what is the problem? After all, this is happening for the first time in the past 70 years. And should we expect to have all problems solved in one meeting between two enormously hostile nations? I suggest that the French pay attention to their own internal security issues, than bashing Trump.

  136. The colourful and somewhat entertaining mating dance between these two pariahs might just lead to a love child that neither want.

  137. Donald praises and compliments Kim, who is a brutal dictator but demonizes our Allies, especially Trudeau of Canada!

    Donald, you got played, dude!

  138. This has not been brought up enough. Fighting with our allies but shaking hands with and praising a dictator. It’s truly mind blowing.

  139. Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are smiiling and smirking.

    Donald Trump is barking and snarling.

    Who knew that MAGA meant make China and Russia great again?

    Who knew that MAGA meant making North Korea equal to America?

    Mr. Kim, Mr. Putin and Mr. X won. Mr. Trump lost.

  140. It should be added that (according to the Wall Street Journal) it was Putin who first suggested to Trump he end the war games as an enticement to Kim -- so once again we have the US President negotiating exactly as Putin recommends. Coincidence? Who is really driving international diplomacy these days?

  141. Regardless of whether or not you are a Democrat or a Republican, a Trump supporter or a Trump hater, I think this is an event where one’s domestic political leanings should be tossed aside for a moment. Trump met with Kim Jong-un. They shook hands. They sat and talked. They had a meal together. They took photos together. This is a positive first step. Does Kim Jong-un torture and kill his people?… most probably yes, based on what we’ve learned from what we deem to be reliable sources. Does he have weapons that can be used against us and other countries?… yes. Do his views likely differ immensely from those of the typical American?… absolutely, in so many ways. But… let’s view this summit as a very positive first step. (Disclosure: I voted for Hillary. I did not vote for Trump. But, I think Trump did good in setting up and attending this meeting. There’s no reason to attack every move he makes just because you may not like him as a person).

  142. That would be fine IF we could trust him. He has shown more times than we can count that he can't be trusted.

  143. Well said.

    Just imagine where we would be with Iran had Barack Obama had a summit with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. If Iran stopped chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America", stopped funding war, and let peace break out.

    Instead, we get John Kerry with his focus on minutiae like "modalities" and an agreement negotiated by politicians that had little chance of working. Say what you will about Donald Trump, but he focuses on what matters.

  144. What Trump did is one thing. What he's making of it is something else. Yeah, we have a temporary respite from the threat of missiles being lobbed at our cities and territories. That's good. We've also defined for our enemy what we're likely to push them on. Release political prisoners, return foreign nationals held for no reason. No. We will withhdraw from agreement if in our sole judgment they're threatening our allies? No. We're the supposed superpower. He reduced us to the equal of a small, starving country led by a brutal powermonger.

    What he's making of it -- we're free from their nuclear threat? Do people who support or tolerate him not see the danger of an elected leader making such a pronouncement. There's a clear and present danger in living in a state of wish fulfillment. Wake up! There's nothing wrong with saying I think this is a good first step, but it's only the first of many steps. That's called Leadership. What we have is Fantasizing.

  145. Appreciate the final note of optimism by the authors. We all look forward to the outcome.

  146. The authors of this article do not appear to possess a high level of expertise in foreign affairs. Many of their observations are illogical and incoherent. Their remaining remarks are trite to say the least. Reading this piece was a complete waste of time.

  147. I think this is a very well thought out, balanced analysis, as opposed to the extreme takes that both "sides" of the media have been taking over the last couple of days. In a nutshell, the meetings were mostly symbolic and lacking detail for now, and any concessions we make are conditional. But it opened up a door and hopefully, it's a huge step in the right direction. It's in all of our interests to pray that things keep moving along this course, however long it takes.

  148. The article doesn't comment on the likelihood that Trump made promises during the meeting with Kim that were not revealed in the official statement. The North Korean press is reporting that Trump promised to eliminate sanctions as North Korea takes steps to denuclearize.

    The Chinese press meanwhile is claiming a Chinese victory for Trump's promise to end military exercises and, in reaction to the North Korean press release, start reducing sanctions, both of which benefit China.

    In the news conference Trump also stated he convinced Kim to get rid of a missile system facility, implying that North Korea already has started with its denuclearization. Neither this nor the accelerated elimination of sanctions were not in the official statement.

    That there were no witnesses allowed in the Trump-Kim meeting beyond interpreters allows Trump to claim, true or false, all manner of statements and promises that may or may not have occurred.

    In other words, both the official statement and the press conference statement are as likely to be fiction as real. Welcome once more to Trump world.

  149. It seems good negotiation practice to make the challenger feel and love the aura of success. And it is good omen too, that DPRK is in a better situation than ten years ago, with notably less famine. A little improvement may be something you want to foster, rather than use as a bargaining token.
    Now that Kim has had to purge a few generals to gain acceptance for this summit, it is less likely that he would be able to reverse trends towards isolation.
    For once, Trump has made "Climate Change" a priority, before weapons and nukes technicalities (and it seems oddly wise)

  150. The only sure winners were the two men at the “negotiating” table, each using the fact that the summit occurred at all and its imperial pageantry to bolster his status and political longevity with his political base and home audience. They both got the chance to strut around as Big Men on the world stage. Even if it all falls apart after November’s Election Day, it will have served Trump’s purpose — to prop up the Republican Party enough to probably avert a Democratic takeover of Congress and his impeachment. Neither man cared a whit about acting in his people’s best interests. All that mattered to each was ensuring his own self-preservation. They both now feel that they have already succeeded wildly in achieving their real goals.

  151. Trump's "deal" with North Korea was an insult to the memory of Otto Warmbier, and his family. Additionally, Trump repudiated years of U.S. policy by both Republicans and Democrats on how diplomacy with NK is structured. Trump ignored the wisdom of the past which is a sure sign that we can expect trouble in the future.

  152. Trump talked instead of studied and developed any plans to deal with North Korea while Kim was testing nukes and missiles. That created confusion that might have led to war. Moon was able to step in and calm things down and initiated dialogues which led to these talks. Meanwhile Trump sees talks as useful for the Fall elections and suddenly his attitude is all peace and love. But he still managed to give concessions with nothing more in return than a nice smile from Kim.

    That Trump is clearly good at promoting himself and ridiculously inept at anything of substantial importance is clear. Everything and I mean everything that can be considered accomplished during his time in office has occurred despite him except when he rubber stamps somebody else’s work. He is exactly like a person who is lost and has no idea where he might be. Yet, his supporters attribute his clueless to coolness and genius. Those avid supporters terrify knowledgeable Republican leaders who fear acting on the country’s behalf will cause them their elected offices in Republican primaries. The ship of state is truly adrift at the moment.

  153. I am glad that they're watching insipid, badly produced videos together as opposed to threatening each other with nuclear weapons. But that's a pretty low bar. I'd feel a lot better if there were some indication that family visits between the two countries were routine and safe. I see no indication that that's going to happen.

  154. I realized when I was out running this morning that I owe Rudy Giuliani an apology, he was partially right about someone getting down on their hands and knees to beg, only it was Donald Trump; I hope Trump was wearing his gold trimmed bib when he was down there or maybe he let Mike Pence to the honors.

  155. I realized when I was out running this morning that I owe Rudy Giuliani an apology, he was partially right about someone getting down on their hands and knees to beg, only it was Donald Trump; I hope Trump was wearing his gold trimmed bib when he was down there or maybe he let Mike Pence to the honors.

  156. As far as a precedent setting nuclear weapon’s development automatically garnering our fullest attention, the Taliban’s without them would seem to slightly contradict their direct import. Since Bush taught us all the correct way to pronounce the word we just can’t stop talking about them.

  157. Like Donald Trump, I have a long career of doing deals. In my case I have worked mainly in the US and Japan. What I have found is that what gets put down on paper matters little. Relationships matter more. Feelings. People. Actions. All these matter more than words on paper.

    That's why North Korea is different than Iran. We didn't get what we wanted out of the Iran deal. Neither did Iran. We wanted peace, but didn't get it. They wanted prosperity, but didn't get it. The deal was lose-lose. It deserved to die.

    North Korea looks better. North Korea is trumpeting the summit in its press. They see it as a win. But we won too. So far, it's a win-win. And things look good for the future. We want peace. They want prosperity. That's a good basis for a deal.

    No one knows what will happen with Iran or North Korea. But nuclear weapons, and detailed programs of verification and disarmament, should not be our focus. Instead, we should look at things like this: are they chanting "Death to America", or are they shaking hands and grinning in a pompous summit?

  158. Very correct assessment.

  159. I disagree with the principal point made here that these talks significantly reduced the risk of an accidental or intentional war. Both Trump and Kim are volatile and bellicose. Yes, they were on the same page a few days ago. But the risk of war depends less on where their behavior is on any particular day and more on the volatility over time of that behavior. That is, it depends on how much their behavior changes and on how erratic those changes are. This is simply a mathematical fact. North Korea made no actual concessions that might in and of themselves have counterbalanced this. A diligent, calm, knowledgeable, firm, consensus-driven, sensitive, strategic and protracted engagement with North Korea would certainly cause this volatility risk to decrease, but is there any evidence that Trump is capable of that?

    Thank you, NY Times, for the excellent annotated version of Trump's silly movie trailer propaganda:
    https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000005950705/trump-made-kim-a-m...

    I don't see how any credible expert could have expected Trump to blow up at this meeting. When has he ever demonstrated anything but warm affection for a brutal dictator? When has he ever said anything at all about human rights?

    It goes without saying that the entire shebang was fueled by lies, misrepresentations and silliness. I am still smiling about the video of the summit lunch at which Trump is heard telling the camera man to make him look tall and thin.

  160. If all the world gets out of this summit nonsense is a signed peace treaty, then we've achieved something. Agree to and sign a peace treaty first. The rest should then be negotiable and easy.

  161. I think we can see Trump already distancing himself from the details of denuclearization. He will "turn it over" to others and bemoan the lack of progress from a deal "he already did".

    Lots of executives hide behind others inability to successfully navigate their strategy but that is in fact a very important part of the strategy...can the team execute it?

    So who is set up for failure here? I wouldn't want to be Mike Pompeo.

  162. Trump agreed to stop playing War Games with our friend South Korea. Not a word, however, about Kim and the Hunger Games that he plays with his own people.

    He is now strengthened at home. Let the Hunger Games continue.

  163. I'd love to see video of President Trump explaining to Otto Warmbier's parents - who were his guests at the last State of the Union - that the man responsible for their son's death is actually a funny, smart guy.

  164. Suspending military exercises with South Korea is well within the power of the President to declare. Moon Jae-in and the South Koreans should be delighted that the exercises have been cancelled as it's less of an irritant to Kim Jong-un and the North Koreans. It's a positive for America as well as it avoids having to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars supporting it. It would be naive for anyone to think that Moon Jae-in did not have beforehand knowledge of the cancellation of the joint military exercises with his country.

  165. “I’m willing to travel to Singapore very gladly.” What is wrong with that sentence? It is almost as if English is a second language with Donald J Trump. Either that or he has a form of aphasia, in which case he needs competent medical evaluation to determine the cause.

  166. Let's not forget that it was Trump's doings (taunting, insulting Kim, etc.) that had been playing a very large part in making conflict/war more likely.

  167. Leni Riefenstahl's 1935 propaganda film for Hitler, "The Triumph of the Will" is chillingly similar to Trumps propaganda film for himself and the North Koren leader. Watch it on Youtube. You will be amazed.

  168. No much really happened at the Kim/Trump meeting except for a bunch of hype and photo op. Of course, is this had happened a few years earlier, President Obama would be up for another Nobel prize.

  169. Obama got inspections and verification from Iran. Trump got a large envelope and a commemorative coin from North Korea.

  170. Let’s see if after all this trumpism we’re not back in the same place as every other president. Just a lot more hoopla and annoyance. “I’m soooo good”

  171. Kim is the vile, despotic leader of a walled-off third world country whose name most people wouldn't even know except for the nuclear capability he has developed, and which has now brought a puerile, grandstanding American president half-way around the world to recognize him as a great leader and an honorable man. And he is now going to simply give those nuclear weapons up? And then what? Welcome Westernization of his country? Or return to obscurity? Please. Those nukes are his ticket to supposed legitimacy as a world leader as evidenced by the words and actions of the President of the United States.

  172. My understanding is that not only South Korea, but also the U.S. military, had no advance knowledge that Trump would freeze military exercises. While the tactic of "freeze for freeze" may be an established one, it does not seem "mainstream" to do so without any heads up to military leadership.