Vague on Details, Trump Is Betting on ‘Special Bond’ With Kim to Deliver Deal

It is a huge gamble, based on the assumption that the force of Mr. Trump’s personality, and the deal-making skills in which he has supreme confidence, will make all the difference.

Comments: 219

  1. And all of a sudden we're back to looking into Putin's eyes and getting a sense of his soul.

    Like that worked out for us.

  2. Darn--you beat me to it!

  3. Its all so predictable. Trump, regardless of what actually happened, will say the meeting was the greatest, most beautful meeting ever due to his amazing negotiating skills. That all previous Presidents were losers and disasters. His base will cheer and rejoice.

    And then absolutely nothing will change.

  4. You’re missing one other point. Trump gets re-elected. Sad to say it but the odds are in his favor as a sitting president.

  5. You missed the step where sensible, educated policy experts point out that the emperor has no clothes and that Trump extracted no real concessions or accountability -- and Trump's followers claim that the liberal step just won't admit that he was successful. It's predictable indeed.

  6. Then the relationship breaks down. Trump blames Kim and now we are into a war situation which will seem justified.
    Just read ahead a few chapters.

  7. I'm thinking of the terrific relationship Kim had with his uncle and half-brother.

  8. Would that the outcome be the same for our president.

  9. Can we all please stop talking about trump as a dealmaker? He neither know how to negotiate nor how to make a deal.

  10. In 2016 there was a series of detailed articles - obviously not widely read - documenting the overall subpar performance of the various Trump businesses, the man's crooked tactics and the roller coaster of his career. But I don't remember seeing anything that made plain exactly what kinds of deals are involved in putting up tall buildings, setting up a meat distributorship and the rest. In development, for instance, I assume there's a similar slate of contracts for each project, with industry-standard terms. I'd be interested to know where there's even an opportunity for "art" in that. (Of course, many of the ways that Trump slithered out from failed projects, with cash in his pockets while his stakeholders were left holding the bag, could be described as "artful," but in the pejorative sense of that word. And those weren't so much deals as deceptions.) I'd also be interested to know how the honorable players in real estate development and the other industries in which Trump swam viewed him and his businesses.

  11. Can we also stop referring to Trump as the 'leader of the free world'?

  12. Nor even how to write The Art of the Deal, by Tony Schwartz. He's a fake dealmaker, a fake author, a fake landlord whose tenements comply with fake codes (see: the guy who died in a fire in his gold-plated black tower), a fake billionaire from all that fake business, and of course a fake "president".

    Only thing real from "covfefe" is the soreness in my eye muscles. They can only roll so much at him before they get Tired of Winning.

  13. It is apparent that the event that opened up North Korea for dialogue was the Olympic Games held in South Korea. Any American president could have taken advantage of that opening. This happened in spite of Trump, not because of anything he did. If a Democratic president was in power, the Republicans would be screaming bloody murder that we were negotiating with a dictator, etc etc etc. China is calling the shots here, and what they want is for American influence and military power in the region to be weakened. There is a long road ahead for a peaceful solution to the problem of nuclear arms in the hands of a tyrant. Additionally, we should be demanding a stop to human rights violations in North Korea and China.

  14. @phil dunkle: i agree with you. the olympics held in south korea opened north korea up. as to pointing a finger at NK and china for their human rights violations - it does hurt to say it, but the US and germany are in that club, too. [each & every US drone finds its way to the middle east, to africa, around the globe, via ramstein airbase.]

  15. Where is the Mission Accomplished" banner on the aircraft carrier?

  16. They couldn't find a flight suit that would fit.

  17. It's troubling that our president has strong chemistry with and admiration for corrupt strongman rulers and dictators. But Trump is unable to be civil or engage in friendly negotiations with our allies. It reveals a lot about his attitude and moral character.

  18. Arrogant, bully, sans character.

  19. But wait, Jimmy... isn't DJT the leader of the free world?

  20. To all those pundits and foreign policy experts, I thought you of all people would understand that this was first meeting, no details settled, lots more to discuss over time.

    The main point is that President Trump has brought a rogue nation to the table, and seems to be on the road to denuclearizing N. Korea. No, of course the deal is not final, but no one who knows the least bit about foreign relations remotely expected a final deal to come out of the first meeting. (Well, maybe a freshman in poli sci might have thought so, and thereby deservedly earned an F for the semester.)

    There are lots of reasons to disagree with President Trump, but he really should be given credit for pulling off this meeting.

    We Democrats--and our mouthpiece, the NYT--need to spend less time bashing President Trump and more time getting our ducks in a row for the 2018 and 2020 elections. If we want to win these elections we need to identify and put forward strong candidates and come up with powerful messages for all those people in fly-over country who Hillary chose to ignore.

  21. Special bond? As soon as Un calls him a dotard, then the tweetstorm comes and they'll go their separate ways. But Trump has no interest in a "deal," just the attention, which he craves. And just waiting for "a special place in hell" comment from Navarro. Everything is special.

  22. In their 1:1 did they discuss hotels for nukes?

  23. Trump is shredding our friendship with democratic Canada - which had our back from Korea to Afghanistan - while developing a "special bond" with a dictator willing to starve his own people and kill his own family. Does the U.S. stand for anything anymore?

  24. We stand for narcissism and the evils that emanate.

  25. Seriously correct. Trump does not appear to have a strong bond with anyone, except perhaps Ivanka. He threw Canada under the bus after claiming the strength of the relationship was a 10. I think he would even throw his sons under the bus if need be to avoid the consequences of the Muller investigation.

  26. The US stands for profits, period. Been that way for quite a while, but amped up now in the current period of hypercapitalism (an enterprise is expected to be not merely profitable but maximally profitable).

    Corporations rule the country and pretty much rule the world. I don't expect that to last very long, but that's where we are.

    And that's what US foreign and domestic policy stands for.

  27. At a news conference with ABC after his debacle with Kim, Trump said "He (Kim) trusts me, and I trust him". I can guarantee one thing, Trump may or may not be dumb enough to trust Kim, but Kim is waaaaay to smart to ever trust Trump. No one in their right mind would.

  28. How dare you cite ABC? Because our dear leader said it, ABC is fake news.

  29. Neither trusts anyone.

  30. And his supporters didn't "trust" Hillary. That says is all about them.

  31. How can two narcissists form a relationship?

  32. There has been great historic examples, Adolf and Benito being one, Vlad and Silvio being another. It is actually quite likely that they instantly trust each other.

  33. Narcissists often gravitate toward other narcissists because they see themselves in other narcissists. It's like having a relationship with yourself, a narcissist's ultimate fantasy.

  34. Mirrors.

  35. This “deal” can’t possibly succeed.

    As has been written elsewhere in today’s Times, Donald Trump gave up everything that Kim Jong-un desired; all the American president received in return were vague assurances that have never worked before with the Kim family dynasty.

    It would have been sporting of the naive American president to have attempted to get the murderous regime to go quite a bit easier on its citizens but, as we all know, Trump made the trip for himself—no one else factored into his overweening selfishness.

    As far as nuclear disarmament went, Trump trails—by light years—anything like the concessions that President Obama was able—with “preparation”— to extract from Iran. It seems that Trump is quite satisfied with the murderous tyrant’s assurances of verification and eventual peace in the Korean Peninsula.

    He’s leaving Singapore soon, apparently in a rush to return to Washington where, no doubt, he’ll order aides to begin drafting his Nobel acceptance speech for his appearance in Oslo.

  36. No Nobel for someone who can't get along with Canada, the easiest nation to love in the. entire. world.

  37. And remember how much went into said Iran deal! Multiple nations, seasoned diplomats, knowledgeable individuals (of whom Trump has none), Times and patience...And Trump calls it the worst deal, ever, makes fun of it at the UN, threatens to rip it up, and, against even his selected Generals' advice, finally makes good on his promised sabotage. Of course, his antipathy of the Iran Accord was based on the man who achieved it, not on any actual specifics.
    Yesterday, Trump sat down with a man known to be cunning and ruthless, armed with nothing more than his "touch" and "feel," eager to claim a breakthrough, and he thinks he's a master negotiator. Maybe there's a Nobel Chump Prize for him?

  38. @Sox -- the supreme irony here is that the president criticized his predecessor mercilessly for making stupid deals that harmed American interests. He ranted and vented that Obama gave Iran everything and got nothing in return.

    After making unwise concessions with the encouragement of his vice president, SOS and the hawkish John Bolton, it looks like it was Kim who declawed the American eagle.

    It's very telling that this president never bothered to make a "special bond" with former American presidents and instead opted to make a deal with the devil. As he showed during the G-7 summit, this president is an ugly duckling among swans.

  39. Ask the thousands of investors, contractors, and employees who dealt with Trump over the years about Trump and his ‘special bonds.’ Follow the string of lawsuits and bankruptcies.

    Seriously NY Times - you and the rest of the media have to stop repeating the myth of Trump as some fabulous deal maker. You are enabling his con jobs. Stop being so gullible.

  40. The baggage train of a businessman who excelled at gold plated failures a television rerun. Dear Leader access requires soothing lullabies of stupendous accomplishments. Ego gratification equals access.

  41. Yes. This is ridiculous. Why are you repeating his propagandistic self-invented myth? How many bankruptcies and lawsuits have his brilliant business sense yielded, again?

    Really, enough. It's all hot air.

  42. Thank you, Larry. The notion that Trump is some sort of fantastic negotiator is a myth. In truth, he was a failed businessman. Disappointing that media outlets that should know better continue to buy into it.

  43. The great "conner" has been conned.

  44. No, the great conner is going to turn this into a giant Trumpshow, with the help of Fox News and the GOP Congress. The American people are the ones being conned.

  45. He was never a great con-artist. The only people he needs to con are in love with his con like a drunk's in love with his next drink. Trump will be selling this photo-op as a Nobel Prize-worthy achievement in the midterms. He only has to con somewhere around half the voters.

  46. No that's chapter one. Chapter 2 is disappointment betrayal and breakup. This justifies chapter 3 nuclear war.

  47. Kim, according to Trump: "loves his people". Yes. And Donald loves the children of refugees.

  48. Yes, Kim loves his people the same way a feed lot loves its cattle.

    The same way 'the Donald' loves us.

  49. Exactly! Kim loves his people so much, he starves them and puts them in concentration camps. I'm sure Trump would do the same if he could, starting with journalists and uppity football players.

  50. Negotiations does not mean done. This is what Trump is good. The important thing at the end is the result of negotiations. This s what was not done properly with Iran.
    Is like selling a house. Is not only the price that makes somebody buy the house. At the end both parties have to be happy.
    Peace after a war could mean one side decide or there is agreement in both side to negotiate the terms. In this case is the second and is not the winner take all.

    For many people this will be difficult to understand because they expect that should be winner takes all and USA should be the winner.

  51. The worst analogy I have ever read! selling a house? comparing it to Iran? Iran already complied with the terms of the house that was "sold" but the seller has re-negged on the offer while the buyer is "moving-in" saying he canceled the deal. And if its about NK, the seller had already sold the HOUSE long time ago... the seller just re-sold what he had sold. The buyer (us) thinks we got a good deal because they get to move in anyways... until the dwelling drops and the house floods with the pool water.

  52. You need to go back and google the Iran talks. Your comment is devoid of facts and as empty of truth as the President’s knowledge of history. DT made specific promises concerning withdrawal of troops and other things, Kim made vague promises . That’s not a deal, hon. That’s getting snookered because you are susceptible to flattery.

  53. igbth
    do your homework. the Iran deal was a good deal and there is no deal with north korea only Kim's promise to do something but we have had the same promise from north korea since 1992.

  54. Trump is doing an excellent job, too bad everyone has to criticize him no matter what. This opening is historic and should be welcomed, not picked apart by politicians and media whose only interest seems to be getting attention.

  55. H-I-S-T-O-R-Y

    just head back to 1985 and work your way forward.
    So many promises from nk by un and his father....all broken

  56. President Obama's deal to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons was designed with great expertise and preparation, and was verified and working by all accounts.

    But Trump pulled out of that agreement unilaterally.

    President Obama's opening of relations with Cuba was historic, as Cuba is no longer a threat to the US. Isolating the country did nothing but anger countries in Central and South America and hurt the Cuban people.

    But Trump stopped that progress.

    Every country on Earth signed the Paris Climate Agreement, as it is universally recognized that manmade carbon is creating droughts, floods, extreme weather, and with it famines, wars, and great damage to property and life.

    But Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the treaty to help raise oil prices for his buddy Putin.

    Bringing North Korea into the community of nations is not a bad idea, as the alternative is leaving a brutal dictatorship without any standards for human rights, its people in poverty, and its limited resources spent on cyber-crime and exporting weapons of mass destruction.

    But this agreement was a photo-op for the global stage. A self-manufactured crisis producing smiling pictures and thin paper without metrics or an agreement to do anything verifiable.

    These promises have been made before and unkept. Trump cares not, except to be seen as the solution to manufactured problems.

    Maybe people criticize Trump based on a clear-eyed perception of his methods and interests?

  57. What exactly do you think Trump has accomplished here? Please explain.

    The NY Times is reporting the facts. Did you even read the article?

  58. Political calculus of Trump: with Kim, a murderous, torturing despot, Trump offers sweetness and passivity (after threatening fire and fury); with Prime Minister Trudeau, our democratically elected, neighboring ally, Trump spits vitriol and vicious attacks. Trump's over-long ties fail to hide his political illegitimacy and slapstick -- if only it weren't so dangerous -- incompetence.

  59. I have yet to see where Trump has negotiated anything successfully. However, he has successfully created the myth that he is an expert negotiator.

    Its scary the power that well known celebrities have in our country.

    Its like they have a "halo" effect in which they are perceived as being great at everything.

  60. He promised his "car" to Kim. Oh... no... he promised to build a better one for Kim. Wait and watch... soon Kim will be waving out of one of those cars at his military drills.

  61. Plus, we have to suffer with the resurfacing of Dennis Rodman, Kim's best bud and "expert" political pundit.

  62. NK is an absolute dictatorship and it's policy is almost solely determined by one man. Everything depends on his particuliar temperment, outlook, and goals. Institutional inertial or momentum plays little role. So to bring up what NK has done under previous rulers is not a very useful guide.

    It may be that Kim has come to different conclusions than his father and grandfather. At least it's worth exploring the possibility. After all, there are plenty of excellent reasons for NK to come in from the cold, a chance at first-world prosperity being chief among them. As for those who think the U.S. gave away too much by suspending the military exercises, I don't agree. The exercises are suspended, not ceased, and can be started up again anytime. If the suspension helps get the ball rolling towards genuine de-nuclearization, it will have been well worthwhile.

  63. Fun exercise for you, Silty.

    Take your first paragraph and replace "NK" with "Don's Amerika". There you go.

    Now you know how half the voters plus 3,000,000 more feel about what's happened to our country since Putin's puppet took the throne .

  64. I am waiting for the Republicans in Congress to weigh in on this deal because as of now their response appears to be the same as the dear leader: “it’s greeeeaaat!” (Like Tony the Cereal tiger?). We are not a democracy any longer when the Congress is composed of “yes men” just like those in the other authoritarian nations that Trump admires. And a third of our voters are equally mesmerized by the power of a Photo op and a Tweet.

    This agreement consisted of 400 some words in which Trump promised specific actions and Kim gave vague assurances. This is dealing making? This President is a Pinhead.

  65. Yes, right, and the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter bunny are all real.

  66. “terrific relationship .... very special bond ....he loves his people'....I love 40% of my people....this is the greatest American Presidency in fact, Frederick Douglass just called to congratulate me...very special man...very talented....North Korea is a special country.....Canada can go straight to fact, all of our so-called allies can straight to hell....the future will be with North Korea, China, Russia and all of these incredibly authoritarian countries that appreciate slave labor and have utter contempt for democracy.....thank you....thank you....or at least thank you to those who voted for me; the others can go to hell"

  67. Lov you Socrates! Your wit is in fine form here.

  68. Yes, Socrates, that pretty well sums it up.

    I am a lifelong Democrat, but would give anything to have a normal Republican in office right now. Besides everything else, I have never witnessed a POTUS who displayed such seething hostility toward anyone who doesn't lick his boots/didn't vote for him. It's terrifying.

  69. Socrates, you keep me SANE daily. Thank you very much. I'm sure I'm not alone as an American for feeling this way.

    Wow. Is it dark. Even across the ocean I can feel the pain daily of this constant threat. TRUMP.

  70. Trump's bond with the other two most dangerous people in the world, Putin and Kim Jong Un, is very strong while our alliances with our allies crumble. Putin has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams in the disarray he has caused the free world. Kim Jong Un, who matches Putin tit-for-tat in crimes against humanity, is being normalized on the world stage and Trump seems to be getting nothing in exchange for this gift sans the photo ops.

    Then again, would any of you trust Trump enough to give up your security and means of protection to him and his sidekick, John Bolton? It's a rhetorical question sadly.

  71. Trump has been played. With the appearance of good or improving relationships, China, Russia and South Korea will slowly but surely lift sanctions, providing the DRPK with more cash and goods. Game over.

  72. Special bond is that of a Dictator who is ruler for life and a Wannabe.

  73. Our dotard plays like a fiddle.

  74. He makes the complex seem so simple. All you have to do is sign a piece of paper.

    I can hear the peace bells a ringing.

  75. A "special bond"? Like it's a 10/10? Same as the ones he has with the other G-7 leaders?

  76. I didn't support this president in the election, but I am hoping (and praying) that his efforts with North Korea will be successful.

  77. I loath this President BUT, isn't opening a dialogue a really good thing? Instead of rhetoric, the two men met and started an open conversation while both parties look great back home. Isn't it better our two countries at the very least try to resolve issues without the treat of war? As much as I despise the POTUS, I must admit, its a good start! I can only hope!

  78. The most important aspects of any international agreement are the boring details, the clarity of the language in the final draft of the agreement, and the regimen that is put in place to ensure compliance with the agreement. Trump has achieved nothing so far other than normalizing and elevating the status of a murderous tyrant who has no respect whatsoever for human life or human rights. If this is to lead anywhere, the experts and diplomats must start the long process of writing an agreement that includes specific responsibilities for both sides and some clear way to verify North Korean compliance with denuclearization. I hope that this process starts, but I doubt that anything will be achieved that is close to controlling North Korean nuclear capabilities as much as the Iran deal, which Trump pulled out of, controlled Iranian nuclear capabilities.

  79. Even giving the administration undeserved benefit of the doubt, a deal based on personal chemistry with a President who will be in office at most 6 1/2 more years is not the lasting peace we should be striving for.

  80. So, did Trump knew the first minute after the meeting that the deal was going good? Because he lost badly by giving up a lot and getting nothing concrete in return, he probably thinks the Nobel peace prize is his and will tweet that it’s fixed and fake when it goes to Dennis Rodman instead!

  81. You're too pessimistic. Trump looked into Kim's eyes and saw his soul.

  82. They looked into each other's eyes & saw snake eyes—Pit viper to pit viper.

  83. Mario,
    No, he was close enough to Kim's eyes to see his own reflection.

  84. The deal as written is vague, much like the value of a Trump U sheepskin, but the intent is clear.

    As Trump feuds with America's closest western democratic allies, disavows the NATO alliance, and seeks Russia's readmission to the G-8, Trump now calls for the removal of western troops from South Korea in favor of a "unified" Korea.

    Who would run a united Korea? I suspect that was discussed in the 45 minute meeting held without any Americans in the room.

    Would that take time? Yes, but Kim Jong-un is young.

    A united Korea under Kim Jong-un would be something both Russia and China would support, but the former is more important to Trump than the latter.

    Trump is coming out as Putin's puppet, and in exchange he will gorge on the spoils of plutocracy much like his sponsor.

    He wants to know who is going to stop him - since he could shoot the FBI Director and not be prosecuted, just like Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin.

  85. david parsons

    The president did not call for removal of western troops from South Korea.

  86. So Trump meets with a guy for an hour or two and forms a "special bond"? Like a guy who wants to marry a girl after the first date, this will not end well.

  87. If Bush can see Putin’s soul, why not Trump a bro, Obama chilled enough with them while he was in.

  88. Allan

    The president did say that there might be several meetings. Good that they formed a bond.

  89. Kim foolplayed the gullible American while pursuing the courting the rich Chinese.

    He de-escaladated the tensions he himself created in the peninsula while buying precious time with nothing given in return expect for vague promises to consider open-ended negotiations. No string-attached!

    The best outcome for him, not so much for the art of the deal.

    Kim had well-earned his salary for a few hours of "work" in Singapore.
    Xi his master is happy.

  90. Feed his ego and feed his bank accounts (directly or indirectly) and Trump can be played.

  91. In light of a newly created "semi-mutual admiration society of Trump/Jong-eun" the sickening thought runs through my mind:
    "KJ-eun doesn't "come through" on what was allegedly "agreed upon at the summit" according to Trump in a timely manner and in a fit of rage Trump decides to show the dictator his anger with a few nuclear bombs directed to NK.

  92. Remember what Trump said about ruthless murdering Vladimir Putin: "If he says nice things about me, I'm gonna say nice things about him."

    Trump just proved with his tet-a-tet with murderous dictator Kim Jong Un - a pariah shunned by the international community - that literally anyone who says nice things about Trump and cozies up to him will be rewarded and slobbered over by the President of the United States.

    This was a shocking display by a President of the United States who is completely ignorant of history, the international order and his responsibility to use excellent judgement in how he represents the United States of America to the world.

    Apparently even the intelligent Trump advisors were unable to reign in or influence Trump's behavior at this event. He refuses to listen to anyone.

    This is shameful. And the Republican congress says nothing, does nothing in response.

  93. The outcome of Trump getting nothing concrete out of the meeting while giving Kim major concessions like having a summit and ending military exercises was predictable. Despite that, I am happy that Trump and Kim are no longer threatening nuclear war. Trump's incompetence has and will continue to weaken the US in all foreign negotiations. This is just one example where all we can do is go along with Trump and pretend Kim will get rid of his nuclear weapons and missiles. At least it will keep Trump from blundering into a nuclear war. We can learn to accept Kim's nuclear bombs if the alternative is a couple of million deaths in Korea and Japan.

  94. I'm sorry but NO! we cannot accept Kim's nuclear bombs if they have the capacity to reach American cities! NO WAY!

  95. This hyuge photo op is really not resolving the nuclear issue. The work has yet to be done. And now Trump is going to c curtail the military exercises and get NOTHING from Kim.
    Seems Trump needs this whole show far more than Kim, as Kim has won the early rounds and Trump really little to show other than showing up: Kim, dictator of a little backward country has a one on one with the president, Trump fawns over him like they have been friends for years, no solid deal on anything, China and Russia are working to keep Kim within their camp.
    Yes, we needed to take steps and this may lead to some better concessions in the future, but for now the hype is getting pretty loud and boring,

  96. Psst, Trump. Beware the ides of March. Quicksand ahead. Either look out or lose interest. Don't say I didn't warn you.

  97. It's let’s make A deal time for Trump and Rocket Man! Kim will magically become a 'true' world leader, and Trump and his party will win the midterm elections. And together they will save the world from the Heathan Canadians.

  98. Trump has shown after the G7 accord, that his word is meaningless. He did not make any preparation for this visit, and came away with the rehashed version of the previous agreement between North and South Korea- and that means he got nothing but made a number of major concessions to Kim - in exchange for nothing.
    Trump has shown, again, how unutterly unfit he is to be President. He needs to be removed - before he does anything else.

  99. TRUMP, the ultimate empty suit.

  100. Just like the special bond he developed with Trudeau?

  101. Does he think his special bonds will be tolerated by other higher ups. My biggest fear Trump lets his gut instincts make his judgement. History we should never forget he has had a number of business failures some extremely costly. What happens if this one goes Kaput. There are no chapter 11 or 13 to save him.

  102. He's got his eye on developing land in NK. The first golf course with a luxury high rise Trump Tower.

  103. Strange how Trump forms "special bonds" with enemies of the United States, but spits in the faces of friends of the United States. It's almost like he is working for the enemies. Actually, strike that "Its almost like", Trump is working for the enemies of the United States, because they have been bankrolling him for the last twenty years.

  104. We hadallbetter pay attention

    Your post is not true.

  105. You got it. The president of the US is a Russian mole. Russia won without firing s shot. An outsider watching it as a spectacle would have to admire that. Brilliant! Congrats to Putin. You did it!!

  106. "His personality and deal-making skills."

    His personality doesn't play well in Canada.
    His personality doesn't play well in Germany.
    His personality doesn't play well in France.
    His personality doesn't well well in Mexico.
    His personality doesn't play well with the majority in the USA.
    What personality?

    Deal-Making Skills
    It's easy to make deals when you have a fixer-lawyer to bully the other party.
    It's easy to make deals when the other party's lawyer is not working in the best interests of their client.
    It's easy to make deals knowing you will declare bankruptcy if things don't break your way.
    It's easy to make deals when you know you will not pay contractors in full for their services.

    This skill set does not translate well on a level playing field. Round 1 went to Kim based on what he gained with this meeting.

    Oh, and those personality and deal making skills will not work well with Mr. Mueller, as well.

  107. It's also easy to make deals when your life is cushioned by daddy's millions. Trump started life on 3rd base. If he hadn't, he'd be in prison.

  108. Add the U.K. to your list.

  109. I am what the right would call a rabid liberal. But I am honestly flabbergasted by the comments here. Do you for one moment think a pause on these war games undermines American military might? If anything, it shows that America has in good faith given concessions to North Korea and will now wait and see how de-nuclearization goes. Any chance that millions on North Koreans will finally start to get out of poverty, towards education and there will be peace on the peninsula should be grabbed with both hands. Let's put aside our petty politics for once and applaud Trump for keeping a volatile dictator not pissed while simultaneously delivering the moral high ground (in this aspect) to America. After all, we always have the military option - war games or not.

  110. this was tried before in 1994. Failed then, will fail now.

  111. A president who "shoots from the hip" and informs a dictator first of American policy that he thought up about 5 minutes, if that, beforehand, is not "the moral high ground", or anything else. South Korea, our ally, got surprised. Our military was surprised.

    So no, slapping your friends in the face is not the smartest move Trump does.

    You can be liberal, independent, conservative, whatever, and agree that Trump is clueless.

  112. I am honestly flabbergasted by the naive comments I see coming from both the left and the right. Being skeptical is not "petty politics". It is not wanting to buy into yet another Trump reality show. How is it taking the "moral high ground" to appease and praise a brutal dictator who continues to enslave his people? We have given Kim exactly what he wanted--a photo op and equal footing on the world stage. It is true that suspending a few training exercises doesn't cost us militarily. But there are other costs. It further erodes our status as a bastion of democracy. It aligns our country with murderous regimes and countries like Russia and China. It further alienates our allies. And what about South Korea? There is a reason why past presidents have tried and failed with NK, and it is because they always renege on the deal. Is Trump a smarter, better president than Clinton, Obama, or even Bush? I suppose stranger things have happened, and if it does, I will be the first to join hands in singing "Kim-baya". But past patterns tend to predict future behavior, and dictators tend to be annoyingly consistent in their inability to change. So nope. This radical liberal is not applauding Trump for his "Dr. Phil" diplomacy ("Kim is misunderstood! His childhood made him a dictator!"). It is disturbing to see how low America has sunk that we are praising and honoring murderers.

  113. One can only hope that Kim has come to realize that his regime's model is not sustainable in the long term.

    NK regime change has to come from within. The cost of externally forced regime change is too risky, even with Russian and Chinese participation.

    So, even if this meeting turns unfruitful, it was useful.

  114. I get it.For this administration J Trudeau deserves "a special place in hell". But Kim J Un is someone he can have a "terrific relationship" with.
    Birds of a feather...

  115. No wonder Kudlow had a heart attack. His 'humanity' couldn't take it. LOL!

  116. "The supreme irony, as Mr. Litwak and others noted on Tuesday, is that an effort to constrain the North’s capabilities, rather than eliminate them, has shades of the Iran deal that Mr. Trump just rejected." Trump has never been known to have one original idea, so is it any surprise that he's stealing from his hated predecessor? Trump gave away our credibility as a country just for a stupid photo-op and today's cotton candy news headline. We all know this is going nowhere fast, and since he admitted he lies and makes excuses, why fawn over this? Enough with him, I'm tired of all of my oxygen being sucked out of me every day by this moron. What's the GOP's response? Why aren't they focusing on the domestic issues they always talk about doing something about but never do? Why aren't they holding Trump accountable for not coming up with a detailed infrastructure plan? Good paying, fair wage jobs? "Better, less expensive, healthcare for all?"

  117. Dennis Rodman, the former basketball player, is standing by in Japan in case his diplomatic services are required. That would be a surreal photo opp.

  118. Tiger shark

    Apparently Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un are friends

  119. " special bond ". What would that be ? A Dictator Super Glue ??? One super villain recognizing another? Tips for making friends and influencing people, at gunpoint ??? The labor Camp diet and fitness program ?
    GOP, you've outdone yourselves. Stand up and be PROUD.

  120. Phyllis Dalmation

    Instead of backing the President on this crucial meeting with Kim Jong-un, you have chosen nastiness and sarcasm; therefore, please do not stand up and be PROUD.

  121. Chuckle, there was nothing special about this meeting for anyone in the West. Trump was snookered, big time.

  122. Thanks, Sarah. I thought I might have been too subtle.

  123. Gadaffi!

  124. So did that 4-minute video published by the White House make it to the concentration camps?

  125. With a nod to Mel Brooks:

    "Springtime for Kim Jong Un and Pyongyang!"

  126. It would not be surprising if the two dictators actually got along. Maybe they can be sidekicks - the North Korean leader will be Trump 's Tonto, and Trump the Lone Ranger will be the North Korean dictator's Kim-osabe.

  127. Ah yes, maybe James Bond can help out. Or maybe he's got some triple E's lying around. Or maybe it's Bondo he's got in mind, but I suspect it's Bond of Brothers that wins the bet...blood brothers. Meanwhile, it's off to the gulag with poor Justin. He just wasn't mean enough to make it into Donald Darky's inner circle

  128. Not unlike George W who was smitten with Putin when he looked into his eyes!
    How well did that work out!!

    The Great Negotiator is the Great Nut case.

  129. I would love to hear what the very clear-headed Madeleine Albright has to say about all this. NYT, could you please solicit a new article from her? She has the intellect, the values and the experience to analyze it credibly.

  130. North Korea outsmarted US ... they knew that the King had never read any history or what was previously negotiated. NK probably repeated the same points with DT and he didn't even know he was being dupped. Rather, DT is thinking showing a video on his ipad and his CAR would do it. As though Mr Kim was stupid and didn't see these things already ! What a world ... next DT is going to say HE arranged for the Space Shuttle to land on the MOON ! Oh... with a movie on his ipad!
    Sad... sad... sad.
    I can imagine the Europeans feel betrayed standing by US on NK - yet they got nothing out it. How much more bizaaaaarrrr can it get.

  131. Well, to believe that Kim will adhere to the signed contract is contrary to what all he did so far … He is fake News … and the "fake News expert" does not regognize this. Chapeau!

  132. There are no detailed specifics, and Trump is talking about this butcher like he is one of greatest, young forward thinking leaders in the world....sickening!

  133. U.S. President Donald Trump turned out to be the trumPET of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president of the United States has been acting as a speaker for Kim Jong Un. Will Trump know about this?

  134. Soul brothers. You may recall that Kim murdered his uncle Jang and family, reportedly allowing starved dogs to maul some of them to death. Such a guy!

  135. The President got played.

  136. Sort of like the special bonds George W. Bush formed with Russia's genocidal dictator Vlad Putin when Bush looked into Putin's soul. Trump and Kim already have a special bond: They are clones of one another.

  137. no one should take this man seriously. no one.

    that's trump for you clueless believers.

  138. More hot air.

  139. Pretty sad, somebody like Kim who should be in front of The Hague's War Crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity coupled with an ego maniac incompetent demagogue that is an embarrassment to his country like Trump and a world class paper like the NY Times has to cover it.

  140. Special place in hell for one of our most trusted allies. Special bond with a brutal dictator. This is our future?

  141. How many American presidents would have boasted about their "special bond" with Pol Pot after his extermination of his own people?

  142. The negativity in the comments below is startling. But after 30 years we have not much to show for conventional diplomatic efforts. So suppose not much changes with the new Trump initiative. We’ll be back where we were before. That hardly seems a desirable position. Maybe its simply a matter that many really smart people will have egg on their faces if Trump succeeds in is unconventional approach. We project failure in advance ? Some problems require out of the box innovations no matter how curious they might look to ordinary mortals.

  143. What?

  144. Most pseudo-intellectuals conflate everything that does or says is automatically 100% wrong. That goes for that segment of the media that caters to them. Rather their news is made up of suppositions, presumptions, innuendos and one-sided facts.

    To many, journalism has become a form of entertainment, particularly for those who truly believe that they "care" about our nation. But where are the "facts" They say, "Let us not be encumbered by the mere presence of facts"!

    To wit, let's take the news about the dismemberment of the recent G7 and specifically the issue of fair-trade. Nowhere have I seen any attempt by the media to reveal what our own "Department of Commerce - International Trade Administration" says about US-Canadian trade.

    An excellent starting place to learn more about Canada's import policies is on our government site:

    Drop down a short way to IMPORT POLICIES to better understand the issues that matter to many American exporters.

  145. Well, Peter, we are in exactly the same position. Kim, his father and his grandfather have all made similar “promises” in the past. This is about Trump and his unrelenting desire to best Obama. He’s an idiot!

  146. President Backward/upside-down/inside-out enjoys a special bond with murderous, torturing dictator Kim Jong-un while he scorns, insults and alienates democratically elected Justin Trudeau, prime minister of our neighbor Canada.

  147. It’s probably too soon to be sure about much regarding the summit. But I see a tiny glimmer of hope when Trump seemed to realize he cannot admit being wrong. After saying he “may be wrong,” he paused and then said, “I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that” and “I’ll find some kind of an excuse." Acknowledging a problem can be a first step.

  148. I really really really really hope you're right.

  149. At the very least, it's the first time he's told the truth!

  150. That may be the closest thing to an honest statement that anyone will ever hear from Donald Trump. He probably already regrets saying it, (but would never admit that either).

  151. The Donald, he will bill and coo for anyone if he feels he is going to get something out of the deal.

    A leading headline on CNN news today, 'breaking news!' no less, is Trump's noting the 'great beaches' of North Korea and 'the view', and him thinking that having some condos over there would just be so fine (so long as the Trump name is emblazoned upon them).

  152. And Ivanka can peddle her clothing and accessories!

  153. The usual Trump thoughtless exaggeration. How can you have a special bond with someone with whom you cannot communicate.
    Unless it's love at first sight. Trump has finally found a soul mate.
    That we can understand.

  154. That's going to be an awfully crowded bed in Moscow.

  155. I think they surely "bonded". Kim can teach the liar-in-chief a thing or two how to become an emperor who has all the dictatorial power, even if without clothes.

  156. I've been thinking a lot about this. *Maybe* in this case Trump's repeated demonstrations that he is not afraid of going against the recommendations of just about anyone (except maybe his "base") actually was enough to change the game. Perhaps here volatility meeting volatility might have worked for the betterment of international security. I am even allowing myself to be very cautiously optimistic. Yes, it's true such promises have been made in the past, but I think international scrutiny has reached a new level and North Korea wants more leverage than just with China. Obviously time will tell, but if all this goes well we may be looking at another 6 years of Trump. And I say that with utmost reticence and displeasure.

  157. I’m not one to be Pollyanish but there is no denying that the meeting between president Trump and Mr. Kim was historic in that no American president has ever met face to face with the leader of North Korea. That the meeting occurred at all despite assurances from foreign policy “experts” employed by past administrations it wouldn’t makes it all the more remarkable. No doubt the naysayers calculus was based upon past failures and an acknowledgement of the timidity characteristic of State Department bureaucrats more fearful of failure and its impact on their careers than embracing the potential offered by an unorthodox president. Obviously our president, and Secretary of State Pompeo embrace the possibility of success exponentially more than they fear failing to achieve it. What a pleasant change.

  158. I’m not one to be Pollyanish?
    Yes, you so are!

  159. Tim - You seem to be missing an important fact. Kim, his father and grandfather would have jumped at a meeting with Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama. These presidents would have rather had a root canal without anesthetic than meet with the Kim family. In the end, Trump's coup if ever there is one, is yet to be realized. Trump's meeting may well be a good tactic, but at this point he has nothing that his predecessors chose not to have. Not out of fear of failure, but a refusal to give DNK leaders what they wanted. Clinton's Agreed Upon Framework went far beyond anything Trump has done. DNK cheated and blew it up. If Trump can accomplish the same without DNK deception, then he will really have accomplished something.

  160. There was no meeting between the president and Kim that included an agreement about curtailing nuclear weapons development. Ostensibly, that was supposed to what this non-summit what supposed to be about.

    Indeed, there were some photo opportunities and Trump promised to halt "provocative" military exercises with South Korea. There was certainly no "pleasant change" from the status quo before Trump and Kimshook hands.

  161. It was always predicted that Trump would give up his bargaining chips in order to claim a great victory based on his self-proclaimed art of the deal. I just hope that the Swedes have more sense than 40% of the US electorate, the Republican Congress and various media (no names here).

  162. "Or its missiles, its stockpiles of VX and other nerve agents or its biological weapons."

    Throw human rights into the wish list too.

    This is what was done by the opponents of the Iran deal. "But it didn't solve this other thing."

    This is about nukes. Just that.

  163. Why does the US need a cabinet and all them experts, when Trump, the genius, can make the deal?

  164. The Trump Cabinet serves a critical function for Donald Trump:

    The Cabinet's job is to praise little Donald and thank him for the blessing of serving him while kissing his ring, Majortrout.

  165. Some thoughts about the geopolitical implications of this meeting. If joint military exercises are stopped and Kim's regime is recognised by the US, then surely China will use this as an excuse to renew trade with North Korea?If the US reduces their military presence in the south, it would also leave a military vacuum that China will probably be happy to exploit.

    It could be argued that China should be major power in the region. But I'm not sure the west would be comfortable with this idea.

    Anyway, lots of smoke and mirrors and when the dust clears, the Chinese seem to be the winners.

  166. Trump doesn't care about a deal with North Korea. What he wants at the end of the day is a Nobel Peace Prize, because Obama got one. We all know that if Trump does eventually get one he will be only be to happy to tell us how much better/important/significant/earned his was. It always about him and his family. Trump has claimed that his daughter Ivanka and Jared gave up so much to work in the White House, last year they made 82 million dollars. I am sure Ivanka would like to thank those working in China sweat shops at a very low wage, so she can sell her line of clothing here, at high end clothing store's for big profits. Yea sure they gave up so much.

  167. He may aspire to a Nobel for Peace, but unless Kim caves in completely, there is no chance that he will come close to it.
    He will be disgraced before they will come to the first disagreement, and then their insults will fly higher than their missiles.

  168. Those two self-aggrandizing buffoons are cut from the same piece of linen. Without a doubt.

  169. Is this the same kind of "special bond" that "W" had with Putin a few years ago, where he could see into his soul?

  170. Orange Face Trump is "Confident" because he believes his own lies!

  171. However historic, I just can't get past the incredibly rude derision shown to US's longstanding allies at G7, but two brutal dictators (Kim and Putin) - one who engages in genocide and the other who hacked our systems and attempted to influence/subvert our election....they should have seats at the world's table ?

  172. The liberal haters are going blue in the face-but let's ask South Korea which has everything to lose in a fight how they feel. It's none of your business, really, Democrats. Seoul can be knocked to bits with just conventional weapons. NK has howitzers pointed 30 miles away. Who wants to live like that. Funny how the liberals are taking such a hard stance on NK but want to appease Iran. The Democratic brand needs to step back and think about what they stand for

  173. I guess I must be one of the liberals you love to hate. The Iran agreement resulted in Iran giving up 98% of its plutonium with IAE inspections to verify compliance. If Trump gets anything close to this, we should all sing hallelujah.

  174. Okay, Ms. ('haters') Palin ... er, I mean @cocoa. How can the multi-lateral agreement with Iran that included dispensing of enriched material with regular, verifiable inspections and gained multi-nationally can be considered a failure by someone whose only deal-making skill is paying off a porn actress (w/ all due respect to Stephanie Clifford). It is fantasy to try to understand how right-wingers can take a hard stance on the JCPOA and fault the realistic and practical Iran agreement among many nations, but conclude that a one-day meeting among idiots is "the greatest deal ever." Sorry that you live on the west coast. Gosh, you MUST know what you are talking about.

  175. I would like to see us have a deal with North Korea. I would also like us to have a deal with Iran. They are both unstable, untrustworthy states...and deals are the best way to control how actively they pursue nuclear weapons.

  176. Humbly, I will tell you from personal (professional) experience that Trump is not a negotiator and is no deal-maker. Unfortunately, my colleagues and I have known this for decades. I wish I had spoken up sooner and more loudly. Trump is incapable of negotiating his way out of an open, wet paper bag ... with a hole in it.

  177. @Positively,
    Half of NYC knew this !!! I think it was assumed the rest of the country would see through him- then again we country folk don't get out too much :)

  178. Positively, I couldn't hear what you said, I was staring at that big building with TRUMP on top. You were saying something about your ability as a dealmaker?

  179. Yay! It'll be easy for North Korea to suspend nuclear weapons development 'cos they've done it several times before!

  180. Come on, really! Trump got nothing and he hasn’t even figured out that denuclearization of the peninsula means no American nukes. He dropped the floor from under S. Korea and Japan and has left a vacuum in the region. The idiotic film he ran for Jong-un just shows how completely inane he is. He makes cozy with the leader of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world and slags his allies at every opportunity. He shills for Vlad Putin and seems intent on destroying all Western alliances. Exactly who is Donald J. Trump and what is his intent? He certainly isn’t a champion of democratic orders.

  181. "Special Bond"? That's absurd.

  182. As Trump throws yet another long-time ally under the bus and gushes over his special bond with a thuggish dictator, I'm reminded of the famous scene from Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" as Mussolini tries to position himself properly to greet Hitler's erratically moving train at the staton. Any bets on whether the first new western businesses in Pyongyang will be a Trump-branded hotel and an Ivanka boutique?

  183. Any chance the NYT research team might compile a list of Trump Deals and how they work out? Just for context of course, we're all sure this time will be different...

  184. What a PR Stunt this meeting ... show politics without content. Trump thinks he is such a great deal maker but the only winner here is Kim who gets all the attention he wanted. Trump is such a muppet

  185. This is so scary. Our fate is in the hands of these two mentally unstable ego maniacs. What next. Petulant about face and nuclear war? The problem is that is is all so capricous .

  186. Bush 43 stared into Putin's eyes and saw his soul. Which as we all know was long ago given to Mephistopheles and no longer inhabits his carcass.

    So Trumps now stares into Kim's eyes and sees his soul. Which is also in the custody of Mephistopheles.

    It would seem that Bush and Trump are both fond of the same strain of Datura stramonium.

  187. "Special Bond."

    Reminds me of W and "looking [Putin] in the eye." Or Obama and the reset button.

    We've been here before, and it didn't really work out then.

  188. " The Presidential Apprentice: Dictator Summer ". A very special program.

  189. And George looked into Putin’s eyes and knew he could trust him.

  190. Trump is betting on "special bond"? The man is psychotic!

  191. Remember when Bush Jr saw putin's eyes and saw the good in him. Can we ask him if he saw putin's installing a puppet in our White House?

  192. Oh, the bromance of authoritarian egoists who view all human relationships transactionally. Trump destroys trust with allies and befriends enemies because he is one very, very damaged individual. If we didn't know better, we might be watching an episode of a dating show best called The Narcissistic Bachelor. Will he give Kim a rocket shaped rose next episode?

  193. Why is Trump smiling? Is that a smirk of envy as Trump, incessantly badgered by his enemies, thinks of Kim's habit of executing his critics with anti-aircraft guns?

  194. In the beginning,
    there was faith, which is childish;
    trust, which is vain;
    and illusion, which is dangerous.

    Elie Wiesel "Night"


  195. Ever notice how Potus doesn’t mind one’s ethnicity as long as they are a murdering dictator? Then he’s cool with it.

  196. details vague or have not heard his strategy are code words for Trump is just muddling though day to day which is in my view pathetic biased nonsense

  197. Is Trump really this naive?

  198. yup

  199. Yes.

  200. And people say Americans don't have a sense of humour. You guys!

    Okay but enough now. Show us your REAL president.

    C'mon! Enough fooling around!

  201. haha

  202. Thanks - that joke made my day.

  203. Mr. Trump is one only 39 people to win a presidential election. Your queen, worthy woman though she is, got her job by winning the dad lottery

  204. To everything else, we can add that Trump is a coward. He's perfectly willing to pick fights with friends--friends aren't going to hurt you. But as soon as an adversary sits across the table, he's mastered the art of the cave.

    Great negotiator indeed... I guess bone spurs weren't the only thing keeping him out of Vietnam.

  205. Reminds me of when W looked Putin in the eye and got a sense of his soul. Somebody's getting played.

  206. Obviously, Justin Trudeau needs to have a few relatives killed, build a few massive gulags and starve his own people to get back on Donald's good side.

  207. This is a major part of Trump's 2020 re-election campaign. I think Trump entered into this negotiation with that as his main priority. A finalized resolution within the next 24 months is extremely remote. Trump will declare in 2020, that if he is not re-elected, the North Koreans will back out of any deals proposed or made to date, and that only he can bring this baby home.

    The problem is, this baby will make Rosemary's look like the one in the manger.

  208. It seems odd to hear Trump describe a "special bond" with Kim, but not Trudeau, May, Merkel, Macron or any of the G7 allies. Also odd that Kim would be unique among people who have spent time with Trump in thinking that he is a stable and reliable. But who knows? Kim may find Trump's anti-elitism as refreshing as Trump's American followers and Trump has been sounding very un Trump like for the last two days. He seems to be trying to do something genuinely useful here for a change. Unfortunately, history, neither Trump's nor North Korea's, is on the side of optimism. For now, until we see what was actually discussed and agreed on, Trump's claims of success are still just Trump marketing himself, just as he was after his speech to the Boy Scouts.

  209. KJU is just a whole lot smarter than Trump. He's playing the odds. (His schoolmates in Switzerland liked him and noted his sense of humor. And he actual has a degree in engineering.)

  210. Trump's confidence is the opposite of reassuring. He's only interested in himself, and he has insisted that he alone knows what's what, in default of information about history or anything else.

    Kim Jong Un looks a lot smarter and a lot more aware than cowardly bully Trump.

    I've "gotten to know" Trump and his bottom feeding supporters and allies over a much too long period of time, and there is nothing about them that is reassuring.

    "Evil, be thou my good"

    Dictators anonymous are now in charge of the world, and Trump is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  211. So you prefer a nuclear showdown with North Korea instead?. Nice slurs you throw at citizens who disagree with your dislike of Trump but you never know that doctor that you maybe trust maybe likes the President. Maybe the employer that pays 21% corporate tax likes not paying 35% - you never know. Maybe stopping millions of illegals from coming here, just like Canada is now, is a better and less costly to us bottom feeding supporters?.

  212. Who would have ever thought.. Make your next travel destination the beaches of North Korea! Luxury Hotels, Golf and Midnight Executions!

  213. Here we go again..........Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler had a meeting.......things didn't turn out too well for the United Kingdom. George Bush looked into Putin's is that going these days? Now Trump has a special bond with Kim Jong-un ..... Uh oh.

  214. Remember when W saw Putin's soul? How's that working out?

  215. The was on old presidential blowhard
    Who didn’t like being called a dotard
    But when he got to Singapore
    He forgot what he was there for
    And failed to play his trump card.

  216. The honorable Rocket Man granted Comrade Trump exclusive rights to build luxury hotels and golf courses in North Korea if Comrade Trump promised not to go Libyan on his pajama trousered posterior.

  217. Who much worse will this situation become for these United States?

  218. edit: How

  219. Donald Trump went to Singapore and all we got was a crummy t-shirt.