The Trump-Kim Summit Was Unprecedented, but the Statement Was Vague

President Trump used flattery, cajolery and a slick film in his quest to persuade North Korea’s leader to give up nuclear arms. But he got no guarantees.


Comments: 191

  1. The promotional video was not slick, it was laughably amateurish as was Trump's babble about building condos on the coast where Kim shoots his "cannons," without getting even a promise to remove the cannons trained on Seoul. In the words of the Economist, Trump "comes cheap and can be played, and he was played like a harp by a murderous thug less than half his age.

  2. Note to all those would-be pundits and self-proclaimed 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 or two 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.

  3. That "babble" about condos was likely the be-all and end-all of "Trump's" interest. As he said 'between China and South Korea", so sure, he's very likely working an entire real estate portfolio deal with Kim, where Kim moves into the big leagues of global wealth despotism, Ivanka gets her cut, probably the Kushners and other players in the "Trump" global cartel of robber-baron billionaires. So, as is completely evident in that video, the idea seems to be to transform North Korea into a playground for the rich with an embedded underclass of North Koreans - slaves, essentially, providing all the necessary extremely cheap labor to construct and service. As repulsive as the whole thing sounds, it's a prefect "Trumpian" exploit.

  4. Nothing more, nothing less than a publicity stunt. That's all Trump knows and does. Anything that comes of it, good and bad, will be an accident. Trump will risk anyone's capital to agrandize himself. For the Trump, it's virtually risk free. For the rest of us...?

  5. Note to all those would-be pundits and self-proclaimed foreign policy experts, I thought you of all people would understand that this was a 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 understands the least bit about foreign relations remotely expected a final deal to come out of the first meeting. (Well, maybe a freshman or two 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.

  6. To be fair, I think Trump sees business potential if he can build condos there. It's not just publicity for Trump; it's publicity plus the possibility to make a buck.

    Oddly enough, I found it almost cute that Trump was telling Kim, "Hey, buddy, instead of running this violent, closed-off regime, what if you open it up a bit, so you can make a bunch of money through condos on the beach and corrupt backdoor deals, like I do?" The funny part is that Trump may actually be able to get through to Kim better than Obama might have -- because Trump and Kim are so much alike. Neither of them has any human decency, both of them have delicate egos and crave power, and both of them were handed the role by their father.

    Maybe Kim will see the allure of making a buck while being dictator, and the first steps of opening up North Korea's economy will begin -- leading eventually to a democratic revolution. If so, that would be maybe the most hilarious thing that our current sad, corrupt government has done.

    Now that we have a third-world dictator in charge, we may finally have a guy who knows how to talk to third-world dictators.

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

  8. MSNBC unequivocally calls the summit a fraud. What’s new. There’s just no saving people from themselves when they don’t want to be. It would hurt their pride to, so why bother?

  9. When North Korea actually denuclearizes and this is verified by inspections -- then Mr. Trump will be vindicated.

    Until then, frankly this looks like a farce.

  10. Who foot the bill on this outing you think? Hard to imagine it was paid for by north korea. they spend their resources on rocket tests and things that go boom underground. Singapore? For the privilege of having such wonderful company? Tax payers of America? South Korea cause they are between a rock and a hard place? Mexico? Just as they are paying for the wall? Michael Cohen? The Russians? not that it matters to the man. He is only in it for the headlines. Is it just me or you agree that the air force one is up there these days like a commercial air plane?

  11. @John Doe, it appears you are either forgetting or do not know recent history of North Korea /US relationship or lack thereof and from before the Korea War. The U.S. bombed the country flat, apparently most buildings in all of NK were destroyed, thousands killed when the U.S. overran the country until China stepped in and helped NK. They also lost a couple of hundred thousand soldiers in that war.

    Then George W, called NK part of "The Axis of Evil," killed Saddam, and on and on. NK saw what happened and started a Nuke program or sped it up. In 2006 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR200610... they tested a Nuke and continued development. They also saw what we did with Gaddafi(Quaddafi, various versions,) He gave up the nuke program, was later weakened internally by that act and others,was hunted, dragged through the streets and killed. You know what we did to Saddam. Now, Trump reneged on the Nuke agreement with Iran.

    Kim is not blind or stupid, he will never give up his nukes. Color me surprised and shocked if he does.

  12. Well, in response to Donald’s tweet assuring us that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, Washington Post can track another falsehood. As for the rest of us, well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride and probably sweep the Triple Crown according to Donald.

  13. Two dictators in love. Brilliant movie. Not a "noble" peace award. Both only interested in furthering family fortune. Also, thank you for the NYT "I escaped North Korea" realism video.

  14. A budding new bromance almost worthy of making Vlad jealous.

  15. Mission Accomplished!

  16. If you mean he flew to Singapore, and physically sat near Kim, then yes. Other than that, nothing has been accomplished just a lot of talk and personal back slapping.

    Words at this stage mean nothing.

  17. Yes, but what mission. At least GWB had on in mind. I'm not so sure about DJT.

  18. What was accomplished? Lunch? Giving away things Kim wanted without getting anything in return? Yes, he did do that!!!!

  19. I'm no fan of Trump, but I'm willing to withhold judgement to see what the end result is. Trump did the job of breaking the ice, but it's time for him to step aside and let the more competent people work out the real details.

  20. And I don't know for sure there isn't a pig out there that can fly, so I'm withholding judgement on the whole pig flying thing....

  21. Trouble is 1) his administration has a notable dearth of competent people, and 2) he generally doesn’t listen to the few competent people he has nor let them do their jobs.

  22. Does Trump even realize that the statement coming out of his summit is a warmed over hodgepodge of past sentiments?

    I give Trump his due for trying something new here - going leader to leader early on being the only truly different element. Then I bristle when he and his supporters try to cast the event as 100 times more than it really is. Why does everything Trump does have to be called "the greatest", "the first", "the best", etc., even if trivial or even untrue? If he had gotten anything more than he did, I would be highly suspicious of it. It just isn't possible to have gotten more so quickly.

  23. It needs to be called the "greatest" etc., because Trump has realized that the more times he says things like this the more his supporters buy it ..... sadly...

  24. Not to mention "unprecedented" ... of course there were no precedents, but did we really need to track "precedents" given that nothing substantial was accomplished?

  25. Regarding “the greatest,” etc., it’s called narcissism. Though I’m not a professional, everything I’ve read and observed indicates that Trump is a textbook case. M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie” is several decades old but still a relevant and eye-opening primer.

  26. The only thing that's going to get Kim to give up his nuclear weapons is if he believes that no one is going to invade his country. If it accomplishes that, the meeting might have been a success. Think of it more as a memorandum of understanding than a contract. They still have to work out the details, but they did step back from the line and stop their bellicose rhetoric.

    NK has a history of cheating on these deals. Trump has a history of cheating at everything. This is a step forward, not a done deal. Much can still go wrong.

  27. "Guarantees" are worthless. Nothing is guaranteed in this time and age. What is important is that a civil dialogue has begun, and the advent of a type of peace is possible. World is safer today than yesterday.

  28. The summit went pretty much as expected. While talking is better than threatening, Trump gained nothing for the U.S. Personally, he has planted the suggestion that North Korea could use some condos and fancy hotels (all built by Trump). North Korea got the U.S. to stop military drills on the peninsula - I guess South Korean troops could join U.S. military someplace out of the area. Trump has not yet agreed to withdraw U.S. forces from the area. Putin would approve of these first steps since Russia supports North Korea. Our more knowledgeable Congressmen, Senators and military leaders, not so much. Trump continued to be effusive and praise Kim's leadership qualities, which would be much weaker if he didn't have the ability to kill people or send them to concentration camps. While I would like the coming November election to be a statement of voter opposition to these staged political shows, I don't think it will happen. We're all too stupefied.

  29. Denuclearization? First things first. A cessation of the threats to use the weapons is a beginning, and a welcome change.

    President Trump can guarantee only so much; obviously, his word is being taken as given. However, the same Western interests that have precipitated the threats, must also cease. Therein, one can not be as guaranteed; the leverages being used to thwart China's economic expansion, and or impose social philosophy upon its culture, will remain dormant. In a perverse truth, this relaxation of hostilities could be misinterpreted by the twisted minds (Neocons, Progressives, frustrated-Warshington) as an opportunity to double down on their efforts. Whereas, they appear to their legions to be advancing; while simultaneously -- with same effort, derailing President Trump's initiatives.

    Trump, America -- and consequently the world's greatest obstacle in this mater, is those that fanatically believe in their own myths.

  30. What happens if North Korea simply decides that they no longer want to adhere to this agreement?
    What will our president do?
    Tweet at their nuclear weapons?

  31. Again, Kim sees nukes while the Donald sees condos. Unbelievable.

  32. I think Kim is seeing condos too.

  33. Trump sees what he understands, where his presumed strengths are. Other than that, there is nothing.

  34. Just like anything associated with Trump, all gold and shiny, but broken by tomorrow.

  35. Fools' gold. Only fools rush in.

  36. Here's a suggestion, how about you lose that ridiculous word "summit?"

  37. Thank you.

  38. The Trump-made film - that he is enormously proud of - is possibly the most despicable act of his presidency. Trump not only whitewashed Kim's atrocities with his propaganda video, he gold-washed them with the fake Trump gold of his bankrupt casinos and gave Kim his highest praise.

    320 dead under Kim, thousands imprisoned in concentration camps, widespread forced abortions and infanticide, intentional starvation to control his people.

    THAT'S the evil underneath Trump's fake gold.

  39. I would not go anywhere near so far as calling that film "possibly the most despicable act of his presidency."

    His cabinet appointments, firing James Comey, his lying about every major campaign promise, and his sheer contempt for the constitution ... any of these are considerably worse.

    But this video sure is obvious a really bad real-estate promo -- the kind of thing you'd expect for a really bad time-share promotion.

  40. Vague ??? P.T. Barnum meets the Wizard of Oz, all spectacle.
    Where's the BEEF ????? Seriously.

  41. “Look, I got us back to status quo ante. Can I get a medal now?”

  42. It played like a realty show. Like the Bachelorette where a red rose is handed out. America is going to be in bad shape by the time Trump moves on.

  43. Disappointed by the democrats and the political games being played. In the 90's we stopped military exercises as a means to get the North to the table. It didn't work and they were restarted. What's wrong with trying that again? The next scheduled major exercises are the spring of 2019. Plenty of time to restart things if the North doesn't start to move on their commitments. What makes what happened so important...never before has a US president had to deal with the North as a nuclear state. They have weapons, and the means to deliver them. This dynamic changes everything. We've got to think outside the box or we may end up fighting WWIII. For more than 30 years we've done nothing but fail. If Trump is attempting some new approaches...all I can say is I pray they work. We know what we've tried in the past has failed.

  44. Failed? In what way? For 70 years we have been successful in defending Japan and South Korea via international diplomacy. The failure is in trump elevating Kim's international standing while stiffing our allies in the region.
    Joint field exercises (war games) with our South Korean partners has been a key element of holding the North at bay and should be continued fully until the North complies with international norms.
    trump is countering these effort with his bumbling and blundering.

  45. People are "heaving a sigh of relief" that nuclear war has been averted. While the reality was never as grim as Trump and Kim threatened, Trump's way of dealing with it is pretty simple. He just handed North Korea and China the keys to the East and walked away. Kim has made no promise to denuclearize North Korea, only the whole peninsula. Trump will soon make the South Korea part of that come true, while taking no action to make North Korea comply. Trump has already started our betrayal of South Korea by stopping "war games" and boasting about how much money he will save by abandoning our military commitments to South Korea. In the face of this incredible abandonment, China and Russia are already ramping up their business dealings with North Korea. Our "sanctions" are meaningless as China and Russia open the floodgates. And since they're not part of this "agreement," they have no reason to hold back. So we abandon South Korea and Japan, and empower China and Russia. He is worse than clueless, he is selling us out at every opportunity. And boasting about condominiums on the North Korean beaches. IMHO he is a traitor.

  46. Trump created this march to war and all the pundits fell in line. Their Goldwater-like response buttressed Trump’s seemingly “off the hinge” statements. This of course set-up all the “at least...” rhetoric from all sides the past two days. His con continues. Trump actually got the world to think he would start a nuclear war.
    Seriously? Or did they even really think war would happen anyway? The great dictator establishes an aura of fear and proclaims that only he alone can fix things and the culture grants Trump this power. He doesn’t have to release his taxes, the White House doesn’t have to make a visit list part of the public record, he never reports his meetings with Russia, he doesn’t read or prepare for meetings/summits and everyone allows to do these things. Is it really out of fear on the part of Congress and the Senate or is it something else?

    The reason for the summit was made clear by the Bannon-like scripted video that was shown to KJI and the press by Trump himself. Trump admitted to it. The comments from the press conference about the great real estate and beaches for condos and hotels!

    The worst part may be all the liberal pundits and experts’ response. The general response has been that KJI is not interested in owning condos so Trump is foolish to think so. The praise for Putin? Trump Moscow; remember?

    Bash allies and heap praise on Russia, Turkey, North Korea and the Philippines. He is selling dictators like his steaks, but will non Republicans buy them?

  47. The Trump -Kim Summit is guaranteed to make China and Russia great again. Along with improving the profitable position of the House of Trump along with the Trump Organization by hiding President of the United States Donald John Trump's personal and family income tax returns and business records from the American people.

  48. Thinking of North Korea as a treat, when Mr. Kim cannot get on his own plane that can fly to Singapore, is like making a mountain out of a molehill. Mr. Kim, in poker terms, won this hand and had nothing to play with.

  49. Can we apply the 25th amendment now? Obviously unfit.

  50. Trump-Kim Summit Score:
    Trump 90
    Kim 100
    America 10
    North Korea 100
    We got almost nothing, North Korea got more than every thing.
    Empty vessel sounds much.

  51. It's not reasonable to call this much ado about nothing. But, until there are concrete plans agreed to by both N.Korea and the U.S. this is still just theater. The publicity has been positive; better good attitude to begin negotiations rather than what we saw a few mints ago. But there is no "Deal" here, just grandiose proposals. Let's see what happens.

  52. Wow! The last Trump quote in the article says it all. This whole tough guy then nice guy summit thing is all a big show with nothing to show for it but an empty worded statement signed by a ruthless dictator. Trump is trying to get all the PR mileage from it he can. He thinks Kim will give up his nukes but in 6 months he could be wrong but he'll never admit it and come up with another excuse. Our president Pass the Buck Trump....

  53. Just ask yourself the following question: If you had a weapon that could save your life, and someone like Donald Trump asked you to hand it over saying he wouldn't harm you and even make a "deal" to help you, would you? This why this whole talk, and no action, about disarming and dismantling North Korea's nuclear program is a pipe dream. Once a member of the nuclear club; always a member [Remember: Libya and Iran were never real members and you know how that worked out]. And, when you're dealing with a volatile and untrustworthy man who just arrived from tweet-trashing his closest neighbor and ally in the back just after stiffing the other major world powers who'd signed the Iran Nuclear Accord, you'd be insane to do so. So, as his father and grandfather before him, Kim Jong-un will never denuclearize for Donald Trump or probably for anyone else either.

  54. +a million. Amazingly no one in the elite media will make this point. North Korea will never ever give up its nuclear weapons. In fact, more likely, North Korea's pivot to economic development is a long-play to build up resources to enhance that nuclear program even more. North Korea wants the ability - however small - to strike any US target it wishes within 30-40 minutes. That will give it so much power that it will make the regime indestructible. Or maybe Chairman Kim really means it this time!

  55. This was a photo op - a show for self congratulatory propaganda. It is disappointing that the NYT has seemingly bought into this stunt.
    Trump got nothing but his photo op and a vague promise from and unreliable dictator known for breaking promises.
    It is good to see that the "ice has been broken" with NK and I hope that it leads to actual action, but what did transpire isn't very significant.

  56. From the article:

    "President Trump used flattery, cajolery and a slick film"

    Yes, just like any other successful business man would have done.

    It's time to stop underestimating Trump - doing so is not helpful. He is becoming more powerful and more ruthless every day.

  57. He may be becoming more ruthless, but more powerful? Sorry, no. trump is not powerful. Putin is powerful. trump is his monkey.

  58. It is a disappointing result for South Korea and most of countries except China and North korea. Trump gave tangible presents in return for non bidding and difficult-to-verifiable action, denuclization which has been unanimously agreed among three allies, South Korea, Japan, and US although naive Moon Jaein praised the meeting statement. The statements even tarnished people's efforts toward liberty from dictatorship and evil regimes. Look back horrible and terrible regime has doen to innocent people. It cannot be just washed off just like in a reality show. More than a few million people were dead during Korean war, so many people kidnapped to North korea, American tourist dead,,,countless,,,, which all resulted from only one aim, for Kim's continuous dictatorship.
    I do hope any next step in the negotiation contribute to the better historical development, which means allowing north korean people to have more freedom, ridding of family dictatorship, and punishments for Kim's wrongdoing.

  59. Nothing was delivered. Kim received unprecedented elevation from the Baby King, who is all hat and no cattle. Kim is legitimized with nary a mild rebuke for his human rights abuses and atrocities. trump cares not for human rights. This photo-op may play with the base, many of whom apparently favor show biz over substance, but the US won nothing whatsoever. Who knew diplomacy requires reading, learning, listening and the capacity for nuanced thinking? trump once again reveals that he is well past his depth. The "summit" should never have occurred until major concessions were won by the US.

    Winners: North Korea, China and Russia.
    Losers: US, South Korea and Japan.

  60. What would be the point of a "summit" after the US won major concessions like complete and permanent denuclearization of North Korea, decommissioning its enormous arsenal of weaponry aimed at the South, and trail, conviction and execution of sentence of all "human rights" NK violators by an international tribunal? How are major concessions supposed to be won? By selective nuking?

  61. Trump got played. Kim Jong-un has defanged Trump. From this point forward, if Trump criticizes Kim Jong-un, or calls for harsher sanctions against North Korea that would be an admission that this summit was a failure. And Trump will never let that happen. In fact, here's a direct quote from Trump: "I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, hey, I was wrong — I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse."

  62. Jaw-dropping, stunning comment by a U.S. president. How did we get here??!!

  63. Here is the excuse: The Democrats did it and Hillary helped them while Obama held the flashlight.

  64. Pure theater, and blame others for the hangover. That's Trump.

  65. Trump is positively giddy that he was able to play grown-up diplomacy games with Kim Jong-Un — just like the real presidents used to do — complete with a sophomoric little video and promises galore. When the dust settles from the secret meeting we'll probably find out that he lifted all sanctions, gave Kim California and Rhode Island, a snazzy condo at 666 Fifth Avenue, and bestowed Kim's wife Ivanka high heels for life. And we got... Nada! That's great deal-making!

  66. Ah, Condos on North Korean beaches. We were all waiting for that.

  67. Did you say a slick video? I watched it. At first I thought it looked like high school students put it together the morning their project was due. Then I realized I was being unfair to high school students. They would have put out a video way more sophisticated than Trump's.

  68. What did Cuba give up when Obama removed sanctions from them?

  69. Yes, you should all feel a sense of impending doom with nasty Canadians on the north and the military and economic powerhouse, Cuba, on the south. To quote the fearless leader...”it’s bad out there. It’s very, very bad out there.” Just like Winston Churchill.

  70. How about they didn't develop nukes to attack the US. Also you are factually wrong. The US embargo against Cuba that began in the 1960's including its related sanctions were not lifted by Obama since they were enacted by the congress and so can only be reversed by them. Obama only established greater diplomatic relations with and travel to Cuba that was allowed under the embargo.

  71. You are comparing apples to oranges.The two countries are totally different and BTW Trump wants to repeal Obama's efforts in Cuba, unless he gets some beach front property for a Trump hotel.

  72. I can guarantee one thing, no matter what the subject: Anything Trump says is untrue. (I'm being polite.)

  73. "it was a video"
    "keep your doctor"
    "lower premiums'
    " heard about it on the news"
    "jv team"
    "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance"
    "we'll make sure that our disabled vets receive the benefits they deserve"

  74. The "Summit" ended up being little more than a preliminary real estate closing featuring a video presentation that was similar to what college basketball coaches use for recruiting.

  75. An honorable way out for Trump: Nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize, thank him for his service, convince him to resign the Presidency in glory, and send him off to Mar-a-Lago for his victory lap. Then we can get on with the governance of the nation using the traditional norms and precedents, ending the threat to our democratic institutions created by the Trump presidency.

  76. "few details"...what a sad joke. Kim played Trump like a $5 banjo because just by having the meeting he's now a player on the world stage. Republicans and "Trump base" demeaned the Iran Deal only because a black Democrat successfully made the deal and brought Russia, China and others along and it had teeth, required on the ground investigation. This deal is garbage and they're parading around like clowns. The lack of reality from Republicans and the president is a danger to democracy. to say nothing of slapping our allies in the face...Canadians, British, etc. have spilled blood in many wars along side the US.

  77. It was "demeaned" for Obama financing Iran's nuclear program.

  78. China comes up all roses after this one. What's new?

  79. Condos on a NK Beach. The NEXT scam on Radio and FOX news.
    Seriously.

  80. This entire photo-op debacle could have been done via Skype. Millions were spent on transporting planes, cars, equipment and people to Singapore, all for a photo-op to impress a vicious dictator. No wonder Kim said it was like a sci-fi movie. Vote out the GOP!!

  81. The same could be said for Cuba.

  82. How long until everyone from the NRA to the KKK brings a flattering video to each presidential meeting? How long until the daily intelligence brief is delivered by a password-protected youtube video with cute hand puppets briefing the President?

  83. Let us put this in context : Trump picked up needless fights with our allies in the G-7 and decided to cozy up to a lunatic dictator.

    Everything else this man does is noise. He is a man without a plan.

  84. If obama or Clinton did this the headline would be Monumental Peace Trip made by President. It’s sort of sad that journalism has died and has now become the mouth piece for the extremist left or right.

  85. If Obama did this the Republicans would call him "feckless." That was their favorite word then.

  86. Clinton and Obama would never have done it this way---it's a reality show. Clinton got close, but N.Korea balked in the end. Trump seems to think Kim is one of the most capable leaders in the whole wide world because he took over a country at 26 (from his evil father) and was very strong---starving his own people and killing members of his own family. There is a disconnect here.

  87. Trump is optimistic. On the first date, he obviously got to the touch and feel stage. So much so he is considering a second date. Hope Kim likes Shark Week.

  88. Ok, so there's not a lot of meat, but at least it's dialog. It's a start.

    The Times seems to be in the mood to pick apart diplomatic agreements, so maybe focus on why Trump did the right thing and pulled out of that stinker of a deal Obama struck with Iran.

    The Times needs to cover all of the facts, not just the ones that fit their narrative. Let Fox News do that.

  89. One person's "pick apart diplomatic agreements" is another person's "analyze diplomatic agreements".

  90. Sen. Schumer's statement, in the presence of several other prominent Democratic senators, strongly resembled the views of numerous Republican senators who denounced the JCPOA with Iran. Schumer demands from North Korea the same list of non-negotiables his caucus rejected with respect to the JCPOA: irreversibility, Complete dismantling of all the infrastructure for nuclear warhead production, complete and immediate removal of all warheads, etc. The probability of instant gratification of the Democrat demands anent North Korea seems about the same as the probability seemed pertaining to Iran. The O-Ring chose a step-by-step process with Iran; the Dems cheered and the GOPs wailed. Now Team-Trump chooses a phased approach with North Korea; the GOPs cheer and the Dems wail. Interesting.

  91. The usual almost rabid anti-Trump comments, save a few. You have to wonder if they realize that Obama completely failed with Noko, he failed with Syria, empowering Assad when he was weak, blew it with Isis (how many lives lost from those two), helped destroy Libya, left office with Russia doing what it wanted in Syria and Ukraine, China unopposed, disappointed or angered many allies (that's largely forgotten in the Trump hysteria), gave away the store to Iran, leaving them more powerful, even if the deal worked and his NSA spied on us. He got a Nobel Prize for showing up, really for his ethnicity. I like Obama personally and at least he had the decency to admit he didn't deserve it. If Obama got even this far with Kim, they'd have built a monument to him in D.C. and he'd have his second Nobel and probably and Oscar.

    Never been a Trump supporter and didn't vote for him. But, I admire what he's accomplished against the hysteria facing him including many Republicans. He deserves to be disliked, but to be treated with more respect and get credit when due. But, as one commenter once wrote, "No credit for Trump ever," or something like that. That's pathetic and part of the reason we get the presidents we do. Rabid partisanship.

    Is he not being honest? Maybe it will not work out. And, yes, "we'll see." Despite the unfair hysteria against him, I wouldn't vote for him for many reasons. But, I feel like the media keeps pushing people that way, certainly not intentionally.

  92. He's making sweet deals to line his pockets with new investments. If you want to praise that, be my guest. But don't praise him for accomplishments that have yielded nothing. NK still has nukes, and nothing was signed to get rid of them.

  93. You are expecting Democrats and others not to show any bias when evaluating the actions of President Trump. That would be to take one of actions out of the context of his many previous actions. Yes, if he were not Donald J. Trump, what he does and says about North Korea and Kim could be a hopeful sign and a step forward. But this is why character counts. It is why building trust matters.

  94. I voted for Obama but was no fan of his foreign policy. That said, Trump's foreign policy is FAR worse and FAR more dangerous.
    Look at the precedent that has now been set.
    All any foreign entity seeking concessions from the US has to do is build a nuclear arsenal and point ICBMs at the US.
    Not to mention alienating every ally we have while inviting Russia, RUSSIA, to the table.

    Trump has accomplished exactly ZERO, so I don't know what accomplishments you are admiring. The fact that he had lunch with a dictator who "loves his people" so much that he starves them?

  95. So nothing happened, and Trump is claiming credit for having saved the world. And he is STILL trying to to gt people to invest in high end condos that will never be built ... In NORTH KOREA, no less. This would be funny if the U.S. hadn't just agreed to allow N. Korea to make more money which it will use to oppress it's people, hack our governmental and businesses computers, and kill anyone it perceives to be a threat.

  96. Just another day in his fantasy world where he makes deals. I can't wait until NK find out that he's ripped them off. That will warrant a very large bag of popcorn and very comfy chair.

  97. And now Trump wants Kim to come to the White House. The world court should arrest him for crimes against humanity as soon as he steps off the plane. Nuts.

  98. True, Kim is a despot and the optics of him coming to the White House are horrible. But if this is what it takes for some peace and less nukes in his hands, I am for it. And by the way, these optics are no less stomach churning then the plane loads of $1.3 billion cash Obama sent to Iran. I prefer the former strategy.

  99. I do not know if Trump is an idiot or genius, what his motivation or goals is. But what other US President has sat face to face with a North Korean leader? Got to be worth something.

  100. Truman sat face to face with Stalin. The something that was worth was the start of the cold war.

  101. Uh, no really. It was a badly conceived lunch date that has legitimized a rogue regime and criminal. We didn't even get a peck on the cheek.

  102. TED338.
    That and $2 will get you a ticket to board public transportation.

  103. Kim promised to be good.Trump has the feel or is it touch.

  104. “In 2001, President George W. Bush famously looked Russian President Vladi­mir Putin in the eye and peered into his soul.” (Washington Post)

    A common theme of idiocy here instead of the hard work and, frankly, cunning of real diplomats? ‘Dealmaker’ conned.

    Empire in decline.

  105. 4 cases point to China, not Russia calling the Summit shots! Trump's trade pivot away from to Canada/Europe; the cessation of joint military training, weakening readiness; North Korea is a China proxy; Trump's rush to rescue China consumer spy firm XTE. Why? $500 million, cross-channeled upfront, that provided an international upgrade for Trump's Malaysian resort. Every decision, from jobs to trade to military presence, pivoted to service China's interests!

    NPR reports: "All of the concessions KCNA claims Trump made are also things China has said publicly it wants."

  106. I think you are on to something; I can't figure out what or why the President has taken on this North Korea project. But now, if you follow the money, it would be the Chinese that stand to gain the most. But I suppose Vladivostock would also stand to gain. Maybe that is the place to buy a condo.

  107. So many Americans soldiers died on the battlefield in Korea so that this pathetic example of a leader can now say that this dictator is an honorable man? Maybe, it's because his judgement of people with honor is the way HE is, totally dishonest. In his twisted world, honor is being dishonest, a liar, a fraudster, and a con man who would besmirch the memory of our war dead for an opportunity of any sort, whether to feed his demented ego or to benefit himself financially. How any veteran can feel comfortable with this is beyond comprehension, especially when he attacks our allies who shed blood on the battlefield with us, against those that he praises who in fact caused our soldiers blood to be shed. This man is a traitor to America, to our way of life, and to our democracy. He would and has sold a country to our enemies.

  108. Not as honorable as Castro.

  109. As with all policies, the devil is in the details, execution, and unanticipated consequences, not the tweets, pronouncements, or contemporaneous punditry.

    Perhaps the "success" of this meeting is based not on the fact of Trump's alleged deal-making ability but, rather, that Kim is not the person portrayed for many years to the American people by our government and media. Perhaps what he appears to be now is precisely who he has been all along. It is extremely unlikely that an essentially absolute ruler who is the incompetent, egomaniacal buffoon portrayed over the years by our government and media would have been able to successfully organize and preside over a nuke and missile program that many countries with greater financial and material resources can only dream about.

    Perhaps we are so surprised because we have been kidding ourselves for many years. Perhaps we may be where we are today precisely because our government came to believe its own spin on North Korean reality. Self-delusion rarely works out well.

    I do not know how this all started, whether successive administrations chose to believe self-serving analyses from an intelligence community that no President has chosen to hold accountable, or that good intelligence was superseded by political myopia and self-delusion, or something else. In any case, it is imperative that out government and media consider the possibility that, like it or not, Kim may have been a very capable and savvy leader all along.

  110. Steve Fankuchen, all you saw was a photo-op. Whether he is a savvy ruler is besides the point. This guy has taken over a regime that runs concentration camps and starves his people. You are the one who is engaging in a self-delusion and fantasy. That being said, I prefer diplomacy over war but let's be clear-eyed about it.

  111. Steve wrote, "In any case, it is imperative that out government and media consider the possibility that, like it or not, Kim may have been a very capable and savvy leader all along."

    Capable and savvy perhaps, but certainly ruthless and vile. The idea that he kills family members to solidify his power and starves his own people to free-up limited foreign exchange capital for his weapons program are not whimsical. They are stone cold fact. Trump takes him at his word, telling you more about Trump than Kim.

  112. To several of you who have replied to my comment with much deserved criticism of Kim, thank you for engaging with the discussion. In no way do I condone Kim's rule, let alone his essentially dictatorial brutality. What I am trying to say is that he and his regime exist, and to the extent and way we deal with him, it is very helpful to deal with the reality and not a simplistic and unlikely cartoon characterization.

  113. This was a photo op, propaganda movie debut of a hostile foreign Country, North Korea, produced by our own White House through the National Security Council (did this violate Federal laws and or risk US National Security?) to show what future potential "business deals" that Trump wants to promote?

    And NO GUARANTEES of any sort that total de-nuclearization would be the end result! This "show" has now elevated North Korea where they have wanted to be for decades, to the detriment of not only the United States but other countries as well.

    You know where the next Trump property is headed...North Korea! You could tell by the "giddy" way Trump described the Hotel/Condo deals when he talked about NK's beaches!!!

    Financial crimes against America everyday by Trump!

  114. Kim is playing Trump. Kim may be young and a sociopath, but he sure knows how to get the best of DJT, as does Putin. But Kim may be even better than Putin since he doesn't have any real leverage on Trump like Putin does.

  115. Who says that they are ''intense'', and furthermore who says they are ''negotiations'' ? How do we know since they are secret, much like the tax returns for the President ?

    They could be carving up the South China sea, while making more back room deals to enrich the President and his family, and we would not know.

    There is no transparency.

  116. Yeah, like the transparent Iran Deal, after the fact. But, this time we didn't send a pallet of cash.

  117. Two big fat nothing burgers, Kim got his coveted recognition by an American president and Trump looked at potential beach front hotel locations.
    Trumps only real success is destroying immigrant families, ruining long time friendships with allies, and most important having his base still believe Mexico will pay for a wall, most impressive.
    Trump tries to play the strong man, but a paper strong man is all he is.

  118. But Kim didn't get a pallet of cash.

  119. I suppose we could say "Mission Accomplished" again (ala George W. Bush).

  120. If Trump was an orator-par-excellence like his predecessor, I wonder what the reaction to all this would be. Trump got in the room with the guy. He has shown time and again he re-negs on negotiations and I am sure he would on this one, too, slim it may be. If the NK dictator doesn't comply, the Americans still have the advantage. My money is actually on Trump on this one.

  121. Did it make up for either Trump’s or Kim’s past transgressions? Of course not. But anyone who can’t recognize the significance of the two leaders meeting face-to-face, of breaking bread (or cucumber rolls) together, is incapable of recognizing the potential of a first step toward peace - one sorely lacking from at least three prior administrations.

    The summit in Singapore achieved both everything it needed to achieve and everything it possibly could - thus, those finding fault with Trump’s performance might see someone in the mirror incapable of rising above personal animosity to give credit where credit is due - of going high, when they go low.

  122. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama.

    All Presidents of the United States. Also all the leaders who failed to so much as have a simple summit with North Korea.

    Shame on all of you who hope this falls apart and who continue to nitpick just because you don’t like the particular person who was the first to break the taboo.

  123. Count on the Times to criticize Trump as a war monger that threatens nuclear war. But when those very threats force the dictator to the table, count on the Times to criticize Trump for not securing immediate commitments in 4 hours while the countries are still at war.

  124. The President has negotiated a deal that is entirely smoke and mirrors. That suits both parties. Trump wants it in order to strengthen to GOP position going into the mid-terms. He will brook no naysayers. And Kim wants it because China wants it. But there is one particular person who is an extremely belligerent hawk who will see this illusion of a deal for what it is and he will not be able to keep his mouth shut. That person is John Bolton. I think the only thing this "deal" is likely to accomplish is the firing of John Bolton. We can only hope.

  125. Kind of like drawing a meaningless line in the sand or paying $150 billion for a meaningless peace deal.
    Is the NYT trying to say Trump is becoming a democrat? The only difference is Obama was praised for these actions. Even given am undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.

  126. Meaningless line in the sand - blame the Republicans. They did not want to get involved in Syria. Obama needed Congressional approval.

    $150 billion - it was Iran's money frozen by the U.S. and then released after Iran signed off on the nuclear deal.

    Facts matter to some of us. Trump cultists do not care about facts.

  127. Had President Obama managed to secure a summit with Kim Jong-un this newspaper, and all the other liberal gatekeepers, would be hailing this as the historic breakthrough it was. The possibility of incrementally turning a rogue nuclear power into a more normal state would be an enormous achievement in terms of ruling out global catastrophe -- but since this was Trump's remarkable coup it is dismissed. Particularly nasty -- also amusing -- is the repeated theme that Trump practices reality TV and not diplomacy. My God. Given the "accomplishments" of a buttoned-up diplomat like John Kerry with his chief, Barack Obama, in patching together the foolish, naïve and dangerous deal with Iran, it seems to me it is Trump who comes off looking more like a Talleyrand or Bismarck than Kerry and his boss, who look like cartoon characters in comparison. Enough with the nasty partisanship. Give the President his due when he deserves it.

  128. The difference is Obama would not be trumpeting to the world that he had accomplished total North Korean denuclearization, he wouldn’t have been building hype and bragging about how much was going to be accomplished in the months ahead of the meeting, and he would never say that other people are talking about how he deserves a Nobel Peace prize. Nor would he have called the meeting off and then back on.

    If the president wants credit for his accomplishments, then he needs to be realistic and honest about what he actually accomplished.

  129. Until we see actual results all we have seen is a photo shoot with Kim Jong Un. We've all seen pictures of him before so how is this a break through of any kind?

  130. How ironic that our own snake oil salesman-in-chief bought some of Kim's own elixir, a potion that has been proven to cause past maladies.

  131. I do not believe Donald Trump was joking when he said he could envision condos on the beaches of North Korea. His family has raked in zillions during his presidency; the conflicts of interest are obscene - as is the disregard of Republican leaders about this incredibly damaging situation. If someone from the Trump organization has not already started to explore commercial development opportunities in North Korea, with the idea of getting in on the ground floor, I'd be amazed. It's sickening, it's disturbing and it's downright terrifying.

  132. He wasn't joking either about the president for life idea. If you think it is preposterous, try and think about the last thing Trump has done that was NOT preposterous.

  133. Trump is all about the presentation and keeping his accolades coming in to bolster his childish ego. Once all the praises for this achievement settle out, there will be something else....a tweet, a childish statement degrading someone or who knows what? The new trump world likes to keep us engaged with the twists and turns, the fake news, the lies, the absurdities of this media man. It gets tiring for me, but I started to understand his reasoning long ago. He is doing damage to the American image, but if his base and the republicans can live with the fallout, then all I can do is continue to vote for some counterbalance in the next election. I continue to hope there are more Americans like me than not like me.

  134. I'm sure Kim is every much as trustworthy as when Putin told 45 that Russia didn't meddle in the election.

    What did Kim actually say? It's been all 45, all the time. I have not read or heard a specific quote from their Dear Leader, it's all been our Dear Leader. Did I miss something somewhere?

  135. The only verified parties to have meddled in the 2016 election are democrats.

  136. The summit is a fraud staged to win votes for Trumpites. Neither Kim nor Trump are trustworthy diplomats. Both can and will change their minds since both are mentally deranged

  137. The NYT video is a classic already. Just remember, no matter how much the press refers to the trumpeter as a smart entrepreneur or successful deal-maker, in reality he was a failure with multiple bankruptcies. Not only that but he has to be the only known owner who failed to make a profit from his casino when all the machines in the house are programmed to make the house win, all the time.

  138. This wasn't high-level diplomacy--it was low-level showmanship. And now I'm sure Trump has a shot at the Nobel Peace Prize. The world is upside down.

  139. Obama got one for just being elected.

  140. the film was anything but slick. it was a low tech sucker's pitch to a fool by a real estate con man. nothing gained by the u.s. and window dressing for nk.

  141. The Democratic Party and the liberal media are coming across as silly in their expectation that a one day meeting should yield substantive, detailed agreements. If Obama had initiated this diplomacy, they would be cheering - but he didn't.

    Obamaphiles: as you rush to Obama's defense, please include a link that shows Obama tried to initiate diplomatic efforts.

  142. Ed Watters
    Trump is POTUS now, not Obama. Plus Trump claims to be smarter. wealthier, and more accomplished than Obama. After all, Trump has sex with porn stars.
    Trump is a pathetic person and an even worse deal maker.

  143. Anyone can sign a general statement of vague 'intentions'.
    But it was intentionally non-defined: Trump wanted a 'victory' to continue his Reality-Show run. While he paints all his allies and trade partners with the same brush; as victimizing the US, and conversely, trashes the Iran deal, allowing them to pursue Nuclear weapons. Its all for the purpose of 'one-upping' Obama.
    Its impossible to assess this President as mentally fit.

  144. The timing of the summit is bad politically for Democrats as they ramp up for the midterms. This explains the desperate attempts to dismiss the summit and to describe it as a nothing event. However it will probably win Trump the Nobel Peace Prize, and the kicker is that he will have earned it far more than the last President who won one.

  145. You don't get a Nobel Prize for threatening nuclear war and then walking back the rhetoric

  146. Role Reversal

    In the East, *everything* revolves around appearances and gaining or loosing "face". Gestures can be very subtle, but are all-important. Watching of the official videos and news coverage, one sees endless repetition of process. Supposedly, the head of the most powerful nation in the world, visiting the despotic ruler of a weaker, albeit weaponized country.

    One would expect the less powerful man to grovel before, flatter, and cater to this most powerful leader. Instead, the roles were reversed! It was Trump that never stopped vocalizing platitudes to Kim, patting him on the shoulder, shaking his hand. Kim on the other hand, simply sat back, looked pleasantly disinterested, and never, flattered his counterpart. Kim, keeping his distance, appeared all-powerful. Trump looked needy, searching for reassurance. Kim made no concessions except for platitudes that North Korea offered since the 1990s. Trump, on the other hand, gave away vital concessions, or as much as he could at this "historic" meeting. It seems that Trump's dream would involve being able, like Kim, to have someone executed on a whim. Even his reality TV show revolved around the phrase "You're Fired!", a euphemism for execution. Trump has mentioned that he is considering becoming President For Life. This is what he envies in this young dictator, and is Trump's potential ideal.

    The visuals from this summit will be replayed endlessly throughout the East, where appearances are everything.

  147. Not only the 90-minuite quick fix summit between the two temperamental leaders claims to have solved the 70-year old Korean crisis but bestows the much sought legitimacy on the North Korean autocrat Kim Jong-un while boosting the false image of Trump as the deal maker. The summit is high on optics full of theatrics and short on substance and details, likely to come unstuck any moment.

  148. The summit was a giant handshakeburger with melted fake American cheese and a Grand Old Propaganda Film For Dummies.

    There was a kernel of truth, though; Donald Trump was able to publicly concede that he's incapable of admitting error and that he manages all things by shifting responsibility and blame for a living.

    “I think, honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say ‘Hey, I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of excuse.”

    So Presidential.

  149. I am really, really disappointed that the partisan rancor against Trump is so great that the overwhelming majority of those in the other political camp are blasting this summit (Bernie Sanders is a notable exception).

    No, there was no final agreement, as with Iran (for whatever that agreement was worth). But North Korea has now been brought into the world community of nations, and the danger of nuclear war with that country, terrifyingly real only a few months ago, has now almost disappeared. I would never vote for Trump, but he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in deserve great credit for these accomplishments.

  150. I'm sorry, but I refuse to give Trump credit for a non-solution photo-op and a supposed de-escalation of tensions that were almost entirely of his own making. Just because Trump is a master of controlling the narrative doesn't mean we can't call him on his nonsense

  151. As much as I intensely dislike much of his behaviour, I have to admit to a sneaking respect for Mr Trump with regard to his Kim encounter. He is willing to try things others wouldn't dare, he recognises that in the real world it isn't possible to nail everything down, negotiations are an ongoing process. I don't doubt that in a few months the two leaders will be back to exchanging insults and threats, but nevertheless a beginning has been made and that is a huge advance for the U.S., North Korea, and the rest of the world. That it will upset many in the military, and those who would like life and the world to be a tidy, fixed and rigid thing, goes without saying, but the fact is life is a dynamic process. We grow and advance through change, not through stagnation and adherence to rigid ideas and ideals. Much has been said about Kim Jong-Un's human rights abuses but much could be said about the U.S. and many other countries too. At some point we have to allow people - and countries - to put their past behind them.

  152. The mainstream media can't stand the notion that Trump had some success at the summit.

  153. Well, Trump is correct on one point. I feel a little safer now. Not because of anything he negotiated with N. Korea. And not because I think Kim is enthralled with Trump. In fact, I never felt worried that N. Korea was going to shoot a nuclear weapon at the US at all. That threat has never made any sense. No... I feel a tiny bit safer because Trump now seems to be riding a happy train. He got to rub elbows with a dictator so he now feels like he's a member of the club. And now Trump's less likely to play with his own nuclear button. I feel safer because my president is less likely to cause a conflict. Why doesn't that make me feel any better?

  154. When I was learning the business of sales, one lesson was, with a new customer, get a signed order. There's no signed order--Kim gets recognition and no war-games and the US gets???? We haven't even signed off on what "denuclearization" means, nothing about missiles...and Trump says the problem is solved? Dear Lord..Donald, get the order signed!

  155. Trump's worldview is that of a conman. Every time he makes a deal, there must be a winner and a loser. True, he is the first sitting president to meet with the supreme leader of North Korea, but this is something that they've wanted ever since their rogue nation was first founded. Additionally, canceling the joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan, calling them provocative, is a clear concession. There's no inspections, no timetable for "denuclearization;" there isn't even a clear definition of what "denuclearization even is to both sides. Trump completely folded and gave Kim exactly what he wanted. Trump doesn't see it that way, though. In this instance, the summit, he truly believes he came out the winner because of airtime, photos, and ratings. In the end, it's all about Trump.

  156. The repeated defense is that Trump didn't give anything up except military exercises with SK, the sanctions are still in place, so who cares that he got nothing in return? We can just reinstate military exercises and have a do-over in six months. Putting aside that the defense of the summit is "not too much worse than when we went in", the fact is that we won't get a do-over.

    Trump's effusive praise of Kim's good faith and heartfelt desire to denuclearize will be cited by China and Russia as a reason to relax their sanctions on NK. If Kim is a good egg and a responsible, not aggressive actor who is going to get rid of his nuclear capability, then there's no reason to keep maximum pressure on. Moreover, Trump's position is that Kim should get rewards first as a sign of the US's good faith desire for peace.

    Here we are in the US, meanwhile, hoping that NK's two largest trading partners are going to continue the maximum pressure until Trump is emotionally and politically ready to concede that he should of gotten something concrete from Kim after all.

    I know Trump expects other heads of state to help him out with domestic politics. He said as much to the President of Mexico, asking him to say Mexico might pay for the wall so Trump didn't look like a fool. He expects the G7 nations to hand him victories on trade or they are bad. Kim was willing to let Trump declare victory to the world, and so is China and Russia, as long as it's not the truth of the matter.

  157. A photo op. No more, no less. Two petulant children driven by ego and narcissism. The only thing missing was a sandbox. Yes, better to talk than fight. But don't treat the world as a fool, willing to consume show over substance. As for the embarrassing Trump-Kim short film? Cringe worthy!

  158. I'm running out of adjectives to describe Mr. Trump. Foolish, overplayed, misguided, underprepared, and egotistical all seem to apply. He also double-crossed the South Koreans. It's at least a positive that he Kim got together.

    I am withholding judgment about this meeting for now. Maybe there will be a second meeting. Maybe something good will happen. The Trumpian line "we'll see" applies here.

  159. That film was pitiful...

  160. The North Korean leader got three major concessions, whereas President Trump can not point to a single one: (1) Legitimacy- North Korean dictator achieved what his father and grandfather craved but could not achieve- build a huge nuclear weapons apparatus, and yet engage as a peer with the leader of the free world. Consequently, it will become very hard for the US to get countries, including China, to go along with toughening economic sanctions, if progress is not achieved, against a leader who has committed unspeakable crimes against his people, someone that Mr. Trump, by extension the US, now calls ‘very honorable man’; (2) Kim Jung Un ultimate goal has been to drive a wedge between South Korea and the US, Unfortunately, Trump’s decision to discontinue joint military exercises not only weakens deterrence, it will draw a wedge between US, South Korea and even with Japan. (3) There is nothing in the joint communique about the worrisome nuclear missiles, a time frame and the process, or about the reactors and dismantling of the nuclear sites, or covering chemical and germ warfare capabilities, or North Korea committing nuclear proliferation, etc. etc. Instead we got vague language. The Clinton’s Agreed Framework of 1994 and 1995 supplement had a much tougher language than this.
    Had Obama unilaterally ceased joint exercises with South Korea with nothing to show for the Republican will calling for Obama’s impeachment based on ‘dereliction of duty’ as commander in chief.

  161. Only the potential real estate prospects attracted Trump's attention. The rest was blather, especially the childish video and press conference.

  162. To think that Trump would butter up a heartless cruel dictator but defame an honorable leader of our good neighbor Canada is incomprehensible and despicable and beneath any president.
    In terms of diplomacy Trump’s nasty inappropriate tongue has turned the majority of Americans away from him. If the man spoke with even a modicum
    dignity he might seem presidential. But his filthy mouth, erratic behavior and lies have alienated even Republican voters. And his behavior at the G7 was ugly and deplorable making we Americans feel ashamed.

  163. The summit was a reality TV show presenting Kabuki political theater, aggrandizing Trump and Kim. In the long run the insubstantial agreement is likely to founder seriously, as all previous (and far more carefully considered) agreements have.

    But for MAGA-heads, the spectacle was just as meaningful as a night with the Kardashians, and their ilk--all razzle-dazzle and no substance.

    And it may be a good rally cry to tout Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize, but this will never happen. Never. Trump will complain, of course, because he thinks the Nobel Prize is like an Emmy. His boorish complaint about not receiving that prize for The Apprentice tells one everything.

  164. So this is what a masterfully negotiated settlement looks like. No inspectors, no removal of fissile material, no timeline,..... So much better than the Iran deal. What was Obama thinking? He should have gone with the video. What did Tillerson call Trump??

  165. At some point, someone has to ask the question: Who is Trump really working for? Have you EVER heard him defend democratic values at any time, anywhere? With enablers, sycophants, and the now far right Republican party, we have shifted to tyrants and dictators and away from western democracies. Is this everything that Putin could have ever hoped for? He does not have to do the heavy lifting himself, because his buddy Trump is doing it for him. All as the United States congress refuses to act. Meanwhile, the judicial branch has been stacked with far right conservative leaning judges. We have no checks, therefore we have no balances. I hope Justin Trudeau is ready to accept refugees.

  166. Absolutely. He clearly doesn't understand the words of your title and has never defended decency or democracy. He's un-American.

  167. Only vague thing is White House's politics, because all the presidents are wasting time with North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. But, the main issue is that US becomes a real threat for EU and Middle East countries, right?

  168. "Historic Day"? - No
    "Bleakly Historic"? - Yes

    Regarding human-rights, Trump has some nerve to say that "It's rough in a lot of places" when he himself is initiator of inhumane ICE raids and separating children from parents trying to seek asylum in the US.

    Media, democrats and law makers have to stop cautionary tales of looming Trumpian autocracy ... we are already there.

  169. More than a nuclear disarmament summit, as promised, it looked like a real estate development pitch. And do we really want an unprepared, temperamental ‘chief executive president’ to be negotiating with North Korea alone?

  170. I do respect Trump’s willingness to meet in person with Kim Jong un but his celebratory tweets are the stuff of fairy tales.

  171. Trump was meeting him for the photo op. Nothing of value was achieved.

  172. I’m tempted to echo your respect but can’t help but note that, at this point anyway, the only concrete and verifiable outcome of the summit was a propaganda windfall for North Korea.

  173. Why would you respect it? Its a really dumb unilateral willingness not done for America but just to have something for the midterms which will result in impeachment and his removal. He has so many enemies his removal will leave him legally exposed to 16 women and many contractors. As with Kim if he is deposed from power it will have grave personal consequences. President for life may be his only way out- best to let him forgive himself or some other way out. He has only the benefit of DJ Trump in mind.

  174. "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." Trump must be the only person on earth to not realize that a) there was no substance to the statement, b) Trump's own staff is saying it's only the start of a long process, or c) Kim has proven unreliable in past agreements that had some substance & detail.

    It's fair to say that an initial meeting like this was not expected to produce detailed plans or timeline, and unfair to expect much more from a meet-and-greet.

    But its also fair to observe that Trump has a long track record of vague policies & statements, without much substance (the wall, replacing Obamacare, immigration reform, tax reform - nearly everything), and that he doesn't circle back later to fill in the details.

    At this point Kim is winning on all fronts; PR, international image, joint military exercises w S Korea suspended, to be invited to the WH. If Trump doesn't get Kim to agree to specifics fairly soon, then it's just been a big show for both of them but no substantive success. This is particularly a concern with a president who flips his attention to a new issue every few days and usually doesn't follow up on the old ones.

    The success of this meeting can only be judged in the future.

  175. This "summit" was a fiasco and yet another embarrassment for the US. The video was ludicrous and when watching it I was expecting a link to The Onion or one of the late-night talk shows. A 1/12 page statement that contained recycled language "negotiated from the North over the last two decades?" Clearly, NK was in control of this meeting and Trump, with his also-called negotiating skills and artless deal, fell for it. What is most appalling is that the president of the US dismissed the work of our armed forces stationed in South Korea as playing "war games." Insulting to them, to South Korea, and to our country. When will this end, Congress? Anyone?

  176. In describing North Korea, Mr. Trump said, “It is a rough situation over there, It’s rough in a lot of places.” This is startlingly similar to the words he uttered when speaking about the participants at the demonstrations in Charlottesville last year, giving a free pass to thuggish behavior. Kim Jung Un is a thug, as were the white supremacists in Charlottesville. Thuggish behavior is not excusable, no matter who makes an effort to do so. Violence, torture and murder cannot be dismissed because someone has an agenda of appeasement at any cost.

  177. It's too predictable that every headline that just might credit Trump with something - anything - contains the word but....
    A bit like praise from a judgemental mother in law "Great dinner, but the food was awful.

  178. Kim saw Trump coming and buttered him up enough to get a handshake. So Trump now loves North Korea and Canada and most democracies are our enemies. The biggest winner here is Russia and China.

  179. Any hope I had of this being anything but a show, went away when our illustrious president started talking about the fabulous beaches in North Korea. You remember? The ones we see when they fire the missiles our way?

  180. Kim must be over the Moon (pun intended). I knew the exercises were dropped before Moon Jae-in did or at least simultaneously.
    So Moon is just the latest casualty among America's allies to be betrayed by the serial adulterer. Do Trumpists realise that if it were convenient to the commander (?) in chief to throw them under the bus he would not hesitate. Displaying the US flag beside the flags of the murderous regime that posts videos depicting American cities being nuked is not exactly patriotic. I feel like going down on two knees to pray for the poor people being tortured today in gulags. But at least Kim keeps the whole family together- 3 generations of them at a time.

  181. I can’t wait to buy a condo in a Trump-branded building located on the Beach of No Return in tourist-friendly North Korea.

  182. Americans killed in action will be returned to the United States and missiles flying over Japan and Japanese not having to seek shelter is a real step forward

  183. Brought to you by Trump & Associates, building a better way to make money. Emperor Trump is apparently considering purchasing and developing water front hotels in North Korea...

  184. Well, you know, if Bill Clinton hadn't sent North Korea the technology and supplies, we wouldn't be talking about any of this.
    If Hillary had been elected, what would she have done? Asked for it all back?

  185. Get a clue. NK bought the expertise and equipment from Pakistan, our so-called ally, several decades ago. We knew exactly what Pak was doing. And, given the millions in aid we were giving them, you could say that US taxpayers bought NK's nukes for them.

  186. Trump is not our King. This one-on-one meetings are very dangerous. (I am sure Singapore Govt. had rigged the room and knows more than what we know!). Next Trump will do the same with leaders of Russia & China, and this must not be allowed. Does our Judicial System has a clout to stop this nonsense?

  187. "Intense Negotiation?"

    What intense negotiations were those? What was on the table? What were the quid pro quo considered...time, space, inspections, economic resources? The NYT could be more forthcoming with its headlines.

    Face it...DJT is a failed presidency. It never had any legitimacy since he was levered into place by collusion with Russians, sealed with an electoral college failure to exercise its Constitutional mandate. There are literally no cabinet members qualified to fill their posts. DJT has no legislative accomplishments benefiting the country and enjoyed a SCOTUS appointee only through the machinations of a corrupt senate boss. He has taken an ax to international agreements with an aplomb that makes the USA untrustworthy for decades to come.

    DJT is a loser...and he's making the USA a loser as he careens his way from domestic debacle to intentional train wrecks across the globe.

    Let's save the "Intense negotiations" for a time when it's justified.

  188. Never mind . its a stage to give away consessions to Korea to behave till 2020 nov.

  189. I don't know about others, but I don't like having anyone in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government who flies by the seat of his pants and under influence of a foreign country like Russia. Why doesn't someone tell Trump and his sycophants to cut it out? This is exhausting.

  190. Spin it negatively, as is you're wont to do. You honestly believe North Korea would have surrendered their nukes immediately, overnight? That no concessions by the USA would be made? Really? Seriously?
    A year ago you were declaring that Trump endangered us all by not negotiating with Kim. Now he does negotiate, and he's an incompetent leader. Huh?

    What's wrong with you people? This is a good development.

  191. Even before Trump took office, foreign policy experts, diplomats and political leaders were justifiably worried about what would happen with North Korea. They thought in terms of terrible options. most of which were essentially impossible or infeasible - overwhelming first strike, limited first strike, targeted assassinations, and acceptance of NK as an nuclear weapon ICBM state. Bill Clinton called the DMZ the scariest place on earth. All of that definitely scared the hell out of me.
    Trump has found a way to defuse the situation, at least for now. Communication lines are open. We're not looking in the near future at increasingly provocative and troubling missile and warhead tests. You can criticize the video, the pomp, and the lack of substance, but that's missing the forest for the trees. The NK situation has turned 180 degrees under Trump in a matter of a few weeks. We have to give Trump credit for taking us off the brink of disaster.