Trump and Kim Break With the Past

Jun 14, 2018 | 21:08 GMT

In this photograph, U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are shown during their Singapore summit on June 12, 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Trump and Kim held the historic meeting in hopes of ending decades of hostility and the threat of North Korea's nuclear program.

(KEVIN LIM/The Strait Times/Getty Images)


  • Summits are not contests to determine winners or losers. What the U.S.-North Korea summit did was change the way the two countries manage relations — and crises — offering a respite from the heightened unease on the Korean Peninsula. 
  • In breaking past the barrier of demanding change before dialogue, the United States is in a better position to manage tensions with North Korea even if denuclearization is never completed.
  • North Korea appears to have empowered its negotiators to make concessions without having to come back to Pyongyang, allowing for more meaningful and productive talks.

Over the past few days, I've been asked numerous times who was the "winner" of the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. My reply: You're asking the wrong question. The summit was not a competition between the United States and North Korea to determine a victor -- if it were, it would have been doomed from the start. A summit is not something to be scored like a boxing match. There is no clear-cut winner or loser, because international relations do not work in such a simplistic manner. Rather, for all its on-again-off-again drama, political pageantry, odd videos and relatively benign final document, the summit marked a potential shift in the paradigm for U.S.-North Korea relations....

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