What to Expect as Trump and Kim Meet Again

Feb 26, 2019 | 16:07 GMT

This photo shows a Vietnamese artist creating a portrait showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, who are meeting in Hanoi.

HANOI, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 23: Nguyen Cong Toan, 22, cuts dried leafs to make portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in honor of the upcoming summit between Trump & Kim in Hanoi on February 23, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Toan & his friends just stated a new startup called hatolo focusing on local crafts. Nguyen Duc Loc, another member of the group, consider the summit as a very good marketing chance for Vietnam and he has been contacting U.S. Embassy to offer this dried leaf artwork to Donald Trump but he got no response yet. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet on 27-28 February in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, their second meeting since they first met in Singapore last June as experts reportedly suggests there could be discussions around the dismantling of DPRKÕs Yongbyon nuclear facility while working toward complete denuclearization at the Korean Peninsula. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)

(LINH PHAM/Getty Images)


  • Both the United States and North Korea are seeking to make concrete gains on their diplomatic outreach given that neither has much to show after the Singapore summit more than eight months ago — besides eased tensions.
  • Washington has de-emphasized an all-or-nothing denuclearization and is instead more focused on easing the threat to the U.S. mainland. A nonbinding Korean War peace declaration is also a likely move.
  • North Korea’s top priority is securing some form of sanctions relief, and in exchange will offer at least cosmetic moves on denuclearization.

With eight months of lackluster progress toward North Korean denuclearization since their first summit, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will sit down in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi this week. The summit begins with heightened pressure on the U.S. side to extract some sort of tangible progress from North Korea and to lay out a sustainable road map for their future relationship. This means adopting a more humble view of what concessions would be acceptable to it and a focus on managing the North Korean threat to the U.S. mainland -- not an all-or-nothing push for denuclearization. And, above all, having spent years developing its nuclear and missile programs as well as substantial economic resources, North Korea will not give up its nuclear deterrent easily or cheaply -- and will certainly not risk moving quickly on measures to do so. Instead, the United States...

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