Trump and Kim cartoon Pedro Molina

The Big Picture

The Day of the Jackals

After months of Sturm und Drang, if not necessarily preparation, US President Donald Trump finally sat down with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un. But it is unclear if the two showmen can match the high drama of the occasion with an agreement that serves more than their own personal ambitions.

In this Big Picture, Yoon Young-kwan argues that an eventual deal over the North’s nuclear weapons is indeed possible, but only if both sides can overcome their longstanding mutual distrust. At the same time, Christopher R. Hill warns that for Trump to be able to claim any kind of legitimate victory at the Singapore summit, he will have to juggle the interests of not just the US, but also South Korea and Japan.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Drew suggests that Kim has perhaps come to regard Trump as a kindred (authoritarian) spirit, which could make a final deal of some kind more likely. Yet Bill Emmott emphasizes that there is a third strongman in the mix: Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has much to gain from a Trump-Kim deal. Likewise, Richard N. Haass, thinks the summit could become a defining moment in US-China relations, but only if Xi and Trump are willing to meet halfway.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in Korea Summit Press Pool/Getty Images
President Donald Trump attends a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People Thomas Peter - Pool/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump shakes hand with China's President Xi Jinping FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
 China's President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, US President Donald Trump FRED DUFOUR,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI,TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images;

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