trump and kim jong-un SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s Floundering North Korea Strategy

After his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, US President Donald Trump announced an end to the nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula. But since then, his administration's diplomacy does not seem to have yielded any tangible results, other than planning another summit.

DENVER – “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This aphorism, often attributed to Albert Einstein, seems to be the inspiration for US President Donald Trump’s North Korea policy. Trump’s approach has been to reject everything that came before him, while involving himself in negotiations to an unprecedented degree. As a result, the US Secretary of State has been reduced to little more than a sherpa for his boss’s summits with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The question, though, is whether Trump’s unique approach is actually yielding any results. As of now, there has been nothing to suggest that North Korea is changing its ways. But with another Trump-Kim summit expected some time in the next few months, we might soon have more clarity on the matter.

Trump claims to have mastered the art of nuclear negotiation – if not the details, then at least its fundamental essence. In March, he interrupted a meeting between his then-National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and a South Korean delegation to reveal, out of the blue, that he would gladly meet with Kim. He has since followed his own star, always asserting that great progress is being made. After his first summit with Kim in June, he declared that, “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

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