The Trump-Kim Summit Was Far from ‘Epochal’ but at Least It’s a Return to Diplomacy

June 12, 2018
Joshua Pollack

The following is an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times

The outcome of the Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit in Singapore brings to mind the old Army quip: “Hurry up and wait.”

The urgency of holding a meeting between the top leaders of North Korea and the United States, rather than diplomatic professionals, is perhaps best explained by the personality and mind set of our first reality TV star president. The freshly signed joint statement of this “epochal event” — not merely historic, mind you, but epochal — is roughly what could be expected to emerge from the preceding two weeks or so of working-level talks. Vague and broad, it endorses a set of “mutual confidence building” steps, ending with a promise to continue working out the details. It marks a return to diplomatic engagement, but it’s not any sort of breakthrough.

Set aside whether a presidential meeting was needed to reach this point. What exactly does the joint statement say? How does it stack up against the two countries’ on-again, off-again diplomatic commitments over the past quarter-century, and what does it really mean?

After the throat-clearing section at the top, the statement boils down to four points. The first is a commitment to “establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.”

Continue reading at the Los Angeles Times

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