Pompeo’s Visit To North Korea Reveals The Failures Of The Trump-Kim Summit
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded a visit to North Korea yesterday, the tone of which marked a stark contrast to the historic summit last month. While Pompeo categorized the talks with officials as “productive” and said that there had been progress on major issues, a statement by the North Korean government called the talks “regrettable” and described American negotiating tactics as “gangster-like.” More importantly, the statement seemed to repudiate American demands of complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (so-called CVID), the standard the US and its regional allies have always maintained as necessary for a diplomatic resolution.
This move by the North Koreans was all too predictable. As many (including this paper) pointed out, the Hermit Kingdom has agreed to similar stipulations as the ones signed by Kim Jong-un in June many times over the last thirty years. However, they have consistently gone back on their word once sanctions and other punitive measures were eased. This statement indicates that North Korea will be again adopting the same approach and President Trump spoke too soon.
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
The Trump administration will likely claim that this is not the case and will continue to maintain that progress towards denuclearization is going to plan. However, as Rantt has reported previously, progress will be extremely hard to come by, given that the Trump has given the US and its allies limited options for pressuring North Korea to cooperate. President Trump thinks that destroying the American foreign policy establishment and replacing it with his own brand of showmanship will change diplomacy for the better. The North Koreans do not seem much impressed. All Trump has achieved on the North Korean crisis, it seems, is to pack the old wine into his own brand’s bottles. Given that the crisis involves a potential nuclear showdown with an unpredictable dictator, the world is not for the better for it.