What’s The Risk of North Korea Talks?

President Donald Trump in August 2017

President Donald Trump has signaled he wants to do something truly astounding as an American president; meet directly with the ruling leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un.

Kim has suggested his country would be willing to denuclearize under the right conditions and after a meeting with President Trump.

This is a startling turn of events for the past few months, let alone nearly eighty years of icy and hostile relations between the countries.

It wasn’t so long ago Kim and Trump were exchanging public and childish barbs about age and weight. Now the two men appear to be negotiating a relatively pleasant sit down together.

So what’s the angle here?

Trump is notorious for wanting to be viewed as the ultimate deal maker. But his dwindling cadre of skilled advisers hobbles him in any negotiation that involves national security.

And what does Kim want? Having reportedly killed multiple family members who have crossed him, can we assume his intentions are anything other than self-serving?

Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe and a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution, recently wrote an article titled “The Biggest Danger of North Korea Talks” for The Atlantic magazine online.

He writes:

The summit proposal and acceptance surely came as a shock to Trump’s Cabinet. They will no doubt be working furiously to ensure that the summit protects key U.S. interests, including the alliance with South Korea. Their task now is to prevent Trump from meeting with Kim one-on-one and to ensure the U.S. side follows an agreed-upon script with specific goals. But they have no ambassador to South Korea and the State Department’s Special Envoy Joseph Yun chose to retire last week. It’s hard to be optimistic that they can manage the president.”

To hear more from Wright on Detroit Today, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: National Park Service

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