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As Palestinians know, the USA is ready to throw anyone under the bus. So South Koreans: beware ! As Iranians know the USA is ready to blow up any international agreement. So North Koreans: beware ! If the USA is not like TRUMP, it is their job to replace him. But if all goes as Trump pretends, the Chinese sit back and cannot believe their luck. Koreans are not their historical friends and both sides denuke. And America's troops leave.
Trump’s fuzzy timeline on North Korea denuclearization
Whether an agreement is a win depends on the criteria.
If you are an Orange Clown, and the world panders to your ego, if you sign your golf score card in gold ink while the TV cameras are running it is a 'win'.
If you are the Republican Party, and you are facing popular vote swings of 20 - 25% against you as compared to the 2016 elections, which would translate into a loss of well over 100 House seats, anything that raises the approval rating is a 'win'.
If you are the President of China, and by pandering to a rival's ego you have
reduced the likelihood of a rival's incompetent leader being impeached anytime soon;
eased a local unpredictable risk toward a more stable result in a unified Korea, paid for by Seoul;
weakened America's position in, and commitment to, East Asia;
thrown a monkey wrench into Japan's attempts to sustain an alternative to Chinese hegemony; and
neatly sidelined Russian meddling in East Asia,
... all without anybody in America noticing,
you might think you'd had a pretty good innings.
American leadership [sic] apparently cares more about whether North Korean beaches might be developed as tourist hotel venues.
Chinese leadership cares about running the world.
China is shifting the power balance in Asia, and the World, without firing a shot.
What's a "win"?
It all depends on your criteria.
But by any criterion, the Republicans in Congress who are permitting this circus to continue are failing in their duties to their country. Every day the man remains in office, America suffers yet another enormous injury. Everything that was won in WWII, at such great cost in blood and treasure, is being thrown away, fistfuls at a time.
How can Republican members of Congress look their children and grandchildren in the eye?
It is long past time to put your country first.
"Yet the document the two signed was long on symbolism and extremely short on detail."
Nobody watching Fox News is going to read the agreement.
If all they signed was the restaurant menu, it makes no difference.
The only thing they care about is the photo that proves the Clown is World's Greatest Ever Statesman !!! Saves World From Nuclear War !!!!!!!! Best President Ever !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For the mid-terms, that's all that matters.
The statement contains no fixed efforts or deadlines for Kim. Therefore it must work: when nothing was promised, it is difficult not to deliver. What is surprising is that conservative press is enthusiastic, when it earlier laughed at Obama's empty statements.
I don't know how bland the signed agreement between Mr Trump and Mr Kim is (The Economist thinks it's as bland as bland can be but other quarters in the media seem to think it's better than one could have dared for) but I believe the agreement has a great chance of success for three reasons:
1) Kim Jong-Un has made a careful calculation about the precedents of history and the current political climate and concluded that he can go down as a mixture between Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping. Mr Deng modernised and reformed China's economy following years of famine and hardship, bringing great happiness and economic benefits to his people, while Mr Xi showed that a Communist leader can cement his leadership for eternity in the 21st century and still maintain a respected, healthy, working relationship with America and the world.
2) Unlike unlucky Libya, Afghanistan or Syria, which are surrounded with countries nobody powerful really cares about, North Korea is fortunate enough to be surrounded with South Korea and Japan, firm allies of the West, and China, who nobody wants a war with. Disarmament or denuclearisation is less risky for Mr Kim than Colonel Gaddafi because Japan's, South Korea's and China's wish for peace are very genuine and, in that area of the world, nobody wants to risk a war that spills over into powerful and friendly countries.
3) President Trump, the consummate showman, wants the world to know that he is crazy, so crazy that he out-crazies the Kim family and the Iranian mullahs combined. Mr Kim understands that if there is one president who will throw all caution to the wind and bring destruction to the Korean peninsula, and possibly the world, it is Donald Trump. It might very well all be, and probably is, all bluster, but how can one be sure? Better for North Korea to make peace with the world and for Mr Kim to stay in power than risk Mr Trump's wrath, right?
Hmmmmm......... The art of the deal....
I hope there will be peace and reunification on the peninsula. However I have a funny feeling that this may simply be a clever pretext for Trump to start a war. I hope I am wrong.
Trump saw how the war in Iraq gave Bush a second term
Brilliant article. I was actually thinking of how this summit compares to Chamberlain - Hitler, and voila, TE has delivered. Now let’s get ready for the ensuing revisions about what was said.
Donald Trump should look at ethnic cleansing in Burma and solve that problem as well to receive Nobel Peace Prize.
There's a lot of power behind motivation for this meeting, China, Russia, and the realities of economic situation North Korea is in. Sometimes things can get things done quickly that could never get done slowly; this may be exactly such a situation. No doubt North Korea cannot be trusted, but their necessity for a deal can be calculated. I would guess that this will end successfully; by success I mean: No war, moderate improvement in the lives of the North Koreans, and less military hostility in the region. The Kim's will get safety assurances, and regardless of what they have done they'll be protected for life. The West will get peace, or something close to peace. There's something here for everyone to like and hate, but it's definitely not the worst-case scenario, and will probably take the regional powers down the path avoiding the worst of problems in the long run.
Why does the economist turn off comments on so many of its worst articles?