Weak diplomacy of Trump causes peace talk  cancellation

            US President Donald Trump cancelled, his planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

  One striking factor about Trump’s decision on March 8 to hold a summit with Kim, the first time a sitting US president who have ever met with North Korean leader, spur of the moment, it was with little detailed preparations by contrast,   Nixon’s visit to see Mao Zedong in Beijing in 1972 came after years of contact building and diplomacy by the then US presidents national security adviser Henry Kissinger and others. When Barack Obama opened the relationship with Cuba under  Raul Castro,  before Obama made his landmark 2016 trip to that country, there were extensive high-level consultations between Washington and Havana.  This included many months negotiations between the US administration and the Castro team.

It was not clear, Trump had a comprehensive clear or coherent strategy towards the Kim  Kim Jong-un meeting. It is doubted that Trump spent any significant amount of time getting to grips with the details of the North Korean nuclear challenge. 

It is not only the contrast between the Trump-North Korea and Nixon-China episodes that is striking, but also the level 

of preparation that the US last undertook when planning a major engagement with a Communist regime compared to now.  That is, when Barack Obama opened up the relationship with Cuba under Raul Castro.

The cancellation of the Trump-Kim Jong-un. summit is no great surprise, and high-lights the president’s political inexperience.  The Nixon in China event was not a failure.  Obama-Raul Castro summit was historical, but the cancellation of Trump-Korean  summit  is a  significant set back to the White House after it raised expectations so high about the event.

That session was billed as a Nixon goes to China moment.  But the reality was far different as this setback shows.

Extract from an article of Andrew Hammond, London School of Economics


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