Jonathan Allen at NBC was quick to broadcast his own conclusion that President Donald Trump “cut his losses” after the Vietnam summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ended without a denuclearization agreement.
“After traveling halfway around the world for a face-to-face meeting with one of the world’s most notorious despots – with hopes of persuading the dictator to give up his nuclear weapons cache – the president who considers himself the world’s ultimate deal-maker pushed away from the negotiating table with nothing more in hand than he had arrived with,” he wrote.
But his was only one of a wide range of opinions on the meetings that did not, in fact, produce an agreement.
The result was that the status quo, which followed the first meeting by the two leaders some months ago in that North Korea has stopped its blatant threats to the U.S. and it has stopped its intimidating missile “tests,” continues.
In fact, Kim Jong Un responded to reporters’ questions that if he was not open to denuclearization, he wouldn’t be meeting with Trump.
It’s a huge change from recent years of communications from North Korea only through threats, and the hermit nation’s constant promises to attack the United States with its nukes.
Allen linked his negative comments about Trump to “a gathering pile of political, policy and personal humiliations” for the president, to include the 2018 elections, a government shutdown, his fight over a border wall and indictments and convictions “of several of his closet associates…”
Those comments fell into the same category as congressional Democrats’ insistent that convicted liar Michael Cohen “testify” about his anti-Trump agenda before a panel yesterday – just as Trump was handling those delicate conversations with North Korea.
The talks actually fell apart after progress was made because of North Korea’s insistence it would give up part of its military weaponry in return for removal of all U.S. sanctions. Trump decided that would have been a bad deal for the U.S. and declined.
The president said, “They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that, so we continue to work and we’ll see.”
No future meetings were announced, although U.S. officials said they expected them to develop.
At the New York Times, Edward Wong commented that the end of talks “leaves the unusual rapprochement between the United States and North Korea that has unfolded for most of a year at a deadlock.”
He did report North Korea had pledged to maintain a halt on nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
Previous American administrations had made virtually no progress with North Korea regarding the reduction or elimination of its weaponry – not even discussions.
Trump said he’d rather handle the problem “right” than “fast.”
The conflict between the two sides apparently is what denuclearization will North Korea do in return for what sanctions relief.
America’s allies in the region, including Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, supported Trump’s decision to “not make the easy compromise.’
Key was Kim’s comment to a reporter who asked about denuclearization, “If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now.”
The Daily Mail reported Trump could not say how soon any more talks might be held.
But Trump reported he remains on good terms with the North Korean leader.
Analysts before the meeting said it was a long shot that anything definitive would emerge.
Many commentators over the course of Thursday confirmed that Trump’s decision to walk away from talks at this point was the right one.
CNBC reported that even without an agreement, the meeting could help Kim with his nation’s residents, and would help Trump with his political base.
“The international community will stand back and say not much has happened, but if you look at domestic agendas – both for Kim and for President Trump – actually a limited amount of progress would be success,” said Richard Fenning, of Control Risks.