Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Donald Trump’s diplomatic gaffes at the Singapore summit last June 12 have given North Korea an important advantage in any future talks about the denuclearization of North Korea.
The U.S. is now worse off than it was before the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, believes Park Strategies, an American public policy and business development think tank based in New York City.
Sean King, senior vice president at Park Strategies, feels that America’s position in any future talks will be weakened by the easing of economic sanctions on North Korea by China and Russia. This move has reduced the threat of an economic collapse of the north, and leaves it free to play hardball against Trump.
Trump’s ill-advised and unilateral cancellation of a military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea in August is seen by Pyongyang as a sign of Trump’s weakness and his willingness to do anything to gain the approval of his core supporters in the Republican Party. Trump got nothing in return from North Korea for this rash decision. The scrapping of this military exercise also unnerved Japan, said King.
The net result of Trump’s series of dire diplomatic errors is the United States is now in a far weaker position vis-à-vis North Korea than before Trump met Kim. King also noted that even during the June summit, both sides seemed to have misunderstood what it was they had agreed on in that contentious summit declaration.
King is certain Trump thought Kim said he’d give up his nukes and then work toward some kind of peace deal. Kim, however, first wanted an end to the U.S.-South Korea alliance and then he’d denuclearize — maybe. King said part of the problem leading to Trump’s seeming naivety was a difference of opinion about strategy within the White House.
On one hand, there’s a professional White House staff taking a hard line with North Korea. The novice Trump, however, felt he could make a deal on his own based on personal chemistry. The end result of this dichotomy at the top is to give Kim the impression the U.S. has “two parallel administrations and North Korea is trying to exploit that,” said King.
But should the U.S. and North Korea meet again, with or without Trump and Kim being present, King said the U.S. should take a tougher stance against China and North Korea if denuclearization is indeed a priority.
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