After that, Trump dictated ‘every word’ of the letter to Kim calling off the summit.
Starting again was the right thing, the only sensible thing, to do. But Kim may be in a stronger position than before.
This White House is more interested in controlling the news cycle than in nuclear diplomacy. And it’s showing.
Trump never had a realistic expectation about what Kim was willing or able to do. Cozy atmospherics, including the destruction of a defunct nuclear site, couldn’t hide that.
Trump’s personal letter to Kim elevated the despot to the top tier of international diplomacy—something likely to last even as the chance of peace falls away.
The collapse of the North Korean summit suggests that John Bolton’s influence is on the rise inside the White House.
After that surprise second meeting with Xi this month, the North Korean leader suddenly moved back to the dark side in his dealings with the United States.