Newsweek reports that the White House may view the failure of the summit at Hanoi between President Trump and Kim Jong Un as paving the way for talks at a lower-level that may yield results. Diplomats and technocrats can now take over discussions and make real progress.
One Connecticut Democrat, Representative Chris Murphy, said it was clear that Kim was “playing the waiting game for the one-on-one” with Trump, and both relied on their personal relationships to get things done. He explained that the fact Trump walked away from the negotiation meant that more serious negotiations could now commence because Kim “realized he couldn’t pull one over on Trump.”
According to Murphy, Trump believed “by sheer force of personality in Hanoi, he could get Kim to agree to a comprehensive deal, which was never going to be possible.” He continued, “So instead of immediately setting the table with some confidence-building measures, he went for the whole enchilada and lost badly.
“I think Kim walked in thinking that his love letters [to Trump] were going to get sanctions released for something much less than full denuclearization.
“Trump thought that these love letters meant he was going to get full denuclearization for sanctions relief. I think it was pretty clear pretty quickly that neither of those things was going to happen.”
Stephen Biegun, Trump’s special representative to North Korea, said on Monday that Kim offered only to dismantle the Yongbyon facility in exchange for the majority of the sanctions against it being lifted.
Biegun said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear conference that “We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally. The foundation of U.S. policy is denuclearization.”
Many experts believe this all-or-nothing approach to negotiations is guaranteed to fail.