Trump’s negotiations during second summit – pointless


Creative Commons image through Wikimedia Commons by Stemoc

Trump and Kim Jong Un shake hands with smiling faces on Feb. 27. Both leaders had 10 days to prepare for their second meeting compared to their first with two months of preparation time.

Issy Boegel, Copy Editor

The first U.S. and North Korean summit left tensions between the U.S. and North Korea looking more positive than the country has ever seen, or so we thought.

On Feb. 28, President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un held a second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump met with Jong Un to discuss the disarmament of North Korea and the lifting of the U.S. sanctions but ended abruptly when Trump disagreed to lift sanctions without the total denuclearization of the regime.

Instead of agreeing to unfavorable terms and receiving a photo opportunity, it was appropriate for Trump to leave the summit early.

Jong Un and Trump both had their ideal gains from the meeting.  Jong Un desires the sanctions on North Korea to be lifted, while Trump wants total denuclearization of the regime. Trump believes he can achieve this goal through personal conversations and having high-quality speaking skills.

Not enough open dialogue happened before the meeting. With closed dialogue, Jong Un and Trump were not given the thought and time to prepare for the discussion. When the negotiations started to gain momentum, Jong Un offered to give up his nuclear weapon program in Pyongchang. Trump knew that North Korea would still hold other nuclear programs and would not entirely be disarmed, even with Pyongchang out of the picture. If both sides were openly communicating, the meeting would have lasted longer. Lack of information and unclear expectations halted discussions.

“They didn’t spell out enough of what the expectations would be before both people showed up…maybe some fuel expenses could have been saved from just some more open communication between…that’s the most frustrating part is just not having enough dialogue before the meeting took place, so that it now feels a little bit more like a waste of time,” history teacher Ryan Miller said.

Trump and Jong Un were both extremely unwilling to make a compromisable dialogue. Trump desires zero nuclear productivity in the North Korean regime and believes there is no negotiation on halting all building of nuclear weapons, as it should be. However, Jong Un “needs” his nuclear programs throughout the country. If Trump removes all sanctions from North Korea, then it is a necessity that Jong Un surrenders more than he offered. Since both leaders had set expectations and terms, they refused to give any compromise to the table.

It’s a cult of identity. They want to be seen as movers and shakers over the world stage.”

— Jerry Washburn

White House speaker Nancy Pelosi feels that “it’s good” that the president did not give him anything for the little that Jong Un was proposing.

With sanctions over North Korea’s head, Jong Un’s priority of interest is not on the people’s benefit, but his own. Jong Un would rather have his powerful nuclear weapons and seen as a world power to other nations, than overall benefit and help his starving people. With this in mind, it is no wonder Trump needed to walk out on the summit. Jong Un will never give up his nuclear weapons only for the interest of his people.

“It’s a cult of identity. They want to be seen as movers and shakers over the world stage,” government teacher Jerry Washburn said.

Critics say that Trump should have stayed and negotiated with Jong Un. Obama also received a lot of negativity when he negotiated with Iran and their weapons. Since both sides were clearly stubborn with their positions and unwilling to compromise for a non-threatening relationship between the countries, Trump had no reason to stay and talk unrealistic terms.

CNN reporter Jimmy Diamond said Trump cast his decision to walk away as evidence that he will not accept a bad deal.

Overall, walking away from an underprepared and unwilling discussion with North Korea was the best option for the U.S. The only way someone could possibly know how to handle a situation with such intensity has to be involved in the situation. The possibilities from the negotiations were infinite and is hard to say what could have been done better. After all, success can be seen as positive relations with North Korea and total denuclearization. Americans need to stay educated and continue to support our leader to make the right decisions for the country.