No diplomats anywhere enjoy dealing with North Korea. Pyongyang is difficult, indeed obstreperous at the best of times, while the Kim dynasty and its emissaries are notorious worldwide for their aggressive and undiplomatic trash-talking when they are displeased. Which they frequently are.
Donald Trump’s quixotic effort to make nice with the world’s strangest regime was therefore always a long shot, while his desire to denuclearize North Korea in exchange for diplomatic normalization and economic development was based in what can be kindly called fantasy thinking.
That has just been made painfully evident in Hanoi, where the much-ballyhooed second summit between President Trump and the North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un fell apart with no deal of any kind. After investing a considerable amount of his personal prestige, and that of the United States, in building a relationship with Kim, Trump is flying back to Washington, DC, with nothing. His reality-TV-based notion of how to solve intractable diplomatic problems has been revealed as just another Trumpian sham, alongside Don’s vodka, his steaks, and his ‘university’.
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