Again, we've been had, so that scam-artist Trump can bellow about an artificial success.
In the NY Times' reporting, it's the background that tells the real story. "Negotiators had failed to make much headway in working-level meetings before the meeting, leaving Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim with little common ground ahead of what could be months or even years of talks." Furthermore, last week American diplomats met with Kim's to hash out the wording of a joint statement. Reports the Times: "People briefed on the meetings said American negotiators had found it difficult to make significant headway with the North Koreans, in part because the White House did not back them up in taking a hard line."
Translation: Trump is giving away the store so that he can claim a major diplomatic coup. The most staggering news is that Trump is discontinuing joint military exercises with South Korea; in exchange, he said, "Kim Jong-un would begin dismantling his nuclear arsenal 'very quickly.'" A tangible capitulation for a loose pledge, which the Times characterized as "a significant concession to North Korea." That's two. Merely meeting with Kim was the first.
In the joint statement, Trump "committed to provide security guarantees" to North Korea, while Kim "reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." Chalk up another diplomatic success for Kim. Notes the Times: "The statement did not go much further than previous statements by North Korea and was short on details, including any timetable or verification measures."
In classic scam-artist lingo, Trump, when asked if Kim would denuclearize, said "We’re starting that process very quickly — very, very quickly — absolutely." There is nothing in their agreement — not so much as a crossed t or dotted i — to suggest such a thing. Later, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Trump said Kim is "de-nuking the whole place. I think he's going to start now." Yes, he'll also close all the prisons, open a McDonald's and undergo sensitivity training.
According to Trump, everything is "great," "terrific" and "tremendous." Like his health-care plan and tax bill, you know you're getting screwed amidst such superlative nothingness. "It’s going to be a great discussion and, I think, tremendous success," he said. "I think it’s going to be really successful, and I think we will have a terrific relationship."
So much for any sort of breakthrough. American negotiators will now return to the table with North Korean negotiators, until it's as clear as Trump's scam artistry that North Korea will never denuke.
Meanwhile, and elsewhere, the American president has thrust the United States into diplomatic shambles. American is truly alone. Our enemies are manipulating us and our allies are abandoning us, as they should. The liberal international order isn't endangered. It's dead. We're a rogue state, thoroughly isolated, and Trump couldn't be happier — because, as has been reported time and again, Trump loves chaos.