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The art of no deal: how Trump and Kim misread each other

2019-03-01 10:04:15       source:The Guardian

February 28, 2019

As with many disastrous second dates, the collapse of Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong-un was made inevitable by the misreading of each other’s intentions at their first encounter.

Since their initial meeting in Singapore last June, the US president had become fixated on what he saw as a close personal bond with the North Korean dictator half his age. He told his supporters: “We fell in love ... He wrote me beautiful letters.”

Those hand-delivered missives appear to have flattered Trump without offering concrete proposals of what Kim was going to do as part of a bargain. A joint statement issued in Singapore stated North Korea’s commitment to the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, which Trump appears to have understood as a pledge of complete unilateral nuclear disarmament.

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