The North Korea Photo Op Summit
I was travelling in Europe during the Trump-Kim Summit and the response I heard the most there was, "well at least Trump has stopped talking about unleashing a nuclear war." Granted, that is a step in the right direction, but what about the results. Well, really, there are few concrete results from the summit and those that you can point to generally favor North Korea.
What did the US get? We got to see our President actually carry on some level of diplomacy and meet with a foreign leader without antagonizing them as he often does to our allies. We also got a general promise from Kim to denuclearize, but N. Korea has made that promise before without following through and there is no way yet to verify their actions. More meetings will be scheduled, but for now almost nothing was accomplished from our point of view.
But, what about N' Korea? What did they get?
John McLaughlin at Ozy says it best: "Kim racked up win after win. After years of isolation and well-deserved shunning by the international community, he got a coming-out party hosted by the leader of the world’s greatest power proclaiming he’s “honored” to meet him. Kim’s biggest score, though, was Trump’s pledge to end U.S.–South Korean military exercises on the peninsula and a presidential pledge to consider ending the U.S. troop presence. This is something North Korea and China have wanted for years, and it is an absolutely stunning giveaway of U.S. leverage with no price asked. Trump will regret this."
And, after Trump returned from the Summit, N. Korea got a bonus when the President refused to even acknowledge N. Korea's deplorable human rights record, signalling that it will not be an issue going forward.
Even Congressional Republicans are having a hard time putting a positive spin on the Summit.