Foreign Policy Digital

It’s Not Personal. It’s Just Diplomacy.

North Korea is trying to make the nuclear talks all about Trump and Kim. But history shows that professionals must lay the groundwork first.

For nearly a year since his historic meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump has been playing to the North Korean leader’s vanity, suggesting that Kim could be a “great leader” whose country could have “a tremendous future” if only he gives up his nukes. On Friday Pyongyang returned the favor, hinting that only Trump can save the stalled negotiations—thanks to his “mysteriously wonderful” chemistry with Kim.

Speaking with reporters in Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui effectively dismissed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton as obstructionist, saying they’ve created an “atmosphere of hostility and mistrust” that derailed Trump’s second round of talks in

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