Journalists in Washington are making projections that the upcoming summit meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will end up producing little more than a “small deal.” Speculation is spreading that the Trump administration will try to meet Pyongyang halfway by reaching an agreement focused on freezing the North’s nuclear weapons program and removing its inter-continental ballistic missiles, instead of clinching a “big deal” designed to make Pyongyang dismantle its nuclear capacity altogether.
“At the present time, there is no prospect of the Kim regime eliminating the entirety of its nuclear weapons capability,” Daniel DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, a nonpartisan foreign-policy organization, said in an article published on Sunday (local time), suggesting that the North will “agree to some partial, reversible steps on the nuclear front by continuing its testing suspension and perhaps even freezing the production of nuclear fuel.”
DePetris further said that while many “cringe at” at the idea of improving the U.S.-North Korea relationship without taking denuclearization measures, such a conventional view is both “antiquated and dangerous.” He stressed the need for a “completely different metric for success” that goes beyond the “fantasy of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.” The Fox News, the pro-Trump media outlet, has effectively published a supporting view on the upcoming summit meeting, where any agreement could be perceived as a success.
The Politico said “skeptics call it a fool’s errand” for President Trump to sit at a negotiating table with Kim Jong Un, expressing the wide-spread skepticism in Washington. But it added that even some harsh critics of Trump’s foreign policy are of the view that the president might find it easier to deal with “the diminutive Asian tyrant” than with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.