Trump Rolls the Dice on Kim Jong Un

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Donald Trump is taking a big gamble in agreeing to a summit with Kim Jong Un in what would be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Having threatened to rain “fire and fury” on Kim, can a man who brags about his negotiating skills bring a dictator in from the cold?

That and many other questions remain unanswered. What might Trump put on the table? North Korea wants a “security guarantee” from the U.S., i.e. the withdrawal of troops from the peninsula. But Trump’s already said he won’t make concessions without verifiable denuclearization.

It’s also unclear if Kim would let United Nations inspectors in, and why he would give up his weapons — his only bargaining chip.

For decades, the Kim family has honed its skills in the game of nuclear chicken: push to the brink of conflict, then suddenly offer olive branches in return for economic aid. Talks invariably collapse and tensions resume.

Trump can rightfully claim some credit for getting things this far. But accepting a meeting may just give Kim the recognition he craves. History is not on Trump’s side on this one.

Trump Rolls the Dice on Kim Jong Un

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Trump Rolls the Dice on Kim Jong Un

To contact the authors of this story: Rosalind Mathieson in Singapore at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net, Iain Marlow in New Delhi at imarlow1@bloomberg.net.

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