During a White House event, Donald Trump boldly claimed, “The United States has never been closer to potentially having something happen with respect to the Korean peninsula, that can get rid of the nuclear weapons, can create so many good things, so many positive things, and peace and safety for the world.”
But as he lobbies for a Nobel Prize, large parts of the foreign-policy establishment, along with many Korea experts, argue that he may be giving away the store, and wonder about the tactical wisdom of Trump’s negotiating, where he’s massively raised expectations for what a deal could achieve.
A foreign diplomatic official credited the United Nations Security Council, sanctions, and multilateralism.
“No country, no matter how powerful, can impose peace alone,” they said. Lewis went so far as to label Trump “completely irrelevant,” arguing that Kim is only willing to talk because he has already achieved his family’s decades-long quest for nuclear capability. “North Korea would have finished the nuclear weapon and the I.C.B.M. with or without Trump, and once they did, that they would have turned around and offered [South Korean President Moon Jae-in] an inter-Korean summit, because they get all kind of goodies for that.”