‘Illusion of progress’: National security expert picks apart Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un
On Thursday, Jon Wolfsthal, director of Global Zero’s Nuclear Crisis Group, and former nuclear expert for the National Security Council under Barack Obama’s administration warned that President Donald Trump’s summit in North Korea is nothing more than an “illusion of progress.”
Trump met with North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un for his second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. The nuclear summit ended abruptly without a deal.
Trump has been scrutinized for the summit and for his cozy relationship with Jong Un. According to Wolfsthal, Trump is making a huge mistake when it comes to his relationship with North Korea.
Wolfsthal said that Trump is more focused on the “illusion of progress,” rather than actually landing a deal and making sustainable progress.
Even though Trump, tweeted that North Korea is not a threat to Americans, multiple national security experts have disagreed.
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!# p #6_16 # ad skipped = true #
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018# p #7_16 # ad skipped = true #
“We are technically at war with North Korea. We have a number of things that could rapidly lead to a conflict or escalation with North Korea. It is a very serious challenge that we’d have to address,” Wolfsthal told Raw Story.
Wolfsthal added, “My concern is that President Trump has shown no ability to actually achieve diplomatic outcomes. He wants to sell the image of success and the illusion of progress even when there is no actual progress.”
“While I want President Trump to make progress, I’m doubtful that he has the team or the capability to actually achieve real success,” he said.
Wolfsthal said that he had hoped Trump would come back from the summit not with vague promises but with firm commitments.
“We need our commitments in writing. We need an objective timeline for what North Korea is going to achieve. And we need to be able to put people on the ground to verify that they’re doing what they say they’re going to do,” he explained.
Trump has built his brand and persona on being the ultimate dealmaker. Wolfsthal warned against this mindset and said that Trump might be so “eager” to make a deal that he fails to keep the best interest of Americans at heart.
He explained that America has the upper hand when it comes to North Korea and that everyone knows that except Trump.
“The problem is Donald Trump doesn’t seem to know it and he’s so desperate for a deal, even if it doesn’t actually have content, that he’s likely to give things away without getting anything in return,” he said.