American intelligence officials are telling NBC News that they are deeply concerned that President Donald Trump’s personal affection for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un could lead him to make major concessions without getting anything in return.
Even though Trump last year infamously declared that North Korea is “no longer” a nuclear threat, intelligence officials are increasingly pessimistic that Kim will ever give up his nuclear arsenal, no matter what Trump gives him to do so.
“One of the worst possible outcomes is he makes some crazy deal pledging to withdraw U.S. troops for a vague promise of denuclearization,” one former senior U.S. intelligence official said.
Trump so far has given contradictory signals about whether he would consider withdrawing forces from South Korea. Last week, he initially said that withdrawing troops “is not one of the things on the table” before later saying that “everything is on the table.”
Officials also fear that Trump and Kim could announce the formal end of the Korean War, which they say would be tantamount to “de facto U.S. recognition of North Korea as a nuclear state,” NBC News reports.
Trump has often spoken glowingly of his relationship with Kim and he regularly boasts of the “love letters” that the North Korean leader has sent to him ever since their historic summit last year.