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Trump’s approach to Kim is amoral, and it may work

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14.06.2018

BERLIN – Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un didn’t agree on anything of global importance, and the grandiose photo opportunity that took place in Singapore probably benefited Kim more than it did Trump. But the beauty of the moment is that Trump doesn’t care about that sort of thing, and that could be good for world peace.

Consistency isn’t generally one of Trump’s strengths. Even at his Singapore press conference on Tuesday, he first said North Koreans’ human rights had been discussed only briefly at the summit and then contradicted himself, saying the discussion had taken place “at great length.” But Trump has been consistent about one thing: A meeting with anyone is “no big deal.” It’s not a royal honor to bestow and not a human rights prize to award. It doesn’t cost much even when the U.S. president is involved. It’s just a meeting.

Trump had no compunction about setting up a row of alternating U.S. and North Korean flags as the backdrop for the photo op, or about shaking Kim’s hand. The optics pointed to a meeting of equals, which is preposterous on any number of levels. To Trump, though, Kim appears to be a fellow celebrity, a “very talented person” and a “good negotiator.”

Very talented? Didn’t Kim inherit his country at 27 or 28 (his exact age is not known;........

© The Japan Times