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Showing off at the summit

13 0 14
14.06.2018
By Donald Kirk

SINGAPORE ― Style triumphed over substance in a summit of imagery and optics that left you wondering, why did they bother?

President Trump sought to justify the whole performance as an exercise that was "as good for the U.S. as for North Korea," but the joint statement that he and Kim Jong-un signed for all the world to see on TV contained no real promises or commitments, no guarantees, nothing that much changed the state of play between the two Koreas.

If Trump during his presidential campaign said that he would like to sit down with Kim for a hamburger, he and Kim appeared instead to have shared a nothing-burger. There was really nothing in the statement on which to chew, to digest, to savor, that would change the dynamics on the Korean peninsula for the better.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the statement was what it did not say. It neglected to mention CVID, complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization, the term the Americans have been using for years to say what North Korea must do about its nuclear program. That omission in itself represented a triumph for Kim, who........

© The Korea Times