Trump Makes Major Concession at Summit with North Korea; Gets Nothing in Return

Last night (in the States), Donald Trump met with Kim Jong Un and pronounced that their summit would be "tremendously successful." Well, instead it was a pointless pantomime, in which the two dictators signed a document that Trump described as "very comprehensive," but which in actuality "provided almost no particulars on how to make the denuclearization process complete, verifiable, or irreversible — long-stated U.S. goals."
In many ways, the language echoed an agreement signed between North and South Korea in April. It didn't codify Pyongyang's unilateral moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, or contain any reference to sanctions relief. It made a general pledge to a security guarantee for North Korea but didn't offer any specifics or make any mention of the status of U.S. military forces in South Korea.
Later, however, Trump said that the U.S. would suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, calling them "very provocative," and said he eventually wants to withdraw U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula altogether, which is a major concession to Kim.

Kim, one of whose central goals was legitimization on the world stage, also achieved that objective, with Trump gushing that they would "meet again...many times," announcing to reporters that he would invite Kim to the White House, and showering Kim with compliments: "We had a terrific day, and we learned a lot about each other and about our countries. I learned he's a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much."

So, in sum:

The United States (and the rest of the global community) got nothing new or concrete from Kim Jong Un, besides a vague commitment to denuclearization identical to those he's made before.

North Korea got the legitimacy Kim desperately sought, didn't have to make any major concessions, and got a huge concession from Trump on the United States' military position in South Korea.

South Korea got screwed.

Art of the deal. The most tremendous dealmaker. The best deals.

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