A much-touted two-day summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un failed to reach the finish line Thursday, as talks collapsed and Trump returned to Washington, DC. It’s unclear exactly what unraveled the process; Trump says Kim asked for the lifting of all economic sanctions in exchange for closing the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Complex, while North Korea reportedly says it had asked for relief on some, but not all. But throwing around blame for Hanoi misses the point: The summit was a mistake to begin with.
That’s not to say the US and North Korea shouldn’t pursue negotiations over the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear disposition. They absolutely should, and will continue to, per Trump’s departing remarks. “Chairman Kim and myself, we want to do the right deal,” Trump said. “Speed is not important.” But within that otherwise upbeat assessment lies the main [...]