Op-ed: Trump’s gamble with Kim yet to yield results

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell wrote an op-ed in the East Asia Forum about progress in North Korean nuclear negotiations one year after the first summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.

‘Fortune favours the bold’, ‘no guts, no glory’, and ‘go big or go home’. All these cliches were likely going through US President Donald Trump’s head as he threw caution into the wind and broke a decades-old red line against direct meetings with North Korean leaders. Being ‘the first’ or ‘the only’ US leader to do something appeals to the President, but whether that should dictate major national security policy is another matter.

Concerns about what motivated the decision aside, by deciding to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the President changed the game, perhaps even clearing the path for progress. At the time, the President’s supporters were effusive in their praise for the daring move. Indeed, 18 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to the Chair of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee asserting that Trump should receive the honour if his efforts prove successful.

It has now been a year since the Singapore Summit and the once resounding calls for Nobel consideration have faded. The White House has accomplished very little — not even a small interim step like the previous administration’s Leap Day Agreement of 2012. Read more