Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell spoke with The Guardian about the abrupt ending to the Hanoi Summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un.
Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for North Korea, who had taken part in preparatory talks with North Korean officials, was sidelined at the summit, his place at the table taken by the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who has minimal foreign policy experience.
Biegun’s marginalisation was “incredibly striking”, said Alexandra Bell, a former State Department arms control official.
“The president has repeatedly signalled through word and deed that he doesn’t really trust Biegun to lead this process,” said Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. She recalled Trump’s lack of concern about extensive vacancies at the State Department, claiming: “I’m the only one who matters.”
“That may be the case to the president, but it means no one can work ably on his behalf,” she added. “Based on his remarks at the press conference, he seemed to intimate that he thought we could secure a grand bargain and declare victory. That’s not how any of this works.” Read more