Trump: ‘I’ve been preparing all my life’ for North Korea summit

Senior Policy Director Alexandra Bell spoke with Circa about the forthcoming Trump-Kim summit.

“Language around nuclear weapons negotiations can be very specific and you don’t want to lock yourself into any commitments or statements inadvertently,” said Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “That’s why previous presidents and diplomats prepared very carefully for meetings such as these.”

Bell, who previously worked on arms control issues at the State Department, stressed that this meeting is unlike the business deals Trump has negotiated in the past, and the consequences of the summit going badly could be disastrous. Typically, a president would work closely with advisers to understand the technical issues involved and drill down on exactly what his position is.

“The normal process is to have those briefings, to have sort a ‘murder-board’ type approach, to present the possibly frenetic pace of the conversation, making sure we don’t get tripped up on talking points,” she said.

“Neither side is going to be able to get everything they want, but both sides should have in mind where they’re comfortable giving something,” Bell said.

“We should definitely not declare victory from having a good optics moment,” Bell said. “That’s the sort of thing that sets people up for disappointment, puts unrealistic expectation of what diplomacy can accomplish and how fast it can accomplish it.” Read more