Learning With: ‘Trump’s Talks With Kim Jong-un Collapse, and Both Sides Point Fingers’

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Learning With: ‘Trump’s Talks With Kim Jong-un Collapse, and Both Sides Point Fingers’

2. What was or was not achieved at the summit? What did each side offer? What were the main sticking points during the negotiations?

3. Leaders and representatives from each country had different accounts of why the summit failed to achieve an agreement. How did their versions differ?

4. How is the abrupt end of the summit a setback for Mr. Trump, according to the article? How did Mr. Trump try to put a good face on the outcome?

6. What is the possible political impact for each country? Which do you believe is most significant?

7. How have leaders in other nations in the region reacted to the news? How might the summit affect relations between North and South Korea?

8. Jean H. Lee, a Korea expert at the Wilson Center, worries about the consequences of the summit:

Did these two leaders and their teams build up enough good will to keep the lines of communication open, or are we headed into another period of stalled negotiations — or worse, tensions — that would give the North Koreans more time and incentive to keep building their weapons program?

Which outcome do you think is more likely, and why?

Finally, tell us more about what you think:

— What’s your reaction to the summit and its abrupt end? What do you think the summit achieved? Do you think it will ease or increase tensions between the two countries? What are the prospects for lasting peace between the two nations?

In “Trump-Kim Summit’s Collapse Exposes the Risks of One-to-One Diplomacy,” David E. Sanger writes:

Three American presidents have tried cajoling, threatening and sabotaging North Korea’s efforts to build a nuclear arsenal. Eventually each turned to negotiations, convinced that an isolated, broken country would surely choose economic benefits for its starving populace over the bomb.

President Trump was the fourth to test that proposition, but with a twist: Engaging in the sort of direct talks that his predecessors shunned, the president traveled 8,000 miles for his second summit meeting in less than a year with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, betting that his self-described skills as a master negotiator would make all the difference.

As it turned out, it didn’t. The meeting in Vietnam ended in shambles on Thursday when Mr. Kim insisted on a full lifting of sanctions, according to Mr. Trump, and would not agree to dismantle enough of his nuclear program to satisfy American demands. (The North Koreans later said they had demanded only a partial lifting of sanctions.)

The split underscored the risk of leader-to-leader diplomacy: When it fails, there are few places to go, no higher-up to step in and cut a compromise that saves the deal.

Do you think Mr. Trump is pursuing the right diplomatic strategy? Or was it a mistake to engage in a face-to-face summit with Mr. Kim? Do you think Mr. Trump made the right choice to “walk away”? Why or why not?