NEW YORK – Upon taking office in January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump intensified America’s efforts to isolate North Korea. And at first, his administration’s diplomatic and pressure campaign seemed to show real progress, particularly in Africa, where North Korea maintains economic and military ties with more than two dozen countries.
But that progress was suddenly reversed last year, when Trump prematurely declared victory in the aftermath of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore. On Wednesday and Thursday, Trump will hold his second summit with Kim. If he repeats the same mistake, his own administration’s efforts to isolate North Korea will take another beating and Kim will have even less reason to end his weapons program.