WASHINGTON – We are in the eye of the storm of U.S.-North Korea relations. Stakeholders are still assessing the Hanoi summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and all parties seem to be in a state of uneasy equilibrium.
North Korea adopted a typically minimalist posture in Hanoi. The North offered a terrible, one-sided deal in return for totally disproportionate moves by the United States to gut United Nations sanctions. Trump wisely decided to walk out. In the run-up to the summit, the North Koreans kept U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Steve Biegun at arm’s length, apparently believing they could hold out for a better deal from Trump. They showed up in Hanoi devoid of technical experts or fresh ideas.