Patience: North Korean talks are a marathon
During this era in which instant gratification seems realistic to all too many people, President Donald Trump’s administration is doomed to disappoint them tomorrow.
Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will meet in Singapore to discuss Pyongyang’s weaponization campaign, which includes both nuclear devices and long-range missiles.
High hopes have been raised that Kim will agree to “denuclearization.” At some point, that is possible. It will not happen instantly, however.
As knowledgeable analysts have pointed out, Kim sees a powerful arsenal as the only thing keeping him in power. He will not give it up, at least not right now.
Trump and his advisors understand that. He recognizes the best he can do tomorrow is to convince Kim to begin backing away from militarism. That may involve small, nearly imperceptible, steps at first.
“It’s an interesting journey. It’s called the land of the unknown — who knows? We’ll maybe make a deal. Maybe not,” Trump said during a private meeting last week, according to a recording obtained by The Washington Post.
Even that small steps toward a deal will be real progress, Americans must remember. If the United States can obtain a verifiable agreement to at least limit North Korea’s buildup, it will be a genuine breakthrough.