Un­der­mine North Korea ne­go­ti­a­tions

The New Zealand Herald - - World - The Art of the Deal, — Wash­ing­ton Post

and now has re­leased th­ese three pris­on­ers. And those are signs of good faith, and we hope to build on that.”

Crit­ics said Trump, en­am­oured with his own hand­i­work, has fo­cused too heav­ily on shap­ing the pub­lic nar­ra­tive ahead of the sum­mit and try­ing to set the stage for a po­lit­i­cal vic­tory. Al­ways mind­ful of how his ac­tions are play­ing on tele­vi­sion, the Pres­i­dent boasted on the tar­mac at An­drews last week that the cable net­works live-broad­cast­ing the re­turn of the Amer­i­can pris­on­ers would set all-time view­er­ship records.

“Pres­i­dent Trump has forged a new cat­e­gory of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions that I would call diplotain­ment, and the Sin­ga­pore meet­ing is go­ing to demon­strate diplotain­ment at its pin­na­cle,” said Daniel Rus­sel, who served as se­nior Asia di­rec­tor at the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. “Imag­ine the size the crowd is go­ing to be in Sin­ga­pore — it’s go­ing to be huge. But those are very dif­fer­ent de­liv­er­ables than, say, the com­plete, ver­i­fi­able, ir­re­versible de­nu­cle­ari­sa­tion of the Korean Penin­sula.”

All ad­min­is­tra­tions have em­ployed el­e­ments of stage­craft to ad­vance a pres­i­dent’s for­eign pol­icy agenda. But few have embraced the role with as much gusto as Trump.

Yet as Trump has shifted into sum­mit mode, he has ap­peared in­fat­u­ated by the prospects of a his­toric deal, with sup­port­ers al­ready talk­ing about a po­ten­tial No­bel Peace Prize.

Af­ter see­ing im­ages of Kim and Moon, dur­ing their sum­mit, tak­ing turns step­ping across the bor­der at the 38th par­al­lel, Trump ru­mi­nated that the de­mil­i­tarised zone might be a good site for his own meet­ing with Kim.

“If things work out, there’s a great cel­e­bra­tion to be had, on the site,” he said.

But ex­perts noted that the Pan­munjon Dec­la­ra­tion signed by the two Korean lead­ers did not con­tain sig­nif­i­cant new break­throughs and ap­peared to be a more sym­bolic bid by Moon to im­prove re­la­tions and cre­ate the op­tics of suc­cess for Trump.

Trump’s fo­cus is “very much get­ting the pub­lic in­volved and in­vested in what’s go­ing on. That’s the way you shape the nar­ra­tive”, said Pak, the Brook­ings an­a­lyst. “Moon is do­ing some­thing sim­i­lar. By tele­vis­ing the sum­mit, tele­vis­ing the meet­ings, he’s cre­at­ing an in­ti­macy be­tween the viewer and the ob­ject.” The up­shot, she said, is a win for Kim — hu­man­is­ing him and help­ing him shed a la­bel as “the crea­ture from Py­ongyang”.

Yet Py­ongyang’s threat to can­cel the sum­mit was a re­minder that Trump is fac­ing an un­pre­dictable and wily ne­go­ti­at­ing part­ner, one prone to sim­i­lar pub­lic out­bursts and bouts of show­man­ship.

Bruce Klingner, a for­mer US in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst who now works at the Her­itage Foun­da­tion, said that in en­vi­sion­ing po­ten­tial out­comes for the sum­mit, he be­lieves it is likely that Trump will take a page from his book,

in which the real es­tate de­vel­oper touted the virtues of “truth­ful hy­per­bole”. No mat­ter what Trump agrees to with Kim, re­gard­less of the de­tails, Klingner said, the Pres­i­dent will de­clare it “the best deal in the world”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.