What a difference a week makes when it comes to diplomacy with North Korea.
Earlier this month, one year after the dramatic Singapore Summit of June 2018, nuclear negotiations with North Korea appeared stuck in a standstill. Pyongyang was giving friends and foes the cold shoulder as leader Kim Jong Un remained in retreat following his failed second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi in late February.
Then, in the span of just a few heady days from 20 June to 22 June, Kim not only hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in a state visit that granted the young North Korean leader tremendous legitimacy but also revealed the exchange of another set of “love letters” with Trump.
In a flash, we went from fears of provocation to the first movement on the moribund nuclear negotiations with North Korea in months. With Trump heading to Asia for the G20 summit and high-level meetings with Xi, Japan’s Shinzo Abe and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, we’re likely to hear calls for a third Trump-Kim summit as regional leaders seek to build momentum for renewed talks with North Korea.
And despite the head-spinning speed of developments, none of this comes as a surprise. Here’s why.Read More