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Trump Isn’t Bothering to Prepare for the North Korea Summit

The summit with North Korea is still scheduled to take place next month, but the president isn’t bothering to do much work to prepare for it [1]:

With just one month until a scheduled sit-down with North Korea’s leader, President Donald Trump hasn’t set aside much time to prepare for meeting with Kim Jong Un, a stark contrast to the approach of past presidents.

“He doesn’t think he needs to,” said a senior administration official familiar with the President’s preparation. Aides plan to squeeze in time for Trump to learn more about Kim’s psychology and strategize on ways to respond to offers Kim may make in person, but so far a detailed plan hasn’t been laid out for getting Trump ready for the summit.

There was never much time for the administration to prepare for the summit once the president agreed to it earlier this year, but it seems that what little time Trump has to get ready is being squandered because he can’t be bothered to do the work. Trump’s lack of interest in preparation doesn’t come as a surprise, but it is all the more alarming when we consider that he is probably one of the least informed, most inexperienced presidents ever to conduct high-level negotiations with a foreign leader. This is one more reason to worry that the summit will end up being a huge setback for a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

The fact that he will be meeting with Kim to discuss very significant and technically detailed subjects just makes his aversion to preparation that much more disturbing. Trump’s lack of understanding of the nuclear deal with Iran shows how susceptible he is to being influenced by bogus claims. The president’s ignorance and unpreparedness will make him an easy mark for both his hard-line advisers and the North Koreans. His failure to do the necessary work prior to the meeting makes it that much more likely that the summit will achieve nothing of value.

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8 Comments To "Trump Isn’t Bothering to Prepare for the North Korea Summit"

#1 Comment By KXB On May 16, 2018 @ 6:12 pm

He’s not preparing because he knows there are other preparing. It’s the story of his life. People prop him up and bail him out, because his failure would directly effect them.

#2 Comment By One Guy On May 16, 2018 @ 6:36 pm

It will be interesting to see Trump try to not pay North Korea, like his contractors, declare bankruptcy from NK, like his casinos, reach a settlement, like Trump University, make vows and break them, like Ivana and Marla, pay $130,000 to Thailand, mock Un’s accent like a disabled reporter, and offer to put his name on a North Korean hotel for cash.

#3 Comment By liberal On May 16, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

One Guy: LOL. A beautiful summary of a Trump.

#4 Comment By catbird On May 16, 2018 @ 9:14 pm

Actually I think KXB has an even more beautiful summary. Exactly.

#5 Comment By Whine Merchant On May 16, 2018 @ 10:50 pm

One Guy nailed it.

— but that’s the guy the deplorables voted into office. Say – where’s that wall??

#6 Comment By Uncle Billy On May 17, 2018 @ 7:51 am

Exactly what are Trump’s goals? Kim is not going to give up hid nukes (see Mummar Kadaffi), so will Trump accept some sort of freeze on North Korea’s nuclear program, whereby North Korea ceases development but retains what they curectlyhave? Who knows?

Trump is not a details guy, but the devil is in the details. His failure to prepare for this critical negotiation and have goals which could lead to a real compromise, acceptable to both parties shows how intellectually sloppy he is.

Bolton wants war, thus, thus will try to impose terms that he knows North Korea cannot accept. Trump is sabotaging his own summit.

Note to Bolton: nuclear war will be no “cakewalk.” Millions of Koreans and thousands of Americans will die. This simplistic buffoon wants war from the safety of Washington DC. Bolton should go to the DMZ with our guys in 2nd Infantry Div. then he can talk about war.

#7 Comment By HenionJD On May 17, 2018 @ 8:55 am

If the talks fail he’ll just blame Obama. It’s a tried and true strategy.


#8 Comment By b. On May 17, 2018 @ 12:15 pm

“He doesn’t think he needs to.”

What did the President know, and when did he know it?

Snark aside, Trump might be right. The “harsh exhortations” that North Korea is aiming at the Moon government are beyond simple push-and-pull. It is not clear what the North wants to achieve – “regime change” in South Korea? Is North Korea beating on Moon because they hope to turn this into a US-North Korea bilateral, improving their “standing”? Or scapegoating Moon for some transgression of the US the South failed to stop? It is not even clear whether this is the North acting on its own, or coordinating with China?

Something changed rather suddenly. But Trump is accidentally right it does not look like “he needs to.” Bully for him. Our much-maligned ally might not be as sanguine about our malignancy here.