At the core of President Trump’s foreign policy is a belief that he can use his personal charisma to charm his way to world peace.
The collapse Thursday of the planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shows the limits of Trump’s me-first approach to diplomacy.
Trump’s letter to Kim canceling the meeting on North Korea’s nuclear program neatly summed up his view. In it, the president described the “wonderful dialogue” that he believed had been developing with Kim.
“Ultimately that dialogue is all that matters,” Trump wrote.
But the backtracking, insults and miscommunications of the last week demonstrate that there was far more in play than just the chemistry between two leaders. In the end, what killed the summit was the rushed nature of the negotiations, the lack of message discipline by senior Trump officials and the absence of the meticulous planning that typically leads to diplomatic breakthroughs.
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