September 28, 2020

Stop Calling the Donald Trump-Kim Jong-un Relationship a Bromance

Whatever it was, it appears to be over.

In late 2017, as President Donald Trump has himself admitted, the United States and North Korea came very close to fighting a war. But then, against all odds, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un became pen pals. Just months later, the two leaders were exchanging flowery prose in anticipation of their historic face to face meeting in Singapore. Even some skeptics were beginning to question whether or not the complete 180-degree pivot from the brink of war to a summit signaled that Trump could finally be the president who would make a breakthrough with North Korea.

It appears the faux bromance is finally over.

Arguments against legitimizing a cruel despot aside, the Singapore summit went relatively well—The United States managed not to give anything away without demonstrable steps by Pyongyang and the two sides appeared to build goodwill that would set the groundwork for future negotiations. And so, the letters continued, leading many to call the correspondence evidence of a budding “bromance.” Trump had clearly bought into the idea, going so far as to joke that he and Kim—a man responsible for the death of his brother, uncle, at least one American, and an inestimable number of Koreans—had fallen in love.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

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