Washington (June 14, 2018): United States President Donald Trump returned to Washington on Wednesday to piece together a new world reality, one he hopes will result in a nuclear-free North Korea and maybe one day a Nobel Peace Prize.
But as his estrangement from traditional US allies deepens and the outcomes of his summit with Kim Jong Un are disputed, an uncertain and challenging road is coming into clearer view.
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After spurning close US partners at the G7 summit in Canada over his sense that the US is being cheated on trade, Trump turned to touting his historic summit with Kim as an unmitigated success that will quickly lead to North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons — even though the regime offered no new concessions or verifiable commitments on paper.
Now, Trump’s work begins to ensure the new American outlook he’s projected onto the world endures. It’s one where bipartisan members of Congress are doubting the outcomes of his Singapore summit, while repudiating his rapprochement with Russia and his alienation of US allies. Meanwhile, the world awaits the concrete outcomes of the detailed US-North Korea negotiations that will decide whether Trump’s optimism was simply borne out of naivete.The President travels to Europe in a month to reckon with a fractured set of alliances, his decision to spurn loyal Western allies deepening the fissures in that longstanding partnership.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is bound for Seoul and Beijing this week to explain what, precisely, Trump’s summit with Kim achieved. Trump will likely do the same when he next travels abroad in July, to a NATO summit in Brussels and his long-delayed visit to the United Kingdom.“There’s never been anything like what’s taken place now,” the President proclaimed Tuesday as Pompeo and other top aides looked on adoringly. “I think he might want to do this as much or even more than me because they see a very bright future for North Korea.”
Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
As he touched down at Joint Base Andrews outside of Washington early Wednesday, Trump sought to amplify his achievements in a series of tweets.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” he wrote. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
“Before taking office people were assuming that we were going to War with North Korea,” he went on. “President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight!”