'Huge letdown' due to lack of knowledge - experts on Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi

'Huge letdown' due to lack of knowledge - experts on Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi
Donald Trump has little understanding of real geopolitics, experts say on the failed summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Yet, the disappointment in Vietnam talks is more likely to be a stop, but not the end of negotiations.

“The whole world was holding its breath for the expected news coming out of the summit… and, eventually, there's a huge letdown,” Victor Gao, director of the China National Association of International Studies, said on the meeting between the American and North Korean leaders in the Vietnamese capital.

“The disappointment is a real one" after the much-hyped talks ended not only without a signed deal, but even without any hint on the date of the future meeting between Trump and Kim, he added.

The sides aren't on the same page as to what exactly is denuclearization and how to proceed to the final result.

Washington and Pyongyang “need to reconsider the situation and come up with more realism and pragmatism to resume the discussions” if they want to achieve any progress at all, he pointed out.

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“Everybody in the world would love to have a peace agreement between the two Koreas, achieving denuclearization, the lifting of sanctions and a better relationship, but this has been lost at this meeting,” said Jan Oberg, the director of Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research.

Gao didn't rule out the possibility of new meetings between Trump and Kim but said that there's no guarantee that they won't end up like the one Thursday.

Trump is wrong to believe that the Korean issue “is an easy piece of cake because the US is formidably stronger than North Korea and that he can, kind of, bully or trick Pyongyang,” Oberg said suggesting “it's the US that has to offer something first because it has all the cards in its hands.”

The US leader said Kim couldn't offer enough concessions for the full lifting of the US sanctions on Pyongyang while North Korea’s foreign minister said that a “partial” lifting of sanctions would have been good.

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The US and North Korea are unlikely to achieve peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula on their own as "it would require [the participation of] many more countries… countries like China and Russia that are very crucially important," Gao said.

The current negotiation process between Washington and Pyongyang “is not a way to make peace. It’s something you plan. It's something you negotiate. It's something that you involve the UN in,” Oberg stressed.

Brian Becker from the anti-war ANSWER Coalition believes the absence of an “instantaneous" deal between Trump and Kim is not “catastrophe.”

“I don't think this means the process has ended,” he said, reminding that “arms deals between the US and Soviet Union took literally years and years before the first agreements were made.”

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“Trump seems to be very eager to become a solo hero on the global stage... So, let's give him some more chances. Let him try again, for example, for another summit or two. And hopefully, reality will dawn on him that this is not the so-called 'art of negotiation'; this is not a personality issue – this is real hardcore geopolitics,” Gao said.

Trump didn't rule out another meeting.

Peace on the Korean Peninsula is still a lot closer now that it was two years ago and “if both sides show willingness and determination it certainly can happen,” Becker assured.

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