Donald Trump, Summits and Cancellations

It was the sort of party you would be reluctant to turn up to, and its cancellation would have caused a sigh of relief. But when the US president replicates the feigned hurt of a guest who has been impugned, the puzzlement deepens.  A mix of crankiness and promise, Trump’s letter announcing the cancellation of the Singapore meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un was another etching on what is becoming an increasingly scrawled tablet of unpredictable manoeuvres. More importantly, it shows a sense that Kim is ahead of the game, cunning beyond capture, difficult to box.

It is instructive to see how blame was attributed in this latest act of diplomatic befuddlement.  Everything is, of course, saddled on the North Korean leader.  But the feeling that Trump has somehow been left out is unmistakable.  Whether it is the babble of the usual chicken hawks or not is hard to say, any peace treaty and durable arrangement on the Korean peninsula will and can never be attributed to the pioneering efforts of the North Korean regime.  Should they win this, the US will be left out to dry by yet another inscrutable power, outwitted and, even worse, seduced.

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.  Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the…

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