By George Friedman
The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un shocked the world, but in hindsight maybe it shouldn’t have. First, Trump has said on several occasions that he would be willing to meet with Kim, and numerous lower-level meetings took place in the months prior to this announcement. Second, and more important, the logic of what has happened since the situation reached crisis levels in early 2017 makes such a meeting a reasonable next step.
The U.S. had contemplated military action to destroy the North Korean nuclear capability several times over the years, but when it became clear and public in early 2017 that the North was close to posing a direct nuclear threat to the United States, the impulse was nearly overwhelming. The challenges of such an assault were evident. Locating all the nuclear facilities would be difficult, and the U.S. couldn’t be certain of their complete destruction from the air. What’s more, the N