In Vietnam this week, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet for the second time. Not much has changed since they met last June in Singapore, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing for either party.
North Korea is no closer to denuclearization. If anything, it has gone in the other direction, continuing enrichment and amassing around 60 weapons, per U.S. estimates. But with its freeze on long-range missile testing still holding, the North is also no closer to having the ability to reliably strike the U.S. mainland. The U.S. hasn’t even had to sacrifice its regional military installations to achieve this; the North is still suffocating under international sanctions, posing a stiff challenge to Kim’s plans to secure his rule from internal threats by undertaking a complicated pivot to economic development. And the U.S. still has the ability to bring a swift end to the Kim regime, should Washington ever deem it worth the cost. Yet, major joint U.
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