Will Trump’s visit to North Korea lead to a nuclear deal?

Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea this week. But will anything come of it?

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Trump: first US presidentto visit North Korea

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un © BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean state media have hailed President Donald Trump's "impromptu visit" to the country on Sunday as an "amazing event", reports the BBC. Trump, who became the first sitting US president to set foot in the country, travelled to South Korea following the G20 summit in Japan, and on Saturday tweeted a message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, suggesting a meeting at the border. Kim accepted.

As Trump "revelled" in his "historic" stroll, administration officials were "at odds" over what demands to make of Kim Jong-un as they prepared to restart negotiations on a nuclear deal, says Edward Wong in The New York Times. National security adviser, John Bolton, a "prominent hawk", "reacted angrily" to a report about the possibility of an incremental approach, which would initially just ask for a freeze on nuclear activity.

However, negotiations stalled after a failed February summit at which Trump insisted that Kim give up his entire nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump has given Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responsibility for restarting negotiations and officials are considering allowing "more robust humanitarian aid" or some "limited economic exchanges between the North and South" in return for a freeze on Kim's nuclear programme. Note, however, that South Korean president Moon Jae-in has been struggling to hold the North to its "most basic commitments" since his meeting with Kim in April 2018, says Andrew Jeong in The Wall Street Journal. This doesn't bode well for "loftier promises".

Trump's methods are "unorthodox", but since he remains "subject to the checks and balances of the US system", he is able to make "big gestures that might engineer a diplomatic breakthrough", says The Daily Telegraph. Sometimes, "force of personality and a willingness to take a risk pays off."

Recommended

The charts that matter: growth stocks continue their slide
Global Economy

The charts that matter: growth stocks continue their slide

As the US tech stocks and the dollar fell further this week, here’s what happened to the charts that matter most to the global economy.
15 Jan 2022
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Bitcoin’s new year is off to a bad start – what does the rest of 2022 hold?
Bitcoin & crypto

Bitcoin’s new year is off to a bad start – what does the rest of 2022 hold?

Bitcoin has had its worst-ever start to a year. But it remains the “future of money”, says Dominic Frisby. Here, he looks at what might come next for …
12 Jan 2022
The charts that matter: markets start the year with a crash
Global Economy

The charts that matter: markets start the year with a crash

As markets start 2022 with a big selloff, here’s what happened to the charts that matter most to the global economy.
8 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022
Stockmarkets

Five unexpected events that could shock the markets in 2022

Forget Covid-19 – it’s the unexpected twists that will rattle markets in 2022, says Matthew Lynn. Here are five possibilities
31 Dec 2021
US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?
Inflation

US inflation is at its highest since 1982. Why aren’t markets panicking?

US inflation is at 7% – the last time it was this high interest rates were at 14%. But instead of panicking, markets just shrugged. John Stepek explai…
13 Jan 2022
Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise
Tech stocks

Tech stocks teeter as US Treasury bond yields rise

The realisation that central banks are about to tighten their monetary policies caused a sell-off in the tech-heavy Nasdaq stock index and the biggest…
14 Jan 2022