What Trump can learn from Madeleine Albright about North Korea talks

My most vivid memory of the trip was during a routine grip and grin for Albright. She visited a school for students, something she did on many of her trips. At the event the children sang a song for their distinguished guest. My minder translated the lyrics to mean roughly that the children hoped to grow up and fight against the wicked imperialists who threaten their happy land.

There is an argument that says Albright’s visit in the end was worth it. Even if there was a slim chance North Korea would agree to more limits on nuclear weapons, a confident world power like America could absorb some of the humiliation that attended Albright’s flattering of a monster. Why not take every chance to make the world safer?

That however misses a broader point. Eighteen years later, we don’t remember Albright for her failed trip to Pyongyang. Her legacy was made in her tough fight with cautious European leaders to help drive Serbia’s dictator, Slobodon Milosevic, from power. In the end Milosevic fell because Serbian citizens would not allow him to steal the 2000 election that U.S. pressure in part forced him to hold. But Albright’s tough diplomacy, her pressing for a war-crimes tribunal against Milosevic while he was still in power, helped set the stage for his exit.