“I’m elated and horrified at the same time,” said Jim Walsh, a senior research associate at the MIT Security Studies Program and a board member of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “Elated because the parties are talking; horrified by the prospect of the two most unusual leaders in the world together in a room—what could possibly go wrong?”
Since there is no acceptable way to force Kim Jung Un into dropping his pursuit of a nuclear ICBM, talks are the least of our bad options. It moves us one step back from a shooting war. As I wrote in The Atlantic last summer, like it or not, acceptance, containment, and negotiation is the only sensible way to proceed.
So, why not have Trump and Kim meet? Direct talks between America’s and North Korea’s heads of state have never been tried, and nothing else has worked. A summit might be a good idea because it is unprecedented.