"Diplotainment": Critics fear Trump’s style eclipses substance on North Korea

In the social media era, Trump’s public showmanship is “creating a huge buzz where everyone wants to know what’s going on and what comes next,” said Jung Pak, a former CIA official who is now an Asia analyst at the Brookings Institution. “It’s a very dramatic way of conducting foreign policy and national security. But it creates a thin veneer of understanding. It’s mostly about symbolism.”…

Critics said Trump, enamored with his own handiwork, has focused too heavily on shaping the public narrative ahead of the summit and trying to set the stage for a political victory. Always mindful of how his actions are playing on television, the president boasted on the tarmac at Andrews last week that the cable networks live-broadcasting the return of the American prisoners would set viewership records.

“President Trump has forged a new category of international relations that I would call ‘diplotainment,’ and the Singapore meeting is going to demonstrate diplotainment at its pinnacle,” said Daniel Russel, who served as senior Asia director at the National Security Council under President Barack Obama. “Imagine the size the crowd is going to be in Singapore — it’s going to be ‘huge.’ But those are very different deliverables than, say, the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”