The North Korea summit: A welcome failure

Donald Trump walked away from talks with North Korea, the best possible outcome given that he never should have walked into the talks to begin with.

In the unlikely event that North Korea wanted to give up its nuclear program, it could have demonstrated its commitment over time in low-level talks building toward an agreement. Instead, President Trump took the high-wire route of two direct meetings with Kim Jong-un, giving the North Korea dictator, if nothing else, an incalculable propaganda coup by enhancing his international standing.

Worse, Trump couldn’t help but make boosterish comments about the Supreme Leader, who enslaves and immiserates his people. In Hanoi, he even professed to take seriously Kim Jong-un’s denial that he had anything to do with Otto Warmbier’s murder, as if rogue security services are kidnapping and torturing Americans on their own initiative in the most tightly controlled society on Earth.

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