Trump therefore joins a long list of presidents who tried and failed to cut a deal to get rid of North Korean nuclear weapons — but the first one who met face to face with the leader of the outlaw regime, lending it a measure of legitimacy. Trump at one point mused that he and Kim “fell in love,” and he showered praise on a dictator who is said by human rights groups to keep tens of thousands of political prisoners in vast gulags.
Trump made a series of other concessions, including the unilateral cancellation of joint U.S. and South Korean missile exercises. He got very little in return.
“In terms of the so-called goals of the summit, we made no progress in any of those things,” said Victor Cha, a former White House adviser to President George W. Bush and now senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an NBC News contributor. “And this was arguably the one piece of diplomacy into which Trump put all of his personal capital.”