Promises, Nuclear Promises

   < < Go Back
from The Wall Street Journal,

Trump says he can tell Kim has changed, but the evidence is scant.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un both received what they most wanted from their one-day summit in Singapore on Tuesday: Images of the two men shaking hands, talking across the table and getting along famously. Whether this photo-op summitry achieved anything beyond the bonhomie is a lot less clear.

In Mr. Trump’s telling, his willingness to engage in personal diplomacy has persuaded the young Kim to abandon the nuclear-weapons program that he and his forbears have spent decades building. Mr. Trump gave Kim the legitimacy of equal billing on the world stage, but the risk was worth the gamble and has paid off in an historic change of heart.

“Chairman Kim and I just signed a joint statement in which he reaffirmed his ‘unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’” Mr. Trump told the press after the summit. “We also agreed to vigorous negotiations to implement the agreement as soon as possible. And he [Kim] wants to do that. This isn’t the past. This isn’t another administration that never got it started and therefore never got it done.”

In this telling, the two leaders have mapped out a non-nuclear future, Mr. Kim has agreed to a radical change in policy, and all that’s left is for the two sides to work out the details. Peace is at hand.

Yet everything hangs on those details, not on the promises, which North Korea has made and reneged on many times.

More From The Wall Street Journal (subscription required):