Speaking this weekend at a rally in Pennsylvania, President Trump talked up his high hopes for the upcoming direct talks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, saying that “I may sit down and make the greatest deal for the world.”
Trump credited his own threats against North Korea as having led to the talks, saying that everybody expected a war, but that instead North Korea is willing to denuclearize. He added that he’s the only president who could’ve accomplished this, adding “Obama couldn’t have done it.”
That aside, Trump gave all the appearance of extreme optimism about the talks, saying that not only is he confident North Korea won’t fire any test missiles during the talks, but “I think they want to make peace.”
That statement alone shows just how big the administration’s shift in perspective on talks has been. Just months ago, it would be a shock for any top US official to suggest talks were realistic, and administration officials were resigning because they thought North Korea talks weren’t being given a fair chance.
And while President Trump was in a position to derail talks, he’s also in a position to make a deal happen, and his own faith in himself as a negotiator, combined with his newfound faith that a deal is achievable, is a huge perk previous diplomatic overtures with North Korea never had.