With much of the media increasingly turning against the North Korea diplomatic process, President Trump took to Twitter to defend himself from claims he’d made too many concessions. Trump singled out “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
Todd had claimed Trump had given Kim a “huge gift” by agreeing to a future summit. Trump shot back that the claim was “fake news,” and that the US hadn’t actually given up anything to North Korea, while getting growing agreements from North Korea. Trump cited North Korea’s openness to denuclearization, and pledged closure of their lone nuclear test site.
This reflects stark differences in US thinking past and present on North Korea. Previous administrations shunned the North Koreans, arguing that they didn’t deserve to be talked with. President Trump, however, has seen North Korea’s diplomatic overtures as a relatively risk-free way to get to the table and try to hammer out big deals.
President Trump likely was well aware this backlash was coming, as he always couches his upcoming North Korea talks as speculative, and suggests the US might withdraw from them if things don’t go their way. Even the suggestion that diplomacy is possible, however, seems to be controversial, and something Trump has to publicly defend.