On Thursday, President Trump tweeted to thank North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for his “unwavering faith,” promising that the two leaders would “get it done together.” This came after Wednesday’s reports that Kim, despite frustration at the diplomatic process, remains confident in Trump’s ability to progress things personally.
Trump and Kim are giving the appearance of remaining aligned personally, despite recent suggestions that the two nations are not really on the same page. President Trump had recently cancelled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned visit to North Korea over a perceived lack of progress on denuclearization. At the same time, North Korea’s efforts to negotiate a peace treaty are making little progress in the face of US opposition.
Doubling down on Kim’s expression of confidence, he has subsequently said that he has never once criticized President Trump personally on any issue. This is unlikely given the hostility between the US and North Korea in 2017, but indicative of how much this has become a direct exchange between the two leaders.
It also, then, makes Trump’s decision to scrap Pompeo’s visit as not necessarily nearly as serious a matter as it might other be seen. Pompeo’s involvement has rarely produced major direct positives for the process, and indeed North Korea’s state media has been irked by Pompeo and other administration officials, viewing them as trying to sabotage Trump’s efforts and calling on Trump to make “bold” moves unilaterally.
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