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(((James Acton))) @james_acton32
, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
To assess the Trump-Kim summit, examine what’s happened since Tuesday... worryingly, it provides more evidence for the “farce” interpretation of events. (1/10)
The most generous interpretation of the summit is that it was a good start, but much hard work lies ahead—making Trump’s declaration of victory both premature and worrying. (2/10)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in denial—quite literally—about the contents of the Trump-Kim joint statement. (3/10)
Moreover, Pompeo stated that the U.S. and DPRK reached other understandings, but “we couldn’t reduce them to writing.” This shouldn’t be reassuring; it’s worrying. If it’s not in writing, it’s not real... (4/10)…
...For example, the Obama administration, as part of the 2012 ”Leap Day Deal,” thought it had an unwritten understanding with DPRK that a moratorium on missile tests included space launches. You’ll never guess what happened next. (5/10)
Both South Korea and the Pentagon were caught off guard by Trump’s suspending “provocative” U.S.-ROK war games—suggesting that he only decided to take this step on Tuesday. Again not reassuring. (6/10)…
Finally, and probably most importantly, North Korea and the United States are interpreting their agreement differently. The United States is sticking to its formula of no sanctions relief until denuclearization... (7/10)
...Meanwhile, North Korea’s language implies it expects phased sanctions relief and other (probably security-related concessions) from the U.S. in parallel with denuclearization steps. (8/10)…
So why does this matter? Because, as I argue in @HuffPost, if Trump’s expectations are dashed war becomes more likely. (9/10)…
So, in answer to @NateSilver538: Yes, the status quo ante sucked. Absolutely, this is better—but it looks unlikely to be sustainable and the future may be worse than the past. (10/10)
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