Stories by Ariel E. Levite

Expert Voices

Hanoi summit reflects shortcomings of Trump's personalized diplomacy

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their second summit meeting, on Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/Handout via Getty Images

The meeting in Hanoi between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended abruptly on Thursday without any breakthrough on denuclearization, the issue of utmost concern to the U.S. and its regional allies.

The big picture: For Trump, the error of relying on the power of his personal charm and negotiating skills over the counsel of intelligence and diplomatic experts was laid bare. Ultimately, effusive praise and promises of a brighter future could not shake Kim’s strategic conviction that nuclear weapons are key to his regime's survival.