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Trump and Kim impersonators wander Hanoi ahead of the summit. Photo: Linh Pham/Getty Images

Expectations are fairly low heading into this week's Hanoi summit, including among Trump's team.

Between the lines: Suzanne DiMaggio, a Carnegie fellow who has facilitated dialogue with the North Koreans on behalf of both the Obama and Trump administrations, says she's optimistic that "the administration has adjusted to an approach that's in the realm of possibility."

Bruce Klingner, a former CIA Korea specialist now at The Heritage Foundation, says any breakthrough in Hanoi would have required substantial groundwork that doesn't seem to have been laid.

  • Klingner is worried about "how far the president is willing to go to get an agreement" that might consist primarily of promises Pyongyang has made to previous presidents.
  • Unlike in Singapore, there's no obvious stick to go along with the carrots. "We haven't heard talk of 'this may work out and if it doesn't we'll move to phase 2,'" he says. "We're not hearing that inherent threat."

DiMaggio says the rhetoric we have heard from Trump in advance of the summit — that there's "no rush" toward denuclearization and that Kim is a great leader — sends exactly the wrong message.

  • "That led the North Koreans to conclude they should only deal with Trump. The North Koreans like what he says, it's music to their ears. To an American diplomat, this is the worst-case scenario."
  • "One worry is that Trump will give away too much. That he'll get to the table, Kim will butter him up and he'll give away the store," she says, noting that the two will meet one-on-one.

What to watch: DiMaggio and Klingner both raised U.S. troop reductions in Asia as something that shouldn't be on the table, but might be.

Go deeper

Updated 48 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and planned to travel to another destination afterward when the gang abducted them in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro. Security forces placed six U.S. oil executives under house arrest later Saturday, per AP.