Last week, U.S. President Trump and North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un abruptly ended talks in Hanoi, with President Trump walking way from the negotiation table. “It’s better to walk away than to sign a bad deal,” said republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Many of Trump’s senior national security officials had advised him to walk away from the talks, should they prove unproductive.
The Trump administration and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have conflicting stories coming out of the talks. However, North Korea only offering partial denuclearization in exchange for the blanket removal of US sanctions placed upon the DPRK was the deciding factor causing Trump to walk away.
While this may not be the best outcome, this is neither a failure nor a loss. Breaking off negotiations is a normal tactic in the process. It shows the other side that you have reached the limit of what is possible at a given time. Stakes for reaching an agreement may be higher now, but the door for re-entry remains open.
Whatever the next steps, it will take a lot of creative diplomacy to achieve even the smallest steps in the denuclearization of North Korea.