This Week in the World Affairs Brief


North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was a no-show at his planned meeting last week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In fact, so was the entire NK negotiating team, which never even proffered an excuse for this diplomatic slap in the face to Trump’s top envoy. In reality, it appears that Kim wanted Pompeo—and Trump—to lose face. This kind of tactic would severely damage any negotiations with another oriental culture, if not provoke them into an attack. Trump, however, has already demonstrated his lack of negotiating ability in this arena when he gave Kim the benefit of a personal meeting in front of the world’s cameras in Singapore and signed an agreement utterly lacking in specifics with no timeline and no accountability for failure to comply. It was public knowledge that Pompeo was heading to this meeting to tighten up that agreement with a list of demands that needed to be met in the next year. NK’s refusal to show up to the meeting clearly show they don’t want to be pushed into substantive actions, but they also don’t want to be forced into saying so openly. This is the epitome of stalling for time, and it should send a strong warning to Trump that NK isn’t at all interested in denuclearization. Sadly, Trump’s upbeat response shows he is all too willing to let them get away with it. To receive a one-time free sample copy of the brief, email us at editor at

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