To the editor: While I am reluctant to throw cold water on the joint statement signed by President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, I do not believe the act of meeting with someone like Kim and looking him in the eye makes him reliable.
Remember, George W. Bush famously declared after a meeting that Russian President Vladimir Putin was a person he could trust. Certainly, past experiences should be a guide for the present.
What we do know is that Kim will remain in power atop a brutal dictatorship that has no regard for the free world’s opinion of him. Trump and the U.S., meanwhile, have abandoned joint military exercises with South Korea, dismaying that nation. Kim has provided only vague promises without anything to back them up and, in return, was able to meet the leader of the free world.
Only time will tell if it has been worthwhile.
Nelson Marans, New York
To the editor: What if it had been Barack Obama who had traveled to Singapore to meet with the dictator of North Korea, halted the annual joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises (describing them as provocative war games), and arrived back in Washington saying, “There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea”?
Would the conservative media have been as uncritical as they have been of Trump?
Jerry Bazar, Los Angeles
To the editor: According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the written word doesn’t mean anything anymore.
He stated that the pre-summit preparations produced many “understandings” that negotiating teams “couldn’t reduce to writing.” Since when aren’t terms put in writing? What is so difficult to “understand”?
Apparently we’re also just to believe what Kim and Trump say about what happened during their summit, because there were no other staff present during their meeting. Transparency is dead.
Wendy Prober-Cohen, Tarzana
To the editor: One can only imagine how bizarre it might be doing a real estate transaction with Pompeo.
You get the contract and it says only, “He agrees to sell and you agree to buy.” You ask the agent about the details, and you are told, “Well, everyone knows what they are.” Would you sign that contract?
If, in fact, everyone is assured about the details of the complete denuclearization agreement, why aren’t they in black and white?
Bill Elmelund, Los Angeles