Readers React: Trump and Kim Jong Un crave short-term personal victories, not lasting peace

Donald Trump, Kim Yong Chol, Kim Song Hye
President Trump at the White House on June 1 with former North Korean military intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, left, and Kim Song Hye, head of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.
(Andrew Harnik / AP)

To the editor: President Trump’s and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s on-again, off-again plodding toward a nuclear summit provides little cause for optimism.

Jonathan Pollack, an eminent Asia scholar, tells why we’re witnessing such awkward diplomatic endeavors: Kim wants “to buy time, stave off any military attack and revel in the international spotlight,” while Trump wants a quick, flashy win that may help the Republican Party in upcoming midterm elections.

So what might we expect from two image-obsessed narcissists bent on manipulating one another? At best, a small, tentative step toward a lasting peace — part of a larger process that likely will take years, if not decades, to bear real fruit.

David Schaffer, Santa Monica



To the editor: Kim has no intention of fully denuclearizing North Korea since he’s completely paranoid that the south, aided by the United States, will invade. In all dictatorial regimes, paranoia is the constant.

North Korea has likely run out of money and the only way to get it is by having sanctions lifted, even if partially. Trump’s motive is his delusional vision of winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

It really is as simple as that.


Michele Castagnetti, Venice

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