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Trump is uniquely unsuited to negotiate with North Korea's Kim Jong Un

Trump is uniquely unsuited to negotiate with North Korea's Kim Jong Un
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet at their first summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Many presidents have tried but failed to eliminate the nuclear threat posed by North Korea. Time has proved just how difficult that undertaking has been.

Now, we have a president who is by many accounts not prepared, who is reported not to read intelligence briefings, and who thinks that his personal charm will carry the day.

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A summit like the meeting in Vietnam on Wednesday between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is appropriate when it is not a media event and only when the groundwork for a successful outcome has been laid by the professionals who work for the president. This does not appear to be the case now, and we should not have to take Trump’s word for it that his wonderful relationship with Kim can substitute for a written agreement with guidelines for verification.

I believe Kim will be prepared for the meeting; I question whether Trump will. I hope I am wrong.

Maurice Garcia, Newbury Park

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To the editor: People who deride Trump for respectfully engaging with and even flattering Kim are misguided.

Our leaders must set clear and appropriate strategic goals and then use creative tactics to achieve them. As we get closer to the Hanoi summit, I have repeatedly heard and read about the horror of Trump shaking the hand of such an evil man.

Prior presidents have shared the goals of reducing the potential for nuclear war and addressing the humanitarian crisis that is North Korea, yet their tactics have repeatedly failed. We need leaders who keep their eyes on the goal.

Hal Bookbinder, Oak Park

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