Ex-defense secretary calls Trump’s North Korea summit a failure

Former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in June about the country’s nuclear threat was “doomed to failure” because of a lack of preparation beforehand.

This past month, Trump called off a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo after concluding there hasn’t been enough progress in talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Panetta, who served as defence secretary and CIA director under Democratic President Barack Obama, said the summit “was all about show, it was about shaking hands, exchanging words.”

But looking at North Korea’s nuclear weapon sites and how other needed underlying work before such a major meeting wasn’t done, basic diplomatic work is still needed, he said.

While Trump inherited a difficult situation with North Korea, it’s not enough for the president to emphasize the good relationship he has with Kim, Panetta said. “This isn’t about the dominance of personalities,” he said. “This is about the hard work of negotiating the solution to the differences between North Korea and the United States and South Korea. And there a lot of issues at stake here. But none of that work has been done.”

[Sydney Morning Herald]

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