Valdai Paper #90. The Singapore Summit and the Failure of Donald Trump’s Diplomacy


It seemed before the Singapore summit, - the meeting of the leaders of the US and North Korea, which was drawing attention of the whole international community while being prepared, that Donald Trump’s “blackmail diplomacy” proved its effectiveness. However, is it possible to consider his policy towards Pyongyang and his administration’s foreign policy a success?

The successes of the North Korean missile engineers coincided in time with a significant shift in American foreign policy, when Donald Trump arrived in the White House. The heavy pressure of his administration against the DPRK in combination with sharp verbal skirmishes and the mutual threats of Pyongyang and Washington over the course of 2017 began to bear fruit and seemed to be “a brilliant success” of American diplomacy. The process culminated in the Singapore meeting that became a media show and a huge failure for the US foreign policy, having undermined the entire system of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

China continues to play a considerable role in the US-North Korea relations, which is of fundamental importance for the economic and political stability of the DPRK regime. Having supported unprecedentedly strict sanctions against Pyongyang in 2017, Beijing begins to reconsider its policy, using the North Korean file as an instrument of pressure on Washington.

Meanwhile, the victory of North Korean diplomacy appears to be more evident. Andrei Lankov analyzes the course Pyongyang chose regarding the US. He answers, what is the failure of Trump’s foreign policy and what consequences this failure can bring.

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