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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 29th June 2018 > Going Rogue

Going Rogue

President Trump broke diplomatic norms in hopes of de-nuking North Korea. But the dealmaker in chief may have gotten played




FOR MORE THAN SIX DECADES, U.S. presidents had a hard and fast rule when it came to North Korea: Don’t meet with a dictator. The mere image of the leader of the free world standing with an authoritarian figure would bestow prestige and legitimacy on a rogue state—one that has flouted U.N. sanctions, assassinated political rivals and built a small nuclear arsenal.

Then, on June 12, Donald Trump burned the playbook. With full swagger, the president swept into steamy Singapore, where he sat down with Kim Jong Un in an unprecedented bid to get him to, as he put it, “de-nuke.” Afterward, Trump dismissed the idea that his presence alone had given the dictator something precious. “If I have to say I’m sitting on a stage with Chairman Kim, and that’s going to get us to save 30 million lives,” Trump said, “I’m willing to sit on the stage. I’m willing to travel to Singapore very proudly.”

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