Global Affairs

Failure is not the only risk in Trump-Kim summit

A ground-breaking meeting between the two leaders is not without risks or potential rewards, but the US should also manage the impact on its major allies - South Korea and Japan

ST ILLUSTRATION: MANNY FRANCISCO

"That is a decision the President took himself," said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was on tour in Africa when Mr Donald Trump announced that he was accepting an invitation to attend a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

That quip from America's top diplomat betrayed a basic story: that President Trump went out on a limb when he made the summit decision, one which, at a stroke and in the most spectacular manner, set aside decades of US diplomatic practice.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2018, with the headline 'Failure is not the only risk in Trump-Kim summit'. Subscribe