Lessons in summitry from Reagan

US President Donald Trump finally did it. On Thursday, he pulled the plug on next month's big summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In sadness, but not anger, he said North Korean insults were too much for now.

Why did Mr Kim get cold feet and resume that anti-US rhetoric? North Korean apparat told us that their dear leader is skittish about negotiations after Mr Trump's national security adviser John Bolton suggested the "Libya model" for ridding the Hermit Kingdom of its nuclear programme. As Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye Kwan said of Mr Bolton last week, the North does not "hide our feelings of repugnance towards him". This is also the view of many South Koreans.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2018, with the headline 'Lessons in summitry from Reagan'. Print Edition | Subscribe