RELEASE: 6 Things to Know Ahead of the Second Trump-Kim Summit

Washington, D.C. — As the world prepares for a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a key question is whether Trump is interested in real diplomacy or just the appearance of progress, according to a new analysis from the Center for American Progress.

“After a year of diplomacy with little progress, Trump needs to focus on getting North Korea to make concrete, verifiable concessions on its nuclear program,” said Michael Fuchs, a senior fellow at CAP and a former State Department official who specializes in East Asian affairs. “Trump needs to show that he’s focused on good outcomes, not just good headlines.”

The CAP column outlines six things to understand in the lead-up to the summit:

  • Diplomacy with North Korea is necessary, but effective diplomacy also requires lower-level talks that go on for months; without real diplomacy, summit meetings are a show without substance.
  • Trump unfortunately seems to care more about generating headlines than making a good deal, and that behavior is creating a rift between him and the intelligence community.
  • Since diplomacy began last year, North Korea has taken no concrete actions toward denuclearization and has continued building more nuclear weapons and missiles.
  • We must beware of the possibility that Trump could make a deal that is good for North Korea and bad for the United States as well as our key allies Japan and South Korea.
  • The United States should make clear that it is willing to change its relationship with North Korea, but only if Pyongyang verifiably changes its behavior.
  • Trump must focus on human rights and ensure that humanitarian groups can access North Korea.

Read the analysis: “6 Things to Know Before the Second Trump-Kim Summit” by Michael Fuchs and Abigail Bard.

For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at  or 202.478.6327.