World View: If it happens, a Trump-Kim summit has major downsides

Podcast: US president’s planned summit with North Korean leader looks to be in jeopardy

World View is a weekly foreign affairs podcast from The Irish Times. Subscribe on Android, on Apple Podcasts, on Stitcher or on Soundcloud.

President Donald Trump’s planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un now looks to be in jeopardy. But was the meeting a good idea to begin with?

On this week's World View podcast, Thomas Wright of Washington-based foreign policy think-tank the Brookings Institution discusses the evolution of President Trump's foreign policy.

In his view, a Trump-Kim meeting comes with significant downsides.


“The worry is, he will give away too much. There has always been two problems with Trump. One is, he’ll start a war, but the other is, he’ll sell everyone out. We’ve gone immediately from one to the other,” says Mr Wright.

"What does selling out here mean? It means he'll go in to Kim and say, "All I care about are the missiles that can hit the United States. If you get rid of those, I'll get rid of the alliance with South Korea. "

‘Catastrophic’ deal

Such a deal would be "catastrophic", says Mr Wright, as it would embolden North Korea while isolating Japan and South Korea.

Mr Wright also discusses President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the appointment of John Bolton as US national security adviser and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, and whether the US can still act as an honest broker in the Middle East after a week of bloodshed linked to the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

World View is presented by Foreign Editor Chris Dooley

Declan Conlon

Declan Conlon

Declan Conlon is head of audio at The Irish Times