March 20, 2019 | By Ivo H. Daalder

#AskIvo: What Do You Think about the Relationship between Trump and Kim?


The Hanoi summit between the United States and North Korea ended without an agreement on denuclearization. In this week's #AskIvo, Council President Ivo Daalder gives his take on the relationship between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Be sure to submit your question for the next episode on Twitter to @IvoHDaalder using #AskIvo.

#AskIvo: What Do You Think about the Relationship between Trump and Kim?



Hi, I'm Ivo Daalder, the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. This is #AskIvo, an opportunity where you get to ask me questions about global issues of concern to you.

Esther Alda asks on Instagram, “What do you think about the relationship between Trump and Kim. Is this trustful?”

That's a great question, Esther. You may recall that back in 2017 these two leaders were calling each other by name. Trump was calling Kim "Little Rocket Man," and Kim was calling Trump the old "dotard."

We've moved a long way from there. We've had in 2018, and just now in Hanoi, very intense meetings between these two leaders to try to resolve differences that have divided our two countries for more than 60 years. But we haven't resolved all those differences. And one of the realities about international diplomacy is that while personal relationships between leaders matter, what really matters is that the countries prepare those meetings in advance; that you have long negotiations of experts who sit down and try to work out the very big differences that exists between countries in a way that is to the benefit of both; and that when there are one or two issues left you try to make that happen at a higher level by the secretary of state or ultimately between presidents and leaders.

What Donald Trump tied to do was to reverse the way in which this normally happens, to try to open up the negotiations by having a leadership meeting at the highest level. But the hard work of diplomacy where different sides come together to sit at the table and work out their differences still needs to go on. We will now have an opportunity to do that and hopefully, step-by-step get to a place where the relationship between our two countries improves economically, politically, and above all militarily.

Thanks for tuning in. Want to ask me a question? Shoot me a tweet with the hashtag #AskIvo.


The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

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