Bromance is over: Trump dumps Kim

One of the most unusual bromances in political history may be over after US President Donald Trump told his staff he does not another summit with Kim Jong-un before the presidential election in November.

Mr Trump's most recent meeting with the North Korean dictator was held a year ago when both leaders walked away empty-handed.

 

Now, sources have told CNN, Mr Trump wants to focus solely on his re-election and is reluctant to risk another dead-end meeting with Kim on the world stage.

Mr Trump expressed his frustration late last year after the first working-level talks between the two countries for eight months fell apart in October, sources explained.

US negotiators thought they were making good progress during the talks in Stockholm until the North Koreans claimed they broke down because the US had come "empty-handed."

The negotiations are "dead", according to a Trump insider, who added that the US government has stopped issuing special circumstance permits for travel to North Korea.

 

The two leaders have enjoyed a turbulent relationship since Mr Trump became President, with the pair trading insults and threats, including the US leader call Kim "little rocket man".

But following their historic first meeting in 2017, Mr Trump and Kim seemed to build a war bromance, with the US President saying in 2018 the pair "fell in love".

In recent months, North Korea's decision to resume missile tests has stretched the friendship towards breaking point.

First, Mr Trump recycled his "rocket man" name-calling, which led to a senior member of the North Korean government to describe Mr Trump as a "dotard" - a centuries old Korean term meaning "a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise."

 

 

ut diplomatic channels aren't completely broken.

Mr Trump gave a measured response to Pyongyang launching a series of missile tests, pointing to a halt in nuclear tests as evidence that his diplomatic efforts were working.

But his then national security adviser John Bolton publicly stated that the ballistic missile tests were a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Mr Trump publicly disagreed.

Last month Mr Trump sent a birthday message to Kim but his public comments on North Korea have been noticeably muted in recent weeks and the President hasn't tweeted about Kim.

On New Year's Eve, Mr Trump reiterated that the leaders had a "good relationship," but also acknowledged that they may have divergent agendas.

 

‘We both have to do what we have to do’, Mr Trump said of the men’s relationship. Picture: Getty
‘We both have to do what we have to do’, Mr Trump said of the men’s relationship. Picture: Getty

"Look, he likes me; I like him. We get along. He's representing his country. I'm representing my country. We have to do what we have to do," Mr Trump said.

Perhaps most telling is the fact that Mr Trump's re-election team don't think North Korea is a crucial issue to voters.

An administration official said there is little appetite within the President's inner circle to pursue a deal with North Korea before the election, saying any potential benefits to be gained from reopening talks are greatly outweighed by the risks.

It's also clear the North Koreans are not interested in restarting negotiations unless the President pre-emptively eases sanctions which is unlikely to happen, the administration official added.

In a New Year's address, Kim said his country will "never" denuclearise if the US does not retreat from what North Korea regards as Washington's "hostile policy" towards Pyongyang.

In a statement published in English by North Korean state media, Kim Kye Gwan said Pyongyang believed it has been "deceived by the US" and said the US has wasted the last eighteen months, in which little progress has been made on denuclearization.



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