Trump Fails to Rein in Nuclear Nations: North Korea Summit Breaks Down While India-Pakistan War Looms

America’s presence as a global superpower is on thin ice under President Donald Trump.

The president is struggling to reign in three of the biggest nuclear military nations, North Korea, India, and Pakistan. In the past, the US has played a crucial diplomatic role in easing nuclear tensions around the world. Not any more.

Yesterday, the president failed to reach a deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, with the much-hyped summit ending early. Meanwhile, his inaction in the India-Pakistan crossfire has left two nuclear powerhouses on the brink of war.

With Trump way out of his depth at the diplomacy table, there’s a huge power vacuum growing on the global stage.

Trump’s North Korea Summit Ends Early

Trump promised a “very productive summit” when he flew to Vietnam to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. But the summit was cut short with both sides leaving early.

A signing ceremony and lunch were both cancelled and a media conference was rescheduled two hours earlier.

Asked why, Trump blamed Kim’s demands for full sanctions relief:

“It was about the sanctions basically,” Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that ... Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”

“Sometimes You Have to Walk”

Kim Jong Un allegedly offered to close its Yongbyon nuclear complex in exchange for US sanctions lifted. But the notorious dictator refused to shut down covert uranium plants. Trump explains:

“They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted but we couldn’t give up all the sanctions for that.”

But as the US editor of The Telegraph notes, why didn’t Trump see this coming? Instead of anticipating this move and offering a counter, he simply gave up and left.

Where Is US diplomacy in India-Pakistan?

As CCN reported earlier this week, Trump’s voice has been suspiciously absent as tensions flare between India and Pakistan. Two nuclear states with immense military firepower at their disposal.

India launched airstrikes into Pakistan territory on Monday 21st February, breaching the de facto border for the first time in 40 years. The aggression came after Pakistan militants killed 40 Indians in a suicide attack.

Donald Trump, India, Pakistan
The threat of war looms large in the Indian subcontinent which has long been of vital geographical interest for the United States. | Source: Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP

Typically, the US has used its diplomatic leverage to act as a peacemaker in the region. Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice famously pulled India and Pakistan back from the brink of war in 2008. She visited India to urge caution after the Mumbai attacks.

Neither Trump nor his secretary of state Mike Pompeo has shown much tact or diplomacy in addressing the tensions this time around. 

Since elected, Trump has come down hard on Pakistan, slashing US military aid. Meanwhile, he has heaped praise on India and strengthened military deals. If war breaks out between the two nuclear nations, it’s clear where Trump’s allegiance lies.

Meanwhile, China is lining up behind Pakistan, supplying the nation with nuclear technology and arms. There’s an epic power battle escalating behind the scenes and Trump appears clueless.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to, CCN.

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About the author

Ben Brown
Ben Brown

Ben is a journalist with a decade of experience covering financial markets. Based in London, UK, his writing has appeared in The Huffington Post and he was Chief Editor at Block Explorer, the world's longest-running source of Blockchain data. Reach him at benjamin-brown.uk or on Twitter at _Ben_Brown. Email ben @ benjamin-brown.uk.

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