Be realistic about North Korea

During this era in which instant gratification seems realistic to all too many people, President Donald Trump is doomed to disappoint them next week.

Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will meet Tuesday in Singapore to discuss Pyongyang’s weaponization campaign, which includes both nuclear devices and long-range missiles.

High hopes have been raised that Kim will agree to “denuclearization.” At some point, that is possible. It will not happen next week, however.

As knowledgeable analysts have pointed out, Kim sees a powerful arsenal as the only thing keeping him in power. He will not give it up, at least not immediately.

Trump understands that. He recognizes that the best he can do on Tuesday is to convince Kim to begin backing away from militarism. That may involve small, nearly imperceptible, steps at first.

Even that is real progress, it needs to be kept in mind. If the United States can obtain a verifiable agreement to at least limit North Korea’s buildup, it will be a genuine breakthrough.

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