World in View: Trump-Kim summit

From the March-April 2019 issue of News & Letters

The second summit meeting between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi on Feb. 27, ended without any new agreement. But it achieved what it aimed for as theater.

What Trump is aiming at, in cultivating Kim, is to send a message that world capitalism can be stabilized on the basis of strongman authoritarianism, of which Kim is the most extreme example. From a ruling class point of view, this isn’t necessarily a stupid idea.

However, the utter impossibility of it succeeding for any length of time was demonstrated during the summit itself by the exchange of fire by two authoritarian nuclear powers, India and Pakistan, over Kashmir—which continues, and threatens countless millions of lives.

—Gerry Emmett

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