Peace in Korea is still possible — just without America

Now that Trump has bailed, North Korea, South Korea, and China might actually be able to make their own peace deal

President Trump, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Mark Wilson/Getty Images, KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump has abruptly canceled his much-hyped June 12 summit with North Korea in a baffling letter to Kim Jong Un in which he cited the latter's supposed "tremendous anger and open hostility." Given Trump's record of pervasive dishonesty and addle-brained rambling, it's anybody's guess what his actual thinking was.

Our allies seemed to have been caught off guard by Trump's missive. ("We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means," said South Korean government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.) But once they've had a chance to gather themselves, there's no reason why South Korea, North Korea, and China shouldn't go ahead with their own diplomatic agreement to officially end the Korean War and sketch out some kind of live-and-let-live agreement in the region. Indeed, under the Trump administration, the United States is a hindrance to peace, or indeed any sort of functioning diplomacy at all. If Trump had gone ahead with this North Korea summit, it's a virtual certainty that either he or his team would have botched it somehow. Cut America out of the loop, and you might actually get something done.

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