Podcasts: Trump’s Path from G6+1 Destruction to Photo with Kim

Donald Trump waves goodbye to the G7 summit before setting off for Singapore, June 9, 2018

As Donald Trump moves from his wreckage of the G7 summit in Canada to his Tuesday face-to-face encounter with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, I have been speaking with radio and TV about both the Trumpian demolition of alliances and the prospects for his embrace of Kim:

Listen to talkRADIO from 7:52 in 1800-1830 Segment

A 15-minute discussion with Eamonn Holmes and Christopher Biggins which starts with the summits and goes farther to consider how Trump’s character, reality TV, and even professional wrestling shape the President and the current international climate.

Listen to BBC Foyle

Donald Trump will get his picture, his historic meeting. The North Koreans will get their symbolism that they are no longer in isolation, that they are coming out politically and economically as part of Asia.

Both sides get their symbolic victory, but the whole question of “denuclearization” — there won’t be any definition of that.

Listen to BBC Berkshire

I am extremely worried. We are now at the point where White House advisors are saying there is a “special place in hell” for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other foreign leaders, and that they “stabbed us in the back”.

We are at the most serious point in US-European and US-Canadian relations since 1945. While Trump is in office, either Trump wins or the alliances. You cannot have both.

Listen to BBC Three Counties

The opening question: “Is Donald Trump a strong or a stupid man?”, followed by “Isn’t Donald Trump serving American interests?”

Listen to Austria’s Radio FM4 from 13:13 and from 13:24

US foreign policy has been founded for more than seven decades on the notion of alliances with European countries, with Asian countries, with Canada, with Mexico. It is no longer founded on alliances but on Donald Trump’s ego, and it will change depending on whether Donald Trump is happy or unhappy with Europe.

There’s a further discussion of the risks for Trump as he enters talks with Kim Jong-un without any other officials in the room.

Listen to BBC Ulster

A brief discussion on BBC Talkback — the other panellist is Sarah Elliott of Republicans Overseas UK — on whether “Donald Trump should engage with evil regimes”:

Sometimes, in international diplomacy, you have to deal with some nasty characters. The question is how you engage with them: with eyes open, with ears open, and often with mouth shut.

The concern here is that Donald Trump is walking into this to have a picture with Kim Jong-un, not because of a clear strategic approach to North Korea. Trump himself has said that there has been no preparation with meetings in the White House.

Listen to BBC West Midlands

These are issues that have occupied diplomats for many years, but Donald Trump thinks that in a heartbeat — or with a flick of his fingers — this will all change.

Even with the smartest of Presidents, the most sophisticated of Presidents, this would take months, even years, as we saw at the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. For someone like Donald Trump, who doesn’t always show the sharpest grasp of reality, the difficulties will be far greater.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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