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North Korea summit diplomacy carries risks of war

Failure of the Trump-Kim meeting could trigger military conflict

| China
U.S. President Donald Trump now has exactly the right national security adviser, John Bolton, to help go for the military phase if his summit option fails.   © Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump created shock waves when he announced that he had accepted an offer by North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un to meet for diplomatic talks. China's President Xi Jinping then stole a march on Washington by pulling off his own secret summit with Kim on March 27, even before the date or location of the Trump-Kim meeting has been set. Meanwhile, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea is preparing his own summit with Kim.

Lots of ink has been spilled on the merits and demerits of all these meetings especially Trump's historic decision to talk to Kim. But one key risk has not been given the full examination it deserves: that a failed Trump-Kim summit could lead directly to military conflict.

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