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更新时间:2018-6-13 20:22:13 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

What Happened in the Trump-Kim Meeting and Why It Matters

Even the most informed observer might struggle to know what to make of the summit meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea.

即便是最见多识广的观察人士,可能也难以理解特朗普总统和朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)的这次峰会。

Colorful theatrics, such as a four-minute video that Mr. Trump showed Mr. Kim, gave the event an air of surrealism. Expectations ranged wildly, with Mr. Trump promising the deal of the century and many analysts fearing a blowup similar to what happened at last’s week’s Group of 7 meeting in Canada.

五彩缤纷的表演,比如特朗普给金正恩看的一段时长四分钟的视频,给这场活动增添了一层超现实主义色彩。外界的期望各不相同,特朗普承诺达成世纪协议,很多分析人士担心会像上周在加拿大的七国集团(Group of 7)峰会上一样爆发争吵。

And Mr. Trump’s habit of making misleading statements, along with his record of defying norms, can make it difficult to parse which of the summit’s outcomes matter and which don’t, which bring Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim closer to their respective goals and which move them further away.


Here, then, is a simple breakdown of 10 major takeaways from the meeting and why they matter.


What Happened and Didn’t


(1) Almost any talks between the United States and North Korea, while those talks are ongoing, significantly reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended slide into war, which could kill millions. The simple act of talking changes North Korean and American behaviors and perceptions in ways that make conflict far less likely. That’s a big deal.


(2) The joint statement signed by Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim contains polite diplomatic platitudes but is otherwise largely empty. Among adversaries, this sort of statement is a common, low-pressure way to keep talks going. It doesn’t resolve any issues, but it keeps the countries engaged.


(3) Later, Mr. Trump made a concession with significance that is real but easy to overstate: The United States will suspend its joint military exercises with South Korea. Mr. Trump was setting a policy that analysts refer to as “freeze for freeze,” in which the United States freezes the exercises and North Korea freezes its weapons tests. It’s meant to reduce tensions and create space for more meaningful concessions. Though not all analysts support such a policy, it is a mainstream idea and hardly radical.


(4) There is one asterisk to the otherwise modest policy implications. South Korean officials expressed surprise at Mr. Trump’s promise to suspend joint military exercises, suggesting that Mr. Trump may have made the concession on South Korea’s behalf without their consent or advance knowledge. The South Korean leadership will probably swallow their pride and accept it, but Mr. Trump’s public breach of the alliance sends the message that South Koreans cannot always count on the United States. It also offers North Korea the tantalizing prospect of widening any divide between Washington and Seoul.


The Theater That Mattered


(5) The United States staged the summit meeting in a way that handed Mr. Kim some symbolic but meaningful concessions. At the North Koreans’ request, the two countries and their leaders were presented as equals — elevating Mr. Kim from global pariah to a superpower’s peer. Their meeting was given pomp and ceremony at points verging on that of a royal wedding. Because Mr. Kim’s legitimacy is among his greatest vulnerabilities at home and abroad, this staging was a big gift to him.


(6) It costs the United States little to make those concessions. Still, they can be given away only once, and the United States received relatively little from North Korea in return. Analysts broadly consider this a lost opportunity to extract more meaningful concessions from North Korea, such as partial disarmament or intrusive nuclear inspections.


(7) The meeting sends important messages to other adversarial states. Mr. Kim appears to have forced Mr. Trump to the table by developing nuclear weapons and missiles that can reach the United States. But Mr. Kim’s human rights record, considered among the world’s worst, did not appear to be an issue. Mr. Trump even suggested that North Korea could become a major tourist destination, almost exactly one year after an American tourist, Otto Warmbier, died of what appeared to be torture endured while in North Korean custody.

(7)此次会谈给其他敌对国家发出了重要的信号。金正恩似乎通过发展能够抵达美国的核武器和导弹,迫使特朗普坐到了谈判桌前。但金正恩的人权纪录——被认为是全世界最恶劣的——似乎并不是问题。特朗普甚至暗示朝鲜可能会成为一个热门的旅游目的地。而几乎就在一年前,美国游客奥托·瓦姆比尔(Otto Warmbier)去世,死因似乎是在被朝鲜关押期间受到严刑拷打。

The Bigger Picture


(8) If the point of the meeting was to bring the world demonstrably closer to resolving the North Korea crisis, then that didn’t happen. North Korea took no steps, even rhetorical, toward disarming. The United States also made no concrete, long-term changes; the freeze on exercises can be easily reversed. The meeting fell far short of Mr. Trump’s lofty promises of North Korean denuclearization. But it also averted analysts’ fears that Mr. Trump might make an outright withdrawal of American troops from South Korea or blow up at Mr. Kim.


(9) Mr. Trump’s foreign policy actions elsewhere may limit what he can accomplish with North Korea. By tearing up the Iran nuclear deal despite sustained indication of Iranian compliance, and by reneging on agreements even with long-term allies, the United States has deepened suspicion that it cannot be trusted to make arms-control agreements. So don’t expect talks to produce much of verifiable substance.


(10) Still, it’s worth reiterating that first point: Almost any talks, even if they elevate Mr. Kim and grant him concessions for little return, significantly reduce the risk of war. The effect applies only as long as talks continue, so is almost certainly temporary. But as Mr. Trump said in the joint news conference on Tuesday: “If I have to say I’m sitting on a stage with Chairman Kim and that’s going to get us to save 30 million lives, maybe more than that, I’m willing to sit on the stage. I’m willing to travel to Singapore very gladly.”