No Agreement in Hanoi

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The Hanoi summit is over early and President Trump says no agreement was reached. “There is a gap,” he said, and the gap is that Kim Jong-un wanted all sanctions on North Korea lifted but was not willing to eliminate his nuclear arsenal in return. Trump was very vague about this, saying that Kim was willing to “denuclearize large portions of the areas we wanted”—whatever that means—but this was not enough to justify ending the sanctions. I wouldn’t take this to mean very much. On the contrary, my guess is that Kim wouldn’t agree to reduce his existing nuclear arsenal at all.

“We could have signed an agreement but I didn’t think it would be appropriate,” Trump said—though that sounds like a typical Trump lie. Kim left the summit quickly without doing even a joint press appearance with Trump, and that doesn’t suggest a super amicable walkaway no matter what Trump and Mike Pompeo say.

This abrupt ending to the summit doesn’t speak well for Pompeo’s negotiating team either. Whatever happened in that final negotiating session, it’s obvious that neither side was prepared for it. Normally, if talks break down you have at least a few small objectives in the bag that both sides can agree to in a public ceremony. The fact that this didn’t happen means that either the prep for this meeting produced literally nothing or else that Kim was so unhappy about the sanctions that he stalked out when it became obvious they would continue.

And that’s it. Trump ended the press conference in typical style, blaming his failure on previous presidents who “did nothing, absolutely nothing.” Charming to the end.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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