President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is an outside-the-box idea that breaks with decades of U.S. policy — but it just might work, as evidenced by Friday’s announcement that North Korea would halt its nuclear weapons testing, though some experts have expressed significant skepticism about that announcement. In fact, it is the most presidential action we have seen from a president known for behaving more like a celebrity than a commander in chief.The act of meeting face-to-face with another world leader is known as personal diplomacy. Trump joins a long line of presidents who have engaged in unorthodox personal diplomacy to cultivate influence with particularly difficult rogue leaders. Taken as a whole, personal diplomacy has yielded mixed results. Simply reaching out to one’s enemy (or, in Trump’s case, responding to a gesture) does not guarantee success. Rather, this type of diplomacy hinges on flexibility and patience, and demands a pragmatic understanding of and approach to the rogue leader’s needs.During the 1960s, the Kennedy and Johnson administrations followed different approaches to the same rogue leader – Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. This led to two very different results, and these different results demonstrate the opportunities and… Read full this story
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