Johannesburg - North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is well aware of President Donald Trump’s strategy and tactics when it comes to his thinking around “the Art of the Deal.”
Trump long gave away his theory of deal-making: To start off by forcefully setting the bar high and be prepared to walk away, make the other side believe they have no other alternative but to compromise and accept the bottom lines, then return to negotiations from a position of strength and force a compromise on your terms.
Understanding Trump’s style of deal making and his excessive self-confidence as “the great deal maker", it was predictable what would happen at the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi. The Singapore Summit had been a grand performance to show that Trump had gone where no other US president had gone before on North Korea, and that his innovative thinking was a winning formula.
The Hanoi Summit was to implement his theory of deal-making which was to lay the US position on the table, leaving the perception that there was little, if any, room for compromise. So Trump laid his cards on the table: the US expected full de-nuclearisation, and no incremental de-nuclearisation would be sufficient to lift US sanctions.
When Kim Jong-Un put forward his position - which was to dismantle North Korea’s main nuclear facility at Yongbyon in return for the lifting of economic sanctions - Trump simply walked away. (Walked away with a confident smile and no visible animosity). It is a strategy he pursued in countless high flying business deals in his past life.