Trump just canceled a high-stakes summit. In 1972, Nixon almost did the same.

tags: nuclear weapons, North Korea, Nixon, Trump

Eric Grynaviski is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. His most recent book is “America’s Middlemen: Power at the Edge of Empire.” It explores how unusual figures, such as traders, missionaries and slaves, have contributed to the shaping of American history by making deals with militias, tribes and rebels.

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On Thursday, President Trump canceled the June 12 summit with North Korea. Individuals within the White House describe how Trump worried Kim Jong Un would back out of the talks, and — according to The Washington Post — “make Americans look like desperate suitors.”

Trump blamed North Korea for derailing the summit. His letter to Kim says, “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”

Trump isn’t the first president to face tricky problems in high-stakes summitry. Many commentators see parallels between Trump’s meeting with Kim and Nixon’s 1972 trip to China. Trump’s blame game, though, is more like a different Nixon trip — the 1972 visit to Moscow.

Nixon thought the Soviets would back out of the summit that would produce the SALT I limitations on nuclear weapons. But the more politically experienced Nixon White House decided it would be best to let the Soviets cancel, forcing them to take the blame.

Read entire article at The Washington Post

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