“It’s understandable that the United States is primarily concerned with long-range missiles that could pose a threat to the U.S. homeland,” said Mintaro Oba, a speechwriter at West Wing Writers and a former diplomat at the State Department’s Korea desk. “But Washington has made a defense commitment to its allies, and it’s vital that it seek to reduce the threat not only to itself but to its regional partners.”
Oba sees value in a summit that “creates a positive atmosphere, reduces tensions and further builds the relationship between the two leaders.”
But he is less optimistic about the chances of the two men making substantive progress toward denuclearization, with neither side showing much sign of shifting their positions.
“The hurdles are still high,” he said. “This would not be a big problem with the right public messaging, but the more ambitious the goals Washington emphasizes in public, the greater room for the second summit to be perceived as a failure.”