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Why Did the Hanoi Summit Fail and What Comes Next? Coverage in Four Countries
Region: Asia
Published July 29, 2019
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The summit on February 27-28 in Hanoi between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un ended on a sour note, casting doubt on the one-year old diplomatic process that had produced an upbeat summit between the two in Singapore the previous June. Much speculation followed on what had gone wrong, who was to blame, and how diplomacy could be put back on track. Given the importance of the four countries caught between the U.S. and North Korea in setting the course for addressing the North Korean challenge, their media and journal coverage of the state of diplomacy after the Hanoi summit merits close attention, which is provided below.

The following chapters examine how the South Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian media and journal articles have covered the Hanoi summit and its immediate aftermath. They tell us about the hopes and concerns of four countries and point to differences in thinking about the nature of the diplomacy between the U.S. and North Korea and the expectations for what will follow. Coverage ranges from anticipation of the summit in the first two months of 2019 to immediate reporting on what transpired on February 27-28 to interpretations over the next month or longer of the impact of the summit for U.S. and North Korean policy and for the geopolitics of Northeast Asia and, specifically, the foreign policies of each of the four countries.

Each chapter pays special heed to the apprehensions related to the talks or how they could leave one’s country in dire straits, and to the range of responses to what is transpiring. Close attention is given to what one’s own country should do either if progress is made in diplomacy or if a breakdown occurs. Also of interest is whether coordination with other states is sought.

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