Ex-defence secretary calls Trump's North Korea summit a failure
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Ex-defence secretary calls Trump's North Korea summit a failure

Columbus: Former US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said President Donald Trump's summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un in June about the country's nuclear threat was "doomed to failure" because of a lack of preparation beforehand.

"I'm very worried about the situation because frankly, I think we have a failed summit on our hands right now," Panetta said on ABC's This Week on Sunday.

Former Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

Former Defence Secretary Leon Panetta

Photo: AP

Trump last month called off a planned trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo after concluding there hasn't been enough progress in talks aimed at denuclearising the Korean Peninsula. In an August 30 interview with Bloomberg News, the president said he can be patient with the North Korean leader, who's yet to take appreciable steps to give up his country's nuclear weapons after Trump declared the issue solved following the summit.

Panetta, who served as defence secretary and CIA director under Democratic President Barack Obama, said the summit "was all about show, it was about shaking hands, exchanging words."

But looking at North Korea's nuclear weapon sites and how other needed underlying work before such a major meeting wasn't done, basic diplomatic work is still needed, he said.

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While Trump inherited a difficult situation with North Korea, it's not enough for the president to emphasise the good relationship he has with Kim, Panetta said.

"This isn't about the dominance of personalities," he said. "This is about the hard work of negotiating the solution to the differences between North Korea and the United States and South Korea. And there a lot of issues at stake here. But none of that work has been done."

Bloomberg