WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong (2nd L) and National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon (L) walk out of...
Chip Somodevilla

Did Trump leave South Korea in the dark on his summit plans?

South Korea has played a key role in facilitating diplomacy between the United States and North Korea, but after Donald Trump announced the cancellation of his upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un, it appeared his allies were left in the dark.

South Korea said Thursday that it was trying to figure out the circumstances behind the cancellation of the summit, according to Yonhap News, a South Korean news agency.

“(We) are trying to figure out what President Trump’s intention is and the exact meaning of it,” a spokesman told the news outlet.

I’m sure this is the sort of thing the U.S. ambassador to South Korea can help smooth over with our longtime allies.

No, wait, nearly a year and a half after taking office, the Trump administration doesn’t yet have an ambassador to South Korea.

It was our allies in Seoul who first alerted Trump to Kim Jong-un’s eagerness for a bilateral meeting, and in a curious display, it was South Korean officials whom Trump dispatched to the White House driveway in March to tell the press that the American president had agreed to meet with the nuclear-armed dictator.

And yet, it’s now South Korean officials who are “trying to figure out” what Trump did and why.

I’ve long marveled at the president’s antagonism toward our South Korean allies, but if Trump failed to give Seoul a heads-up before he scrapped plans for his summit in Singapore, the questions about his posture toward South Korea will grow louder.

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, North Korea and South Korea

Did Trump leave South Korea in the dark on his summit plans?