Summary

During his recent State of the Union speech, Trump confirmed longstanding rumors that a second US-DPRK summit is in the works. It even has a firm date locked in: Trump and Kim will be meeting from February 27-28 in Vietnam.

The announcement comes amid the usual mixed signals regarding North Korea’s intentions. On one hand, US negotiator Stephen Biegun announced that the North had pledged to destroy all its nuclear enrichment facilities. On the other, the National Intelligence director Dan Coats recently testified to the Senate that the North leadership is “unlikely to give up” its stockpiles or production capacity as the regime equates them with its own survival.

Though President Trump subsequently tweeted that his own intelligence community was naïve and should “go back to school,” the Coats assessment is the standard orthodoxy regarding the North Korean nuclear issue, and dismal progress toward denuclearization since the first Trump-Kim summit has only reinforced this view.

Here’s what we can expect from the second Trump-Kim summit: