Has Donald Trump killed the art of diplomacy?

He has expressed love for enemies and poured scorn on allies. But as Kim Sengupta explains, there is little to suggest Donald Trump will change his baffling approach to foreign affairs, which means the rest of the world must adapt

Wednesday 17 October 2018 10:46
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After a rocky start, love appears to have blossomed between the US president and North Korea's Kim Jong-un
After a rocky start, love appears to have blossomed between the US president and North Korea's Kim Jong-un

The US president is in love with the leader of North Korea. No more the “little rocket man” who will face “fire and fury like never seen before”: now Donald cannot wait to see Kim again. “We fell in love. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they were great letters. And we fell in love”, the US president declared last weekend. “We are doing just great with North Korea.”

In the same speech in West Virginia, Trump assured the audience “I just left the United Nations, believe me they respect us again”, before warning that a vote for the Democrats in the mid-terms would turn America into a “version of Venezuela”.

The statements were an illustration of the strange, dystopian world of the Donald and diplomacy, in which the policy of the planet’s most powerful country can be changed by flattering a man with little knowledge of history or current affairs, who can insist that public mockery at a world forum is a mark of respect.

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