clock menu more-arrow no yes

Donald Trump will be the first sitting president to meet with North Korea

North Korea offers this to every president. Trump is the only one who took them up on it.

Trump Returns to the White House Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

On Thursday evening, South Korean official Chung Eui-yong made a stunning announcement at the White House: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had invited President Donald Trump to meet, and President Trump accepted.

The exact terms of the meeting remain to be seen, but a tweet from President Trump asserts that North Korea has agreed to pause nuclear and missile exercises while sanctions remain ongoing.

Still, experts and journalists have expressed concern at the prospect given the fact that the president is notoriously easily swayed by praise. Vox’s Zack Beauchamp writes:

[Trump is] easily swayed by flattery, not terribly interested in policy details, and deeply invested in his reputation as a dealmaker. Put those together and it’s easy to imagine the North Koreans tricking Trump into a deal that, in the long term, helps their strategic position while hurting America’s.

Yochi Dreazen, Vox’s foreign editor, joins host Sean Rameswaram for the latest episode of Today, Explained to discuss the historical precedent for this meeting and what’s at stake.

Related reading:

How do I get even more Today, Explained?

You can get the news we’re reading throughout the day, facts and stats to make you smarter about the world, and behind-the-scenes photos on Twitter at @Today_Explained. You can follow Sean at @Rameswaram and Yochi Dreazen at @YochiDreazen.

How do I report a problem?

For all issues or feedback, please email todayexplained@vox.com.

How do I listen?

If you don’t see the player above, you can listen, subscribe, and review Today, Explained on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, and Google Play Music.

What if I want to listen at home?

If you have Amazon Echo, add Today, Explained to your flash briefing. If you have Google Home, just say, “Hey Google, play the Today, Explained podcast!”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.