Former United States Defense Secretary and CIA director under President Barack Obama’s administration, Mr Leon Panetta, has expressed his lack of confidence in US President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in Singapore in June regarding the looming nuclear threat, stating that it was “doomed to failure from the beginning”.

“I’m very worried about the situation because frankly, I think we have a failed summit on our hands right now,” Mr Panetta said on ABC’s “This Week” in an interview with news anchor Ms Martha Raddatz last Sunday (2 Sep).

He added: “The problem is that in many ways it was doomed to failure from the beginning because there was never the preparatory work that has to be done prior to a summit meeting.”

“When the balloons went away, when the confetti went away, there was nothing there to require the North Koreans to do what was necessary in order to denuclearize,” said Mr Panetta.

Just last month, Trump cancelled a trip to North Korea due to his belief that “there hasn’t been enough progress in talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula”:

In an interview with Bloomberg News on 30 Aug, the US president said is willing to be “patient” with the North Korean leader, who has yet to make any tangible moves regarding the country’s nuclear weapons following the summit.

Mr Panetta argued that the summit “was all about show, it was about shaking hands, exchanging words.” 

He stressed that the summit and the nuclear issue itself should not be “about the dominance of personalities”, but rather “the hard work of negotiating the solution to the differences between North Korea and the United States and South Korea.”

Mr Panetta warned that “there are a lot of issues at stake here, but none of that work has been done”.

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