Arrive late, poke him in the chest, call him a mofo

Trump is living the dream.

President Trump has imagined himself at the center of high-stakes nuclear negotiations since at least the mid-1980s, when he tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade the Reagan administration that it needed a New York real estate deal maker to lead arms-control talks with the Soviet Union.

When, in 1989, he ran into the man who filled that job for President George H.W. Bush, he had a bit of negotiating advice: Arrive late, poke your finger into your adversary’s chest and swear at him with a vulgar insult, he told Richard R. Burt.

So his time at the G7 was rehearsal for all that. Good to know.

For Mr. Trump, the looming question now is whether his bet that Mr. Kim wants economic development more than nuclear weapons is right.

“I understand why the administration is offering so many carrots, but I’m afraid Trump thinks Kim is a businessman,” said Jung H. Pak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who oversaw North Korea analysis for United States intelligence agencies until a year ago.

“What he’s forgetting is that Kim isn’t looking for wealth,” he said. “He has all the wealth in the country. He’s looking for legitimacy.”

He’s probably not forgetting it, because he probably never realized it in the first place. It may be that people have told him that; it may be that many people have told him that many times; it doesn’t follow that he paid any attention.

Some of those who have prepared Mr. Trump for dealing with Korea, who insisted on anonymity to speak about their briefings with the president, say they worry that he is so supremely confident in his negotiating skills that he has eschewed detailed briefings on how Mr. Kim thinks about the world.

Yeeeah. When he shouted replies to some reporters on Friday as he was leaving, he said he didn’t need to prepare for the summit because he’s been preparing his whole life. Yes, really; I watched him say it. Preparing his whole life…if that’s true why is he such a mess now? Why is his head so empty? Why do so many people loathe him? Why has he destroyed everything he touches?

All in all, my hopes are not high.

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