Politics

Trump got what he wanted from the summit: Political scientist

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Key Points
  • The Trump-Kim summit in Singapore was the first time a sitting U.S. president met with a leader from North Korea.
  • "Trump wanted to make history. He wanted to do something no other president could do," says Ian Bremmer, a political scientist.
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Did President Trump get played by Kim Jong Un?

The Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore may have accomplished many things. But President Donald Trump is perhaps the biggest winner, political scientist Ian Bremmer told CNBC.

"Trump clearly gets what he wants more than the United States does," Bremmer said on "Power Lunch" Tuesday. "Trump wanted to make history. He wanted to do something no other president could do. He wanted to say, 'This was about me, and I made this happen.'"

"It's probably the biggest thing he's accomplished since he's become president, so far, in foreign policy," said Bremmer, who is president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm.

Trump's visit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Tuesday was the first time a sitting U.S. president has met with a leader of the reclusive nation.

The five-hour meeting ended with the North agreeing to an "unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

But critics are wondering if this will actually happen.

Before the summit, Sung-Yoon Lee, an expert on the Koreas, said Trump was "being played" by the North Korean leader and that Kim's intention was to buy time in order to continue working on his nuclear program.

"North Korea says all the time that economic reform and the capitalist influence from abroad is poison," Lee said on "Power Lunch" Tuesday.

Still, North Korea fears its lack of capital investments, said Nicholas Burns, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and former undersecretary of state for political affairs under President George W. Bush. This might be a way for the West to negotiate with the hermit nation.

"They don't have normal trade," Burns said on "Squawk on the Street" Tuesday. "They don't have an economy compared to South Korea."

"North Korea is trying to break out of its political isolation," he said. "They're not going to get that from the United States, South Korea, Japan, unless they now agree to some major compromises and reductions in dismantlement of their nuclear facilities. But I don't think they want to do that either."