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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "may have met his match" in President Donald Trump’s unorthodox diplomacy, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday.
In an interview on CNN’s "State of the Union," Clapper argued a June summit between the two leaders — which Trump abruptly canceled last week but which he has since said was "moving along very nicely" — should still take place.
"This is typical … Two steps forward, one step back. That’s what they always do," Clapper said. "And in some ways Kim Jong Un may have met his match here with our very unconventional president."
"Having gone this far, there’s value in meeting and greeting, gripping and grinning and just establishing a rapport," Clapper said. "Yes, I think it would be important to have the summit."
The nation’s former top spy also advocated both nations establishing an initial diplomatic presence below the of embassy to better communicate.
"What I’ve been long an advocate for is let’s first establish the conduit, the apparatus for communicating," he said. "And by that, I mean establishing interest sections in both Washington and Pyongyang. What this means is a diplomatic presence below the level of a full embassy, much as we did in Havana, Cuba, for decades."
Clapper also said denuclearization of the Korean peninsula could end up being a "two-way street" where the United States restricts some of its nuclear activities, specifically citing bomber deployments.
"That is apply to the United States as well, where the North Koreans could expect us to restrict our nuclear umbrella, meaning no more B-1s, B-2s or B-52s deploying on the peninsula or within operational proximity," he said.