High stakes: Can Trump and Xi avoid war and strike a North Korea deal?

Long before Trump entered the arena, Xi announced his aspiration to make China great again

PRESIDENTS DONALD Trump and Xi Jinping have many serious issues to discuss at their upcoming Mar-a-Lago summit, but only one ticking time bomb: North Korea. On the current trajectory, North Korea will likely be able to strike the American homeland with a nuclear weapon before the end of Trump’s first term. From his initial tweet on North Korea as President-elect to a lengthy interview in early April, Trump has declared unambiguously that he will never let this happen. As he put it, “If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will.”

The message Trump is sending Xi is clear: to prevent North Korea from continuing missile tests and building nuclear warheads that could strike Honolulu or Los Angeles, he will not hesitate to order a unilateral, preemptive military attack on North Korean sites.

For Xi and his team, this is almost unthinkable. A U.S. strike (no

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME1 min readPsychology
Embracing Hugs
It can be hard to know how best to show someone you care, with words and actions. Here we offer the arguments surrounding one common option—a hug—according to the latest science. The case for: Hugs put a range of health benefits within arm’s reach.
TIME5 min readFood & Wine
Samin Nosrat Takes The Home Cook Abroad
WHEN SAMIN NOSRAT LAUGHS, SHE TILTS HER WHOLE body back and fills the room with sound, uproariously, not unlike Julia Child. If Netflix was looking for a successor to that cooking icon, it found one. Nosrat’s new streaming show, Salt Fat Acid Heat (O
TIME2 min readPolitics
What Makes Nikki Haley’s Exit From The Trump Team Different?
It’s NOT OFTEN THAT A TOP-LEVEL official in Donald Trump’s Administration gets away clean and leaves on good terms with the President. When she stepped down Oct. 9 as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley became one of his only senior st