Kim Jong-un may or may not be a pickled vegetable right now, but Politico knows one thing for sure: Donald Trump has been exposed.

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Trump made a bold bet: that by breaking precedent and engaging directly with Kim Jong Un, he could convince the brutal young autocrat to give up his nuclear arsenal in exchange for future economic gains.

But the approach, which has included three face-to-face meetings, has resulted in no such breakthrough while arguably disempowering top aides to Trump as well as U.S. diplomats. Some U.S. officials have found it hard to even get in touch with their North Korean counterparts; in some prominent cases, they’ve been publicly scorned. Trump’s game plan also essentially sidelined U.S. allies in Asia, as well as U.S. rival China, all of whom have a great deal at stake in Pyongyang’s future.

Yes, Politico. We get it. Donald Trump was too deferential to Kim Jong-un. But is Trump’s negotiating “weakness” really the story here, as we wait to find out whether a brutal, murderous dictator is dead or alive?