WATCH: Expert says Trump-North Korea talks could be his 'crowning achievement' — or lead to war

Proposed talks between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un could be Trump’s "crowning achievement" if they go well, or lead to war in they fail, an Asia security expert tells The Hill. 

Trump on Thursday agreed to sit down with Kim in the coming months, though press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stressed on Friday that the White House will demand North Korea take “concrete and verifiable steps” toward denuclearization before any such meeting takes place.

"If President Trump walks away from the summit meeting with the leader of North Korea, there is no alternative body to mediate the differences between North Korea and the United States,” says Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. A falling out “possibly leading to war” could follow, Cronin adds in an interview with The Hill.


An outcome in which Pyongyang abandons its nuclear ambitions could, however, “be a historical legacy for the Trump administration,” Cronin says.

“This could really be the crowning achievement of the Trump administration."

Click on the video above to hear Cronin in his own words.