Like moths drawn to the flame of international publicity, it appears as though President Trump and Kim Jong-un will, indeed, hold their long-awaited summit in Singapore. The big questions are: Can a summit be put together in just under two weeks? And what can be accomplished during the meeting?

My answers? Yes, a summit can be pulled off in such a short amount of time because expectations should be low. It certainly won’t be perfect, but if the main objective is to get President Trump and Chairman Kim into the same room and pull together a framework for future negotiations, all likelihood is this will be viewed as a success.

Part of the initial conversation needs to be focused on the non-negotiables. Kim will need to hear from President Trump that the U.S. will not consider regime change. President Trump will need to hear from Kim that he will give up his nuclear weapons.

But when that will happen is up for debate. I think, in all likelihood, we’ll see a negotiated outcome that allows Kim to keep his nukes for a while, slowly reducing his stockpile under the watchful eye of outside, neutral observers. I discussed this on MSNBC with Alex Witt, which you can watch here.

The real work will start after this initial meeting and require at least a year of diplomatic talks before we see any real results. While South Korea’s President Moon will likely play a minor role during this summit, future discussions will have to be expanded to include South Korea in a more formal role and China, and then ultimately grow to six-party talks to include Russia and Japan.

In the end, I think there is a 70 percent chance that diplomacy will work. I shared my predictions on MSNBC with Katy Tur. Watch here:

Now this all sounds good, so what could go wrong? We should have a minimal level of trust in Kim based on history – his father, Kim Jong-il, walked away from several talks like these during his reign. On the other hand, the Trump administration itself could be seen as untrustworthy. In addition to the chilling effects created by National Security Advisor John Bolton’s comments that a Libya-like model might work (if you’ve forgotten, Muammar Gaddafi ended up dead in a drainpipe), pulling out of the Iran Deal just pours another bucket of cold water onto the talks. Why would Kim trust the U.S. to make a permanent deal with him, when we just pulled out of a different one?

All of this is predicated on the notion that there will, in fact, be a summit later this month. But as we’ve seen in the past – from both sides – you never really know what’s going to happen until it happens. Stay tuned.

As always, thanks for reading!

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