The cost of the show is yet to be tallied. Trump has bombast but Vladimir Putin has cunning, Xi Jinping has patience and Kim has guile. The North Korean leader will shake hands on a deal and render it meaningless within moments.
Even so, Trump’s brief walk into North Korea might do some good – and Australia may be one country to benefit.
Trump was one of the leaders who spoke to Scott Morrison at the G20 summit in Osaka about the unknown fate of Alek Sigley, the Australian student who has disappeared from university in Pyongyang.
The Prime Minister also spoke to leaders from Japan and South Korea about the search for this young man.
Could Trump’s meeting with Kim improve relations with this rogue state and persuade its leader to send Sigley home? It is impossible to be sure.
Trump seems to want to befriend Kim despite the fate of American student Otto Warmbier, who died two years ago after returning from North Korea in a coma.
What are the dividends from Trump’s approach? He and Xi have escalated a trade war that has cut global growth.
He cosies up to Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and jokes with Putin, not long after the Russian leader declared Western liberal values to be obsolete.