The Daily Edit

Editing: USA Today article about Trump, Kim Jong Un

On 10 June 2018, USA Today posted an online article about Trump meeting Kim Jong Un in Singapore. The article provides a quick overview of the event.

I think the author/editors should consider a few changes.

SINGAPORE – A day after arguing with western allies at the G-7 summit over trade, President Trump landed in Asia on Sunday prepared to declare victory in talks with nuclear-armed North Korea — regardless of what happens.

- I would capitalize Western. It's referring to a political bloc or region, not a direction.

 "Trump will hype this relentlessly, no matter what comes of it," tweeted Robert E. Kelly, a political science professor at Pusan National University in South Korea who is town to comment on the summit for the BBC.

- "who is town to" is missing an in.

Even if Kim offers only "a fine-sounding rhetorical commitment, and maybe a few missile surrendered or some site closures," he said, Trump will "market this thing as something extraordinary for his voters back home."

- "a few missile surrendered" - I would use missiles instead of missile. However, it is a quote, so it may accurately capture what the speaker said. I suspect it's a typo.

In tamping down expectations, Trump himself has described this initial meeting as the start of a process. Some analysts said a Kim commitment to specific negotiations on denuclearization could well be enough for Tuesday's summit to be a success.

- Personal preference, but I would delete himself. It seems redundant.

Olivia Enos, policy analyst with the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, said "a successful summit would move beyond mere statements about denuclearization."

- Off topic, I am going to remember that quote. It sounds substantive, but it's also completely hollow. It's evergreen - you can use it for just about anything, a foreign policy equivalent of athletes saying that they're just trying to take the season one game at a time. I'm cherry-picking, though; the quote needs to be read in conjunction with the next part.

It "would instead lay out practical steps with requisite commitments from North Korea that demonstrate that it understands, accepts and is committed to achieving denuclearization as the U.S. defines it," said Enos, who is also in Singapore to watch the proceedings.

Security is tight ahead of the summit between two unpredictable men who in the past have threatened to destroy the other's country during the stand-off over North Korea's nukes.

- The use of nukes seems too casual for this topic. I would suggest nuclear weapons. Let's keep it classy when we're discussing these "two unpredictable men" (nice wording!) who could blast us back to the Stone Age.

Officers combed the city on Sunday, from the old colonial section to the modern skyscrapers to the hotel on nearby Sentosa island where Trump and Kim will actually meet. The leaders are spending the night at hotels about a half-mile apart in the upscale shopping area in Tanglin.

- When I read combed the city, I think of crime novels, Spaceballs, and a law enforcement activity launched to find something specific. It's not terrible here, but I think the writer could have used different wording. (You have seen Spaceballs, right? It's a Star Wars parody. "We've been combing the desert all day, and we ain't found s*!t.")

A government described as authoritarian by its critics has clamped down on protests thought strict loitering laws and a difficult permitting process.

- "A government described as authoritarian by its critics" - Singapore? (I'm kidding, of course it's Singapore...in this article.) 

- "clamped down on protests thought strict loitering". I suspect the author meant through, but I'm not sure. 

For his part, Trump accused the summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, of lying, and threatened to end trade with G-7 nations that he said use unfair practices. The president also refused to sign a G-7 joint statement pledging cooperation.

- "Trump accused the summit host, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,..." I would recommend deleting "the summit host" - it doesn't provide useful or critical information to the reader.

Exuding confidence, Trump said he has done relatively little formal preparation. The former businessman said he has spend a lifetime preparing for negotiations of this type, and predicted he would know in an instant if Kim is serious about the topic of denuclearization.

- "said he has spend a lifetime preparing" - Change to has spent.

The president who once described Kim as "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to destroy his country if it did not give up nukes, has not said what might happen if the summit goes the wrong way.

- If you use a comma after nukes, I'd suggest also using one after "The president". Doing so identifies the "...who once described" portion as supplementary or clarifying information. The main sentence content would be "The president has not said....."