Yesterday the South Koreans announced that the leaders of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un and the United States, Donald Trump, will meet sometime this Spring.
This is a truly amazing event in modern history. Two nations that have technically been at war for almost 70 years finally getting it together. A step in the right drection. Talking is always better than a nuclear holocaust. On most days.
Both Kim and Trump shoud be congratulated for agreeing to meet. Even though nothing substantive will probably emerge, the meeting itself is a giant step toward lowering tensions and should be welcomed by all.
In any meeting each side wants something and must give up something. What does Kim want? Well, for over 30 years the leaders of North Korea have tried to engage the US in one -on-one meetings of this sort. All previous presidents have declined. Kim gets to stand next to the most powerful man on Earth (other than Putin). He gets the prestige of dealing with the US as an equal.
From Kim’s point of view, his nuclear gambt has worked. By rapidly developing long range missiles tipped with nuclear warheads he has forced the US to recognize North Korea as a world power. It matters not that his missiles may not work. Or may not reach the US. Or that his warheads might be defective. The propaganda is all good.
This meeting helps Kim promote himself at home as the great leader who forced the US to the negotiating table. A big win.
What does Trump get? He stands alone as the only US president with the determination to meet North Korea in the name of ending tensions. He can claim that his get tough policy has frightened Kim into meeting. He made Kim cry “uncle” (If Kim has any uncles left he has not murdered). It matters not that Kim refuses to give up his military force. The propaganda is all good.
This meeting helps Trump promote himself as the great dealmaker even if no deal is made at the end of the day. A big win.
Of course, a lot could still happen to derail the meeting before it takes place. There are political forces in each country that do not want to see a cessation of hostilities. Preparation for war is still the biggest business on Earth. Money to be made.
If Trump and Kim control their inner child it is possible for some good to come of this. But, just for fun, let’s say they don’t control their impulses. The following dialogue (based on actual statements each has made or each government has made about the other) could go like this. (Italicized words are things they have actually said about each other).
Kim: Greetings, Dotard. How is your senility today?
Trump: Shove it, Rocket Man. I may be old but I have the biggest nuclear button.
Kim: Listen, you old lunatic, no one believes a word you say.
Trump: Once a madman, always a madman, hey Little Kim?
Kim: Why do you constantly spout rubbish instead of thinking about what you say?
Trump: Watch your mouth or you will suffer fire and fury like the world has never seen before.
Kim: You are bereft of reason and a destroyer of world peace.
Trump: I am tall but you are short and fat. Go on a diet, already.
So, maybe they will put aside their insults for a good photo op, maybe not. When the meeting (if it ever does take place) is done, here is what Sarah Huckabee Sanders will say:
“The president and the dictator had a very productive meeting in which they agreed to plan another meeting in which they can meet for the purposes of a closer dialogue and mutual understanding concerning the preliminary junction of three cans of tomatoes and I cannot answer that so I refer you to any lawyesr you can find…….
And the next morning President Trump tweets: I kicked little Kim’s ass all over the place ! MAGA!