In a bizarre development, President Trump has decided to meet with Kim Jong-un. Apparently, it’s not a joke. And I hope the president brings a taste-tester with him.
South Korean officials were at the White House to brief top administration officials about South Korea’s recent talks with North Korea in Pyongyang.
According to South Korean officials, Trump’s agreement to a meeting came after Kim Jong Un said he would halt nuclear tests and move toward denuclearization. They also said Kim Jong Un understood that joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will continue as planned.
South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong announced the future meeting in a brief statement at the White House. He said Kim Jong Un “expressed eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.” The White House said no specific meeting date has been scheduled.
A report yesterday said a letter delivered by the South Koreans to President Trump contained Kim Jong Un’s message about denuclearization and wanting to meet with Trump.
But a senior administration official later told reporters that Kim’s message was verbally delivered by the South Korean officials during their Oval Office briefing with Trump.
The same senior official tried to downplay the proposed meeting saying, “What we’re talking about is an invitation by the leader of North Korea to meet face to face with the president of the United States. The president has accepted that invitation.”
In the meantime, the status of current sanctions and pressure remain unchanged.
Trump said he thinks the North Koreans are “sincere” in their desire to meet. He credited our “very, very strong” sanctions, and increased Chinese pressure.
CNN was right. If he pulls this off, he will be remembered as a great president for this alone. However, in today’s upside down world, I expect the Nobel Peace Prize to go to Kim Jong-un and not Donald Trump, if it were achieved.
But we’ve got a long way to go.
No sitting U.S. president has ever met with a leader of North Korea. Former president Jimmy Carter visited North Korea in 1994, giving then-dictator Kim Il Sung a hug after their meeting. North Korea hinted around about freezing their nuclear weapons program back then too.
That was almost 24 years ago. Unfortunately, the more things change, the more they stay the same in North Korea.