Big Mac diplomacy may be the Trump administration's recipe for peace with North Korea. Who would've thought that the President's love of the 'Golden Arches' could end up being common ground to help facilitate historic talks with the repressive regime? I know you can't really tell by looking at him, but Kim Jong Un apparently has a soft spot for a McDonald's quarter-pounder with cheese and extra-large fries.
Could McDonald's be the actual reason that North Korea seems so eager to make this summit happen with the U.S.? According to U.S. officials the answer is, at least in part, yes. Apparently, Kim Jong Un may allow a McDonald's in Pyongyang as “a show of goodwill to the U.S." How generous of him.
It's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But what if the man has no heart, like Kim Jong Un? Is the promise of regular Happy Meals and chocolate milkshakes really all it takes to get Kim to relinquish his nukes? If so, why didn't the last big presidential McDonald's fan – Bill Clinton – think of this?
Regardless of North Korea's motive, the opening of a McDonald's there would be a potentially monumental breakthrough. Historically, when McDonald's franchises open in communist nations, it's usually a precursor to shaking off communist rule. Russians waited in line for hours when the first McDonald's opened in Moscow in 1990. It seems once a population goes Big Mac, there's no going back. Of course, Russia still has Putin, so maybe they need an In-N-Out Burger.
Historically, when McDonald's franchises open in communist nations, it's usually a precursor to shaking off communist rule.
During the 1970s, when McDonald's first expanded into Europe, its tagline there was “United Tastes of America." More than just offering burgers and fries, it was symbolic of American success, and that your country could have it too. Ray Kroc called his company “my personal monument to capitalism," and in a real sense, that's what McDonald's franchises became in many places overseas.
Of course, it may just be that international sanctions have put the squeeze on Kim's fast-food habit. His father, Kim Jong Il, apparently used to fly in McDonald's from China. Perhaps now Kim Jong Un simply needs a more convenient way to curb those midnight Big Mac attacks. If so, it's pretty much par for the course. Kim will be Lovin' It, right there in Pyongyang, while the rest of his people continue to subsist on shoe leather.