Not long ago, the idea of a Kim in North Korea sitting down with the President, any President, of the United States seemed nearly impossible. Even negotiations that held promise in the past, did not include a face to face meeting with the heads of state.
On Monday Donald Trump tweeted a suggestion that his planned meeting with Kim Jong-un could take place at the Peace House on the border between North and South Korea, the same site as Kim’s historic meeting last week with South Korean president Moon Jae-in.
Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
Trump went on to give the most detailed preview so far of potential venues for the talks. “We’re looking at various countries, including Singapore, and we are also talking about the possibility of the DMZ,” he told reporters during a presser in the White House rose garden.
“And there’s something that I thought was intriguing. I think that some people maybe don’t like the look of that and some people like it very much. I threw it out today as an idea … There’s something that I like about it because you’re there, you’re actually there, where if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country.”
Trump’s new National Security Advisor, John Bolton, advised the President pump the brakes on his optimism, cautioning a need to see “evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric.” Newly minted Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who met in person with Kim over Easter weekend while still the CIA Director , also told ABC News that the administration will not be fooled.
“We know the history, we know the risks,” he said. “We’re going to negotiate in a different way than before, we’re going to require steps that demonstrate denuclearization is going to be achieved. We’re not going to take promises or words, we are going to look for actions and deeds.”
Based on hints given by Trump at a rally in Michigan over the weekend, the meeting could take place within the next three to four weeks.
South Korea’s president, Moon Jae in, said the talks between Trump and Kim were the primary topic of conversation during a chat he had with Kim during their historic meeting at the DMZ. In January, Moon said Trump “deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks. It could be a resulting work of the US-led sanctions and pressure.”
So what say you SOFREP? Will this potential meeting happen and if so, will it yield real results? Or is Kim just fronting because the mountain caved in? Sound off in the comments.
Thanks to Bob Lang for a vintage TOON for use in this Wednesday’s column