Foreign Policy

Report: Trump Made the North Korea Meeting Announcement on a Whim

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Will Trump actually meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un?

I have my doubts and those doubts have been bolstered by the inside story of how Trump's surprise announcement happened.

The announcement was apparently a surprise to everyone, including the South Korean national security adviser who appear on television to deliver it. Trump reportedly made the decision on a whim without any amount of planning or input from anyone.

Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts.

So, if it seemed as if the announcement came out of nowhere with virtually no forethought, that's because it did.

The White House began walking back the significance of the announcement and the claim that Kim Jong Un had promised anything by the next morning and that's probably because Kim did not promise anything. It's not clear if the White House even had any communication with North Korea before making the announcement that he would meet Kim Jong Un.

While I personally believe we should be willing to talk to our enemies, in this case it does appear that Trump has walked into the trap of granting Kim Jong Un legitimacy for no substantive or demonstrable reason. Even if the meeting doesn't take place, Trump will come out of it looking like a fool.

  • You are right, JM that we should talk to our enemies. Under a competent President, we could use talks to fine tune or even relieve pressure and forestall any violence. Dubya understood this! He sent an envoy to the six party talks for years and years! They didn’t work, but still it was Dubya!

  • muselet

    Even if Donald Trump were the super-genius master negotiator he claims to be—he’s not—instantly agreeing to meet with Kim Jong-un would still be one of the stupidest things he could have done. There’s a reason no President of the United States has met in person with any of the ruling Kims.

    Idiot.

    –alopecia

  • Victor the Crab

    And yet Bill Maher scolds liberals on this because he thinks Drumpf is actually doing something good.

    • muselet

      And people wonder why I consider Bill Maher a waste of carbon.

      –alopecia

  • Geez, I wish this asshat would land us on Mars already. I’m sick of waiting.

  • ninjaf

    While I personally believe we should be willing to talk to our enemies, in this case it does appear that Trump has walked into the trap of granting Kim Jong Un legitimacy for no substantive or demonstrable reason. Even if the meeting doesn’t take place, Trump will come out of it looking like a fool.

    The demonstrable reason was that the headlines on the scandals for his administration were horrific and spiraling. He saw a chance to change the narrative (for himself) and jumped at it.

  • KanaW

    Why am I not surprised?
    Because everything Trump does is on a whim.

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