Trump-Kim summit: will it even happen?
US bureaucracy and media sent reeling by news of Trump-Kim summit; working to prevent it happening
11 March, 2018
Events in the US since President Trump agreed to South Korean President Moon’s proposal that he meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un show (1) the extent to which the US elite including large sections of the US government’s bureaucracy are willing President Trump to lose despite the huge damage this threatens the US; and (2) how President Trump’s foreign policy instincts are often superior to those of the foreign policy veterans or “adults” which whom he has become surrounded.
Firstly, it is now clear that President Trump’s decision to agree to President Moon’s proposal for a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un was his own.
Apparently when he was told of the proposal by the South Korean delegation which came to brief him about the talks the South Koreans had just had with Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, he immediately and enthusiastically agreed to it without first consulting any of his advisers.
Moreover it seems his excitement was so great that he even let slip news of the big announcement which was coming at the Gridiron Dinner.
It seems that none of the key officials of the government – Secretary of State Tillerson (currently on a tour of Africa), Defense Secretary Mattis or National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster – were consulted.
Not only were key officials of the US government not consulted, but there is no secret about their concern and displeasure, whilst the US media is now united with expressions of concern that by agreeing to meet with Kim Jong-un President Trump has walked into some kind of trap. In his typical earthy way President Trump has even tweeted about it
Not surprisingly, there are already attempts to hedge the summit meeting with preconditions, with White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders already talking about unspecified ‘concrete steps’ North Korea must take place before the summit meeting can happen at all
The president will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea, so the president will actually be getting something
Speaking by telephone, Xi told Trump that he appreciates the US president’s desire to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue politically, hoping that the United States and the DPRK will start dialogue as soon as possible and strive for positive results.
Xi added that he hopes all parties concerned will show goodwill and avoid doing anything which might affect or interfere with the improving situation on the peninsula, calling on them to maintain the positive momentum on the Korean Peninsula issue.
Xi also told Trump that China and the United States should focus on cooperation, control differences, promote win-win economic cooperation, and push for new advancement of bilateral relations in the new year.
Regarding the situation on the Korean Peninsula, Trump said the nuclear issue has shown positive development recently, adding that a high-level meeting between the United States and the DPRK meets the interests of all parties, hoping for an eventually peaceful solution to the nuclear issue.
It has been proved that President Xi is right to insist on a dialogue between the United States and the DPRK, Trump said, adding that the US side highly appreciates and values China’s significant role in resolving the Korean Peninsula issue, and is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with China over the issue, Trump said.
Xi pointed out that China remains persistent in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula, and resolving the nuclear issue through talks.
At present, the positive changes in the situation on the Korean Peninsula are conducive to putting the denuclearization process back on the right track of settlement through dialogue, which is also in line with the direction set by UN Security Council resolutions concerning the DPRK, Xi said.
“I believe that as long as all parties adhere to the general direction of political and diplomatic settlement, we will surely push forward the Korean Peninsula issue in the direction that the international community has been looking forward to,” Xi said.