As preparations ramp up for the long-awaited “summit” between Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, conflicting reports have surfaced over both the length of the meeting and the reasons for timetables that have been set by each party.
We put “summit” in quotations, of course, because the historic meeting will look nothing like any summit that an American president has ever participated in: Zero preparation, zero agreements on what to expect going in, and zero accountability for either of the two world leaders — Kim has already scored a major win simply by looking like a Supreme Leader who genuinely wants peace, already being fawned over by press on the Asian peninsula, and Trump risks almost nothing in the tête-à-tête, having already set the bar as low as possible through not only his own behavior but by preparing the world for the possibility that he simply leaves in a huff after judging Kim’s sincerity “in the first minute” of the affair.
But the power struggle is already underway even now, which at the time of this writing precedes the beginning of talks.
Kim set an end time for the “summit,” telling the press that he will be leaving Singapore just seven hours after talks are scheduled to begin. Not to be outdone, Trump set a timetable of his own of just three hours later to depart the city-state, with a White House press release citing more early progress than anticipated:
“The discussions between the United States and North Korea are ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected.”
That, however, is at odds with live updates from on location in the island nation at the southern tip of Malaysia. In an ongoing, regularly-updated report from the New York Times, reporters said that:
As the meeting approached, American and North Korean officials worked to hammer out a joint statement the two leaders might make at the close of their talks. But it was unclear that they could do more than reach a broad, general agreement on tough questions like nuclear disarmament.
It could be that Kim’s definition of “nuclear disarmament,” says the Times, differs wildly from Trump’s, with an expectation that America would dial down its own weapons stockpile on the peninsula — a concept surely anathema to a Trump victory in these talks.
We’ll know soon enough how it’s all gone.
Featured image via New Century Times Gallery