Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are going to meet face-to-face to discuss denuclearization and sanctions.
What a weird fucking world this is.
This afternoon, Trump blew past the State Department and other potential advisors that aren’t in place (like an ambassador to South Korea) to accept a personal invitation from Kim Jong Un to hold a summit.
Out of all the batshit crazy lunacies that have emerged from this dysfunctional mess known as the Trump administration, this is far and away the most insane.
Some elementary level context: the United States is still technically at war with North Korea. There has never been a formal meeting between the North Korean and (sitting) United States leadership. We don’t have an embassy in North Korea. We don’t even have a consulate. We go through Sweden, who has a post in Pyongyang, when we need to get something diplomatically accomplished (on the record, off the record, we very likely have other backchannels).
On principle, this isn’t a bad development. In fact, it’s a very good development. Diplomacy (and/or) Economic Based Actions (e.g. Sanctions) > Bombs Dropping/People Being Killed.
Practically speaking, this is exactly the type of delicate situation which experts should handle. Donald Trump is not an expert on the interstate politics of the Korean Peninsula. The actual “experts” had no fucking clue this was about to happen. Expert is also a generous word when it comes to Rex Tillerson.
There are many ways which this situation could go off the rails. With someone as unstable as Trump, there are loads of landmines lurking before, during and after this meeting.
And then there’s the Kim Jong Un factor. Why now? What is really going on in North Korea? Is Kim Jong Un cashing in after maximizing his bargaining position? Is the North Korean regime running low on money and ready to bargain to get more? Does Kim want the air of legitimacy and is he playing a world-class moron like Donald Trump to get those global optics? Is Vladimir Putin behind this development?
It could be anything that prompted the biggest policy shift on North Korea in history and this could be a meaningful stride toward permanent peace on the Peninsula.
If such a positive development happened in the era of Trump, it would be utterly jaw dropping.
But then again, something about those two psychopaths sitting together shaking hands for the cameras would be symbolic of the savagery that characterizing our dystopian days.