This Is What We’d Imagine Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un Would Talk About If They Ever Met
A Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un meeting could be a step in the right direction or a dangerous situation for the entire world, according to Vox. Both leaders have a penchant for over-the-top behaviors and actions, which could either mesh well or drive a wedge deeper into relations.
For now, representatives from the U.S., North Korea and South Korea are set to meet in Finland for second-tier talks about denuclearization, CNN reports. Thus far, Kim has yet to formally respond to Trump accepting his invitation to meet. What could transpire during the meeting? We may never truly know, but this is what experts anticipate could happen:
1. Denuclearization or halt of weapon testing
South Korean envoys who met with Kim issued a statement that read: “The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize,” according to The New York Times. “It made it clear that it would have no reason to keep nuclear weapons if the military threat to the North was eliminated and its security guaranteed.”
Potential talks might include denuclearization strategies and planning. And while Kim’s longstanding position has been that weapons are not up for negotiation, Trump seemed to be cautiously optimistic. “For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned,” Trump tweeted. “The World is watching and waiting! May be false hope, but the U.S. is ready to go hard in either direction!”
Next: Would biological and chemical weapons be included in talks?
2. What about biological and chemical weapons?
Beyond nukes, Kim has a concerning arsenal of biological and chemical weapons, according to The Atlantic. And while the North Korean biological and chemical weapon program has the most least known variables, working toward a pledge of “no first use of chemical and biological weapons on the Korean peninsula” could be on the early talks table.
“South Korea, the United States, the other six party talks members, or the United Nations Security Council should explore the possibility of obtaining a pledge from North Korea not to use chemical or biological weapons first,” according to testimony by global think-tank analytic company, The Rand Corporation. “Since South Korea does not have offensive chemical or biological weapons programs, seeking a pledge of no first use is a benefit for that country.”
How Trump and Kim address this topic is hard to prognosticate. However talks about the biological and chemical program could be addressed depending upon the environment surrounding denuclearization discussions.
Next: Trump may also call for the release of U.S. citizens in North Korea.
3. Release of U.S. citizens in North Korea
The heartbreaking retention and subsequent death of Otto Warmbier demonstrated the ruthlessness on North Korea’s part. Three other Americans are still imprisoned in North Korea, which could be on the bargaining table between the Trump – Kim talks, according to NBC Bay Area.
Releasing the prisoners may be the first step toward diplomacy on North Korea’s part. But Trump must appeal to Kim’s “humanitarian” side if he were to negotiate their release. Former presidents were successful negotiating U.S. prisoner release with North Korea in the past.
Next: Kim will want sanctions reduced or lifted in exchange for concessions.
4. Discuss sanctions with caution
Trump slapped some of the most significant sanctions on North Korea, even getting China to follow through with pressure, according to CNN. These sanctions include a ban on doing any business with North Korea or any individual who does business with North Korea, according to The Council on Foreign Relations.
Kim would want Trump to ease sanctions in exchange for reducing the weapons program and release of U.S. prisoners. However political analysts would like to see Trump exercise caution during this initial meeting. “He should give no bribe [or] cash, or lessen in any way the maximum pressure campaign that is in place that likely brought Kim Jong Un to the bargaining table,” Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies, Center for the National Interest said to Vox. “Kim must offer a clear path to denuclearizing. If all of that can’t happen, Trump needs to walk. Period.”
Next: Trump and Kim could relate through their similarities.
5. They could talk about commonalities
Finding common ground may be a great ice-breaker and hopefully pave the way for productive talks. The two could possibly talk about coming from powerful families and growing up in a world of privilege.
They could even be complimentary of each other. Trump has gone so far as to refer to Kim as a “smart cookie,” according to Isaac Stone Fish of the Asia Society, Public Radio International (PRI) reports. “One of the things [Trump] praised about Kim was taking over the family business, so to speak, when he was 26 or 27, which is roughly the same age that Trump took over the family business from his father,” Stone Fish said to PRI.
Next: They could also compare notes on their relationship with Dennis Rodman.
6. They share one ‘infamous’ friend too
Another way to break the ice is to talk about people they have in common. Both leaders have a relationship with former basketball player, Dennis Rodman. Rodman appeared on Celebrity Apprentice twice, according to USA Today and hoped to accompany Trump to the Kim meeting. Rodman and Kim forged an unusual friendship starting in 2013 and recently Rodman urged Trump to meet with Kim.
Next: Of course it will end up being all about the handshake.
7. Discussions about a handshake photo
Approximately 90% of the reason Kim wants this meeting with Trump is to cast an image that he and the U.S. are moving toward an era of peace, according to The Brookings Institute. “The meeting should serve mainly as a signal to the international community that the two sides are not bent on conflict, and do not have hostile intentions toward each other or America’s Asian allies,” Jeffrey Bader, senior fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution wrote.
The handshake photo op massages both Trump and Kim’s ego, no doubt each leader insisting on taking credit. In fact, Trump recently said, “Hopefully, you will give me credit,” to Jon Karl of ABC News, CNN reports. Don’t forget about the two jockeying to ensure the camera only shoots them from their “good side.”
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