If the world has learned anything about President Donald Trump over the course of his first year in office, it’s that flattery gets you everywhere. Wine him, dine him, treat him like a man whose bowel movements can only be made on a golden commode, and literally anything you want from the United States will be yours.
French President Emmanuelle Macron gave the world the road map to Trump’s heart last summer when he rolled out the red carpet for the President and First Lady Melania Trump at France’s annual Bastille Day celebration. Trump had been critical of France, specifically how they handle Islamic extremism domestically, and he had choice words for NATO during the campaign and even after he took office. But Macron’s charm offensive worked, and since the trip he’s been much more muted on those issues.
Now it appears South Korea is preparing to attempt the same feat. They’re putting the finishing touches on a flashy welcome not for President Trump himself, but for the First Daughter.
Korean English language news outlet The Chosunilbo reported Monday that the government of South Korea is preparing a VIP, First Lady style welcome for Ivanka Trump, who’s official title is Assistant to the President.
Ivanka is scheduled to join the U.S. Olympic delegation in Pyeongchang, South Korea for the closing ceremonies, and the government of the important U.S. ally is preparing to take full advantage of the opportunity to wow President Trump’s daughter.
“You can say that Ivanka Trump holds the key to convincing the U.S. government,” a key ruling party official told the Chosunilbo. “We will provide all the support we can in terms of diplomatic protocol.”
First Ladies traveling alone are often afforded lavish welcomes, but it’s quite out of the ordinary for the child of any head of state to receive one. Nor is it the norm for someone of Ivanka’s governmental rank to receive VIP treatment, though stories that Ivanka has assumed roles normally reserved for the First Lady of the United States have certainly made their way to Asia.
South Korea wants the President to attend a regional security summit later this year, however, and they’re not going to blow this opportunity.
“We are considering exceptional measures by having a high-ranking official greet Ivanka and accompany her during her visit,” another government official is quoted as saying. “Since President Trump cannot make it to Pyeongchang, Ivanka is his proxy and envoy, it’s important to win her support to realize the inter-Korean summit.”
Let’s hope our enemies don’t figure out how easy President Trump is to manipulate, although we’re probably too late.