President Trump’s much-anticipated summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is set to unfold tomorrow in Singapore, and already it appears that those who predicted little progress between the two leaders will, unfortunately, be vindicated.
The White House released a statement early today claiming that the discussions are “ongoing and have moved more quickly than expected” and that Trump intends to return to the United States at 8 P.M. tomorrow.
In other words, we are supposed to believe that one of the most tangled, fraught relationships in geopolitics will be solved in a single day by a president who is a complete diplomatic neophyte and who refuses to study any of the details going into the meeting. Now, the 8 P.M. has now been moved up to 7 P.M. according to The Hill, further cutting down Trump’s trip.
White House announces Trump and Kim will have a bilateral meeting and working lunch tomorrow after their one-on-one tomorrow. Then Trump will have a press conference and depart Singapore at 8 p.m. No second day of meetings. pic.twitter.com/CwkJO30x86
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 11, 2018
Reportedly, Trump was willing to stay later but moved his departure time up after learning that Kim will be leaving Singapore at 4 P.M. It’s unclear why Kim’s entourage is choosing to leave so early, but the time constraint could be a power move on the Korean dictator’s part aimed at asserting his authority over Trump.
Many observers have pointed out that entire summit is already a major public relations win for the North Koreans, who have long desired a meeting with the American president. It allows Kim, the leader of a famine-stricken nuclear-armed rogue state to present himself as Trump’s equal on the world stage.
The stakes for Trump, on the other hand, couldn’t be higher. He and his cronies have hyped the summit to the point where anything less than an ironclad agreement for the denuclearization of North Korea will come across as a failure.