Former US president Donald Trump proposed to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “a lift home” on an Air Force One plane. According to the BBC, this was to happen after the summit in Hanoi in February 2019.
The Hanoi meeting, the second-ever summit of US and DPRK leaders, ended in a fiasco. Negotiations on the denuclearization of North Korea have collapsed, and then-US President Donald Trump told reporters that “sometimes you have to get away” from the table.
But before the US delegation left the meeting place, Trump made Kim an offer that “stunned even the most seasoned diplomats,” writes the BBC.
“President Trump has offered Kim to drive him home aboard Air Force One. The president knew Kim was going to Hanoi for a few days by train via China and said: I can drive you home in two hours if you want. Kim declined the offer“- revealed to the BBC Mattew Pottinger, who was then the chief Asia expert on the Trump National Security Council.
The BBC points out that the proposal to fly the presidential plane was just one of many surprises about the Trump-Kim relationship that emerged at their first meeting in Singapore in June 2018. The then US President’s National Security Adviser John Bolton told the British station that “Trump thought he had found a new best friend“.
In Singapore, Trump surprised his negotiating team when he agreed to halt the joint US-South Korean military exercise that Pyongyang had complained about for years. “Trump suddenly said: I’m going to cancel war games. They are not needed, they are expensive, and that will make him happy. I couldn’t believe it“said Bolton.
The former advisor said Trump made the decision without consulting his team. “It was an unforced error, a concession for which we did not get anything in return” – he assessed.
Since the Hanoi summit, the nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have come to a standstill. At the ruling party’s congress in January, Kim Jong Un announced further nuclear rearmament and the construction of “the most powerful military force”.
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