Trump’s staff were surprised several times during the summits with the North Korean dictator.
Donald Trump’s summits with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un were perhaps among the most striking moments during his four-year presidency.
In the third and final part of the BBC documentary “Trump Takes on the World”, startling details appear about what was said at the meetings between Trump and Kim.
Previous episodes of the BBC series have revealed how world leaders perceived and experienced Donald Trump as President of the United States.
Kim and Trump’s second summit, which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, did not go exactly according to plan because negotiations on nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula went awry. Trump left the summit, announcing to the international press that “sometimes you just have to go.”
Also read: Trump: Kim did not agree to what we wanted
Kim offered a ride home
But before leaving the summit, then-US President Trump made an absurd offer to North Korea’s dictator who surprised Trump’s staff.
Asia expert Matthew Pottinger, who was a member of Trump’s National Security Council, said the following about the meeting:
– President Trump offered Kim a ride home with Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had spent several days on a train through China to get to Hanoi, and the president said, “I can get you home in two hours, if you want.” Kim declined the offer, Pottinger says in the TV show “Trump Takes on the World”.
During another summit in Singapore, Trump surprised his advisers once again when he gave in to Kim’s desire to cancel joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.
“As many times before, Kim Jong-un complained about the major joint exercises between South Korea and US forces, which have been going on in the Korean Peninsula for over 60 years,” then-National Security Adviser John Bolton told the BBC program.
– And Trump said completely out of the blue: “I will cancel the war games (as he called them). There is no need for them. They are expensive and it will make you happy ». I could not believe it, says Bolton.
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– Pompeo (then Secretary of State), Kelly (then Chief of Staff of the White House) and I were sitting in the room with Trump, and he did not consult with us. It came straight out of Trump’s own mind. It was a mistake that was not forced. It was a grant that did not give us anything in return, says Bolton.
– Threatened to annihilate each other
During the first year of Trump’s presidency, there was an extremely high level of tension between North Korea and the United States. Kim and Trump carpet-bombed each other with war rhetoric, and both parties threatened to annihilate each other.
Eventually, the two developed a whimsical friendship, and Trump was praised by some quarters for his conciliatory efforts toward North Korea. Both American elected representatives and two Norwegian FRP politicians (Christian Tybring-Gjedde and Per-Willy Amundsen) nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
However, the three summits between Trump and Kim did not lead to any nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula.
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