Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
President Trump astounded the world with his announcement that current CIA Director, and Secretary of State designate, Mike Pompeo, secretly traveled to Pyongyang and met with Kim Jung Un, the dictatorial ruler of North Korea. Reminiscent of Henry Kissinger’s secret mission to Beijing, the purpose of he trip was to lay the groundwork for the meeting between Kim Jung Un and President Donald Trump. The details, such as where and when, have yet to be ironed out, but the very fact of the visit moves the meeting from the realm of speculation to that of probability.
I frankly don’t appreciate the nay saying and hand-wringing from the foreign policy establishment that bet on the wrong horse in 2016 and now find themselves on the outside looking in. Pompeo’s trip,like Kissinger’s, was to respond favorably to an overture from an old foe and attempt to break the stalemate in order to, quite frankly, give peace a chance. His purpose in making that trip was not to negotiate the seating chart for the opening banquet; details are left to lower-level minions. He went to see if Un truly was serious about ending the most treacherous stand-off and removing a real nuclear threat to the United States. What possibly could be the harm in at least trying!
Will there be pre-conditions to the meeting? I am certain that the talking heads will be all atwitter over what should be, could be, and might be. Normally, most of the possible agreements to arise out of the meeting would be largely pre-ordained. Enormous numbers of staff hours would be spent over the wording of the final communique and any agreements to actually be signed. I am not certain this one will follow that model. Both Un and Trump are more free-wheeling and less inclined to be “handled” by the experts. Both will swing for the fences and be wiling to either strike out, hit a home run, or maybe just a single. There may not be any earth shattering agreements – my best guess is that they emerge with a vague framework for future negotiations. The significance of the meeting is that it takes place. In Iceland, Reagan and Gorbachev, meeting alone without staff and briefing papers, came within a cat’s whisker of agreeing to ban all nuclear weapons. They didn’t, but the fact that they came so close set the tone and directions for future arms negotiations.Something similar could well be the lasting legacy of the Trump – Un summit.
President Trump stated that he might not have the meeting unless Un agreed in advance to give up and destroy his nuclear weaponry program.I don’t buy that. This is the opportunity for President Donald Trump, the Big Dog, the only one who can get things done, to strut his stuff on the biggest stage available with the whole world watching and holding its collective breath. Can he pass it up? Not a chance..