This Is The Image Trump Believes Will Lift Him Up And Carry Republicans To Victory In The Midterms
We don’t necessarily mean that image specifically, but that and others like it. Maybe this:
Or maybe this:
No doubt the Trump/Kim Singapore summit is an historic meeting, and a huge accomplishment for the President. We don’t mean to downplay that. Nothing super-concrete, but no one expected that. Instead, Trump and Kim today signing an agreement that includes (among other things):
- A commitment by North Korea to denuclearize. How and when and what that means exactly to be determined later.
- A commitment by the U.S. to end frequent military exercises on the Korean Peninsula. Although U.S. troops will remain in place. And for now, economic sanctions will also remain.
Here’s a photo of the signed joint agreement, taken when Trump held it up. (It was not immediately released to the media). Click on the photo for a larger version:
Although it’s not in the written agreement, according to the New York Times, Trump said Kim subsequently agreed to dismantle a missile engine testing site. That would be hugely significant because way-faster-than-expected improvements to North Korean missile engines are what put the mainland U.S. in range of North Korea’s nuclear missiles, and is kind of what got everybody to spring to action in the first place.
At a news conference after the summit, Trump said he’d invited Kim for a White House visit (and he’d be willing to visit Pyongyang), but not quite yet. And he hoped the U.S. would establish diplomatic relations with North Korea, but also not quite yet. Here’s a clip (click on the photo to watch):
Trump also said he did bring up human rights issues: “we’ll be doing something about that”, although “it was discussed relatively briefly compared to denuclearization.” Here’s that clip (again, click on the photo to watch):
A couple of other things jumped out at us:
- The signed agreement designates Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by name as the U.S. point person for further negotiations. That makes sense since he’s been the one flying back and forth and is most responsible for the meeting taking place as it did. However, that level of specificity is not included for a chief North Korean negotiator. Which leads us to believe the stipulation is in there as a sort of guarantee to North Korea that Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton won’t be directly involved. As we’ve mentioned before, North Korea despises Bolton because he was instrumental in killing the last near-deal it had with the U.S.
- Despite Trump’s insistence that sanctions would stay in place, China almost immediately said it’d like to see sanctions lifted, and soon. As we’ve pointed out, the U.S. has no economic relationship with North Korea, so the success and effectiveness of sanctions is almost entirely a matter of China’s willingness to cooperate. Kim is expected to meet with China’s President Xi very soon after the Trump summit. They met twice recently prior to the summit.