This past week, it was announced that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would meet Donald Trump and have discussions for "45 minutes that could alter history."
Or not. Really what can be accomplished in 45 minutes? Let's go through the scenarios, before which we will knock out the logistics.
First of all, where would Kim and Trump meet. We're not sending Trump to NK and Kim isn't comin' to America. So I think it's almost a lock that Kim and Trump meet in China. Despite saying "China is not our friend" in 2014, Trump clearly thought of China as our friend in 2017. Let's pretend that we're degenerate gamblers and set some odds.
Chances are that the meeting's in:
Now for the hard part. What can be the possible results of the meeting?
Future Dialogue - 40%
Nothing - 40%
Real Peace - 9%
Trump Assassinated - 1%
Now I fully expect either nothing to happen, or maybe a lessening of the multiple sanctions coupled with a future dialogue. Do you expect anything different? Maybe Trump and Kim hit it off and start a lasting peace. Doubtful, but possible. Also Trump and Kim could hate each other so much that the talks could trigger war. Also doubtful, but possible. It's the last result I'd like to take a few more minutes to examine.
Way, way back in 1804, the sitting Vice-President Aaron Burr had a duel with Alexander Hamilton, the former Secretary of the Treasury. Hamilton was mortally wounded in the duel and died of his injuries. Can you imagine any sitting politician having a duel today? You may say John McCain, but I'm not talking 30 year old John McCain, I'm talking today. Cancer stricken, 81 year old John McCain ain't shootin' anyone.
You may be shaking your head in disapproval, not understanding what I'm getting at. What I'm trying to say is that Young Donald Trump, Old Donald Trump, doesn't matter, he's not killing anyone. He may give the order to have someone killed, but he's not pulling the trigger himself. Who's the last President to have the intestinal fortitude to kill a man. Not give the order to kill a man. Kill a man himself. Probably George H.W. Bush. And that would be a Young H.W. I think age had mellowed Bush Sr. by the time he was elected. Who was the last American President to have the gumption to kill a man with his own hands if he so chose, while in office? Probably Eisenhower.
I know this is an uncomfortable conversation to be had, but Kim Jong-un is only 34 years old. If the intelligence on Kim is correct (debatable), he is more than unstable enough to kill Trump himself. Even though Kim didn't kill his half-brother Kim Jong-nam, even if he just gave the order, there's an extra level of coldness in ordering the execution of a sibling.
Could you see a scenario where Kim sprays a nerve agent at Trump himself? I could. Say the talks go poorly, then Kim requests an additional meeting away from advisors and the glare of the world. Trump accepts, thinking he's in the middle of a business deal, only to be on the receiving end of international espionage.
Or, I could even see a scenario where Kim knocks on Trump's hotel door in a silly disguise and Trump answers the door in disbelief. "What are you doing?" Then Kim sprays VX on Trump and, bam, game over.
America would survive. Not so sure about NK.