Trump Offered North Korea's Kim A "Ride Home" On Air Force One, Adviser Reveals

Trump Offered North Korea’s Kim A “Ride Home” On Air Force One, Adviser Reveals

A newly released BBC documentary entitled “Trump Takes on the World” has revealed the former president offered Kim Jong Un a ride back to North Korea on Air Force One after the Hanoi summit two years ago, which came at the height of the temporary breakthrough in relations between Washington and Pyongyang. 

Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, who had an unusually long stint under Trump helping to formulate Asia policy for the administration, told the BBC

President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: ‘I can get you home in two hours if you want.’ Kim declined.” 

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The BBC documentary narrated that the US president “stunned even the most seasoned diplomats” by making the offer.

Presumably both sides were indeed shocked by the gesture given that if it had actually happened, serious “security concerns” would be raised by the spectacle of Kim and his entourage riding on an official US government aircraft (which features ‘Top Secret’ technology, layout and protocol) while entering North Korean airspace. 

Both the US and North Korean sides have formal laws against such “enemy” aircraft and officials violating airspace.

As BBC recounts further of the unlikely “bromance” of that period:

During the Singapore summit, Trump gave Kim a glimpse inside his presidential state car — a $1.5 million Cadillac also known as “The Beast” — in a show of their newly friendly rapport.

At the Hanoi summit in Feb.2019, via AFP.

Ultimately the historic thawing of tensions and relaxation of ‘war-footing’ didn’t outlast the Trump administration, given Pyongyang and Washington are now essentially right back where they started.

Currently it remains unclear what Biden’s North Korea policy will be – only that as US state-funded VOA News describes Biden is “likely to reverse the Trump administration’s North Korea policies”. But ultimately there won’t be a denuclearization of the peninsula anytime soon.

“As the new Biden administration gears up to formulate policies toward North Korea, experts think the administration will probably return to the incremental approach to denuclearization that was the norm before former President Donald Trump’s term in office,” VOA concludes.

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