When despots with pot bellies meet
It’s all set, except for every imaginable detail you can think of. President Donald Trump and the “Dear One” will be meeting sometime or other somewhere or other to palaver about TBD.
For the record, “Dear One” refers to Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea —not some participant in, as the song goes, a “third rate romance/low rent rendezvous.”
So where should these two geopolitical titans meet?
One obvious place is the Joint Security Area, aka the Truce Village, in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
Another is IHOP. Both statesmen really can pack it away. Perhaps they could break the ice with a pancake-eating contest.
But what happens after that? Both sides face challenges. For the Americans there is the very real danger of “Despot Envy.” Trump is fond of extra-judicial strongmen, like Rodrigo “shoot first and don’t ask questions later” Duterte of the Philippines, Vlad “the poisoner” Putin of Russian, and China’s President “for life” Xi Jinping.
Kim Jong Un makes these three tyrants look like Eagle Scouts. There is no “Fake News” in North Korea because there is only government media, which once reported that Kim’s late father, Kim Jong Il, shot 38 under par, with 11 holes-in-one, the first time he played a round of golf. Honest, you can look it up.
Wait until our Duffer-in-Chief hears that!
Like the Trump administration, Kim’s regime is awash with his own relatives. But the Korea despot uses “tough love” to keep his kin on the straight-and-narrow. When familial trouble erupts, the “Dear One” doesn’t simply downgrade security clearances; that’s for West Wing wimps.
No, as an example, Kim had his uncle executed for, among other high crimes, “half-heartedly clapping” during one of his nephew’s speeches. Kim’s estranged half-brother was assassinated in a nerve agent attack while waiting to catch a plane in Malaysia.
Things may be different for Eric, Jared, Don Jr. and the gang if this hypothetical summit ever takes place.
Meanwhile, planners on both sides will have to take into consideration what these two men have in common besides cholesterol. Clearly, they both enjoy applause and flattery as well as jingoistic military parades. Separate but synchronized martial processions, like marching bands at halftime of a football game, could follow the flapjack-massacre; the two leaders could digest their food while comparing their respective buttons (likely both are “outies”) and rockets.
The Americans are reportedly planning to soften up the “Dear One,” who is fond of American culture, with some relaxing background music. One pop song in particular has been selected— the love anthem, “Still the One,” by that 70s band Orleans. With a slight change in the title, to “Still the Un,” it would go like this:
We’ve been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know, after all these years
You’re still the Un I want whispering in my ear
You’re still the Un that makes me laugh
Still the Un that’s my better half
We’re still having fun…
….and you’re still the Un
With lyrical ambiance like that, what could possibly go wrong?
David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.
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