When President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un meet in Singapore this week, the eyes of the world are going to be on the Asian city-state.
But the real action could take place when the two men are alone in a closed-door session, talking one-on-one with only their translators in attendance.
That’s how the summit is going to begin, according to a Bloomberg report. And from the American side anyway, one important thing is going to be understood pretty quickly.
At a news conference Saturday as he prepared to leave the G-7 economic summit in Quebec, Trump told reporters the up-close interaction with Kim will give him an immediate idea of how successful the Singapore summit is going to be.
“How long will it take to figure out whether or not they’re serious? I said, maybe in the first minute,” Trump told reporters.
“You know the way they say that you know if you’re going to like somebody in the first five seconds? You ever hear that one? Well, I think that very quickly I’ll know whether or not something good is going to happen.”
A portion of Trump’s news conference can be seen here:
Pres. Trump says "within the first minute" he'll know if negotiations with Kim Jong Un will produce favorable outcome.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 9, 2018
Trump going solo with a potential enemy that has repeatedly threatened to literally attack American soil, as Kim has, is certainly a new chapter for his presidency.’
On “Fox News Sunday,” the president got some qualified support, from a quarter where it might not have been expected.
Former United Nations Ambassador Bill Richardson, a former Democratic New Mexico governor, Bill Clinton appointee to the U.N., and well-regarded Democrat who chaired the party’s 2004 national convention, told host Neil Cavuto that Trump’s one-on-one plans were the way to deal with North Korea.
“You don’t find out with the North Koreans right away,” he said. “I think the president may be referring to the fact that a lot of these deals, possibly, could be pre-cooked. That summit preparations are going well, that (Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) is doing a good job at narrowing our differences.”
After his occasionally bumpy summit with traditional American allies in Canada, Trump seemed confident at the news conference that his next foreign affairs initiative was going to go well.
And Richardson thought that could be a sign the summit has a chance of success.
Trump was unlikely to speak the way he did “unless he already knows some pre-cooked result, which from his press conference sounded like the summit is going pretty well,” Richardson said.
“So, I’m encouraged,” Richardson said.
The rest of the world is likely to find out pretty quickly if Richardson is right.
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