When it came to seeing an American and North Korean leader meet, I thought it was going to be a long, long time. But, as it turned out, it happened just last month — and could bear more fruit in the future.
Of course, when establishing detente with foreign leaders, gifts are often exchanged. Sometimes these are lavish, sometimes these are simple. And sometimes, they’re simply hilarious.
Take Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea, which began this Friday. The main point of the meeting was to talk about Pyongyang’s denuclearization process. However, according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, the president sent along a CD for Kim Jong Un.
As for what it was, it included a song that means a lot to both of them:
Of the gifts, Chosun Ilbo said that “One is a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and the other an Elton John CD with his song ‘Rocket Man.’
“Sources in Washington said the gifts reflect Trump’s expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.
“The ‘Rocket Man‘ CD was the subject of discussion during Trump’s lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as ‘rocket man’ when tensions ran high last year,” a diplomatic source said. “Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no.”
“Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it,” Chosun Ilbo reported.
“Rocket Man,” indeed, was a common theme for the president when Pyongyang’s nuclear saber-rattling was at its most frenzied:
Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at U.N. If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won't be around much longer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
Well, so far he hasn’t failed, although being at least civil to Kim Jong Un has worked.
The two-day visit will be Pompeo’s third to North Korea since becoming secretary of state just a few short months ago.
The secretary of state will also be accompanied “by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and seasoned nuclear negotiator, Allison Hooker, a National Security Council adviser, Randall Schriver, an assistant secretary of defense for Asia Pacific security affairs, and Andrew Kim, the head of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center,” Chosun Ilbo reported.
Six reporters will also follow Pompeo’s entourage.
Elton John, sadly, will be absent.
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