The world’s attention has been captivated the past few days by Singapore for the first-time summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. And while the historic meeting on Sentosa Island certainly deserves to be the headline, there are a few other details of the president’s trip worth examining.
According to a tentative public schedule released by the president’s office, Trump will be visiting military bases in both Guam and Hawaii on his way back from Southeast Asia after the conclusion of the summit.
Trump’s first scheduled visit is a one-hour stop at Andersen Air Force Base in the U.S. territory of Guam, the Pacific island that received a significant amount of attention due to Kim Jong Un’s threat to aim missiles off of its coast last year. (North Korea eventually decided against such a move.)
As Guam’s Pacific Daily News noted, it’s been roughly 10 months since Trump assured Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo that America was behind his territory “a thousand percent” and that it was “safe” from any North Korean attacks.
The move marks the first visit that Trump has made to Guam during his presidency. Calvo’s office hasn’t said if the governor is going to be meeting the president during the visit, scheduled for between 3:10 and 4:40 a.m. Wednesday in Guam (1:10 to 2:40 p.m. Tuesday eastern time).
After departing Guam, Trump is scheduled to arrive at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, on his way home.
While it’s unclear whether Trump will be visiting with or addressing the troops on either visit, it’s worth noting that the president would be unlikely to take such a route if that weren’t the plan.
How much the Trump-Kim summit will actually accomplish remains to be seen. However, on Twitter, Trump called the mere fact that he sat down with the North Korean leader a victory for his administration, despite what the “haters & losers” might say.
The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2018
“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers,” Trump tweeted Monday. “We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle launches have stoped, and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!”
And then there’s the fact that Trump is returning with a signed document, according to Fox, which promises the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” albeit without a timeline. (On that account, the president said that, “We are starting that process very quickly”).
So, there is indeed something for the president to tout — if, of course, he decides to get out for a photo op with the troops.
This won’t be the first time that Trump has made a military-centric visit to Hawaii as president. On his way to Asia last November, Trump stopped at the USS Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor.
This time, however, he’s heading back home with a historic document and a tentative beginning to rapprochement with the North Koreans. And who better to commemorate it with than the men and women of our armed forces?
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