- President Donald Trump made cryptic statements and refused to deny if he had spoken to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
- If Trump did speak to Kim, he violated his own principals of insisting on preconditions for talks.
- Trump has teased members of the media in the past with seemingly juicy stories that turned out to be nothing.
President Donald Trump made cryptic comments to The Wall Street Journal this week and refused to clarify whether or not he had spoken to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump told The Journal on Thursday. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”
Asked directly if he had spoken to Kim, Trump refused to clarify or rule it out: “I don’t want to comment on it. I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment.”
But if Trump had talked to Kim, it would be tremendous news, as not even South Korean President Moon Jae In nor Chinese President Xi Jinping have spoken to the reclusive leader, who has never met another head of state face-to-face.
Trump has said many times he’d talk to Kim
- KCNA/via REUTERS
Trump has previously said he would be “honored” to talk to Kim, and at a recent retreat to Camp David, said he would “absolutely” talk to Kim, but only “under the right circumstances.”
Trump’s administration’s official position on North Korea says that the “right circumstances” will occur when North Korea is willing to discuss denuclearization, something which statements from Pyongyang routinely refuse and bristle at.
But Trump’s stance on North Korea has shifted time and time again.
Trump has dangled juicy stories in front of reporters before
Trump refusing to clarify remarks and instead appearing to deliberately build suspense happened before.
During an impromptu photo session between Trump and senior military officials at the White House in October, when tensions between the US and North Korea were incredibly high, Trump commented that the event may be “the calm before the storm” before abruptly ending the encounter.
Asked a day later about the comment, Trump winked and said, “You’ll find out… We’ll see.” In the months since then, no event cleanly presents itself as the “storm” Trump warned of.
If Trump did speak with Kim, he either would have violated his own principals of insisting on preconditions to do so, or he has secretly advanced negotiations far beyond what anyone thought possible.