Donald Trump suggested that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un board the US Air Force One plane to return to Pyongyang after meeting at the Hanoi summit in 2019, a BBC documentary reported.
According to the movie titled “Trump Takes the World,” the former US president “stunned even the most experienced diplomats” with the offer, which Kim turned down.
“President Trump offered Kim a return flight aboard Air Force One,” Matthew Pottinger, Asia’s advisor to the former Republican president, told the BBC, which released the information over the weekend.
“The president learned that Kim had arrived in Hanoi after a train journey that lasted several days through China and the president said,“ I can take you home in two hours if you like. ”Kim refused.
Had the North Korean leader accepted the offer, his presence – and possibly part of his entourage – on board the official US presidential plane in North Korea’s airspace would have raised many questions, security concerns.
Kim went to his first summit with Donald Trump, in Singapore in 2018, on a loan from China, and Beijing was determined to keep North Korea, which acts as its sphere of influence, in its sphere of influence. A buffer state between its borders and the American soldiers stationed in the south.
At the Singapore summit, Donald Trump showed Kim inside his presidential car – a $ 1.5 million Cadillac nicknamed “The Beast” – in evidence of their rapprochement.
After exchanging insults and threats of nuclear war, Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump staged an extraordinary rapprochement marked by historic and symbolic meetings. But no progress was made on the thorny issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic programs. Negotiations have stalled since the failure of the second summit between the two men at the end of February 2019 in Hanoi.
One reason for this stalemate is the lack of consensus on the concessions North Korea must make in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.
Last month, Kim described the United States as North Korea’s “greatest enemy”, adding that Washington’s policy toward Pyongyang “will never change,” “whoever is in power” in the United States.
North Korean state media has yet to name the new US President Joe Biden.