That handshake…

I guess you can dust off that unreliable word historic. This morning “Little Rocket Man” and the “mentally deranged US dotard” put aside their differences and shook hands for the sake of the show.

The photographs are certainly impressive, with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un standing in profile before a line of their countries’ flags. For now, symbol wins over substance.

Trump said that “a lot of progress was made”, although the actual talks are said to have lasted 38 minutes – almost the time it takes to bash out one of these blogs of a morning.

After stropping out of the G7 talks and leaving everything in disarray, Trump moves from the bilateral world he hates – all that having to listen to other people go on and on about boring stuff – to the unilateral, egotistical “look what I did” world of doing the deal.

Incidentally, did you know that Trump is reported to have come to a terrible deal over the royalties for The Art of the Deal? According to a report on the Politico website, Tony Schwartz – the man hired to do the troublesome, time-consuming job of writing the book – was the one who got the art out of that contract.

Instead of a flat fee or a modest percentage, Trump agreed to give Schwartz half of the $500,000 advance and half of the royalties, with hardly any haggling at all.

Unheard of generosity for a writer, especially one hired by a man who claims to be king of the deal. A small point, perhaps, but worth bearing in mind as all the words puff out this morning: is the deal with North Korea good, bad or nothing but a little dazzle of a plot twist in the world soap opera?

At the time of typing, the details are still being sifted over, although one key point appears to be that Trump and Kim “commit to work toward the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

If that ever happens, that would be a good day for the world. But a much better day for the world would be if all countries committed to work towards denuclearisation.

Maybe it’s a point so obvious that no one seems to make it. But here goes anyway. Why is it bad for North Korea to have nuclear weapons and perfectly fine for the US to be armed to Trump’s teeth with them; why is it unconscionable for Iran to consider making a nuclear bomb when Israel is said to have been secretly making nuclear bombs since the 1950s? The world would be a whole lot safer if no one had these bombs.

As for the art of the deal with Kim, I guess we’ll have to wait and see what really lies behind the “aren’t I great” Trump hyperbole.

Leave a Reply