Historic Trump-Kim Summit: A Condensed Overview Of Confusing Political Mixed Signals

Will they or won’t they?

Trump-Kim Summit: Back To Business In Singapore As Reality Sinks In

Just as we prepared to consign ourselves to our fate, we started receiving encouraging signals once again.

Preparations for the summit are back on, folks.

The tedium of having to keep up with the fluctuating desires of both camps is exhausting.

To make it easier, here’s a nifty timeline to help you make sense of things.

–APRIL 2018–

27 April – Kim Jong Un meets South Korean President Moon Jae-in the DMZ and breaks the internet in the process. They also signed an agreement pledging to end the Korean War.

This is the moment Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un signed an agreement pledging to end the Korean War. from gifs

April proved to be a boring month. For those interested in political bickering, May should be right up your alley.

–MAY 2018–

9 May – North Korea frees three American prisoners who were detained on espionage and suspicion of “hostile acts”. They were captured and sentenced between 2015 – 2017.

Many thought the release showed great willingness on North Korea’s part to smooth proceedings leading into the 12 June summit.

10 May – The meeting was still on as of 10 May. President Trump tweeted confirmation of the “highly anticipated” meeting.

Of course, he would be singing a different tune in two weeks’ time.

15 May – Joint US-South Korea military exercises, titled Max Thunder, were held and instantly dubbed an “intentional military provocation” by North Korea.

John Bolton, National Security Advisor and dealbreaker extraordinaire, likened the North Korea situation to Libya.

Somehow thinking that the Libya model could be cut-and-pasted and then applied to North Korea, his words obviously drew the ire of the reclusive nation, as he said,

We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him (Bolton).

22 May – Vice President Mike Pence added his name to the not-so-smart-political-move pile in an interview with Fox News. He quipped that things would “only end” like the Libyan model if Kim didn’t make a deal.

The North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs called Pence’s remarks “ignorant and stupid“, and branded him a “political dummy”.


24 May – As promised, North Korea collapsed tunnels leading to a nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri, aka its only known nuclear test site. Emphasis on known.

The gesture is seen as a purely symbolic move, as it does not affect their stockpile of nuclear weapons.

24 May – President Trump pens a letter to Mr Kim containing several bigly words.


Coming to the defence of his “political dummy” running mate, Mr Trump said in his letter,

Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.

Nevertheless, preparations for the summit continued in earnest.

25 May – Having successfully baited the Americans into looking like the bad guys in this situation, North Korea twisted the knife by issuing a very kindly-worded statement that cordially stated that,

We would like to make known to the U.S. side once again that we have the intent to sit with the U.S. side to solve problem regardless of ways at any time.

25 May – President Trump tweeted that the summit date would not change, in the event that the summit does happen.

26 May – A second surprise summit between both Koreas happens, again at the DMZ. One of the topics on the agenda was the upcoming summit.

Further proof that South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-In’s role in this affair is that of an active mediator.


26 May – Press outlets reported that an American pre-advance team had set off for Singapore, signalling that the summit could be back on after all.

Or maybe they’re just a precautionary measure.

27 May – President Trump tweeted once again. In this one, he says that US officials met with their North Korean counterparts on Sunday, crossing over the border to make arrangements for the summit.

He also states his belief in North Korea’s “brilliant potential” and that they will be a “great economic and financial Nation” one day.

27 May – South Korea Prime Minister Lee Nak Yon praised President Trump as being a “tough dealer‘, with a “sixth sense” and a ton of deal-making experience.

So is he a good or bad deal-maker? We’re kind of getting mixed signals here.

28 May – Mr Moon could be a surprise third attendee to the summit.

BBC cites “South Korean officials” as saying that Mr Moon mooted the possibility of a three-way summit “last month”.


Of course, it would depend on the progress of pre-summit talks.

As CNBC puts it, it’s a clear sign that South Korea is probably the most eager for the talks to take place.

15 days to go

There’s still room for further twists in the tale.

With roughly a fortnight to go, expect some more flip-flops and heated exchanges between both camps.

Featured image from juniorshelver on steemkr.