(The following are transcripts of recent, and quite separate, private utterances by the world’s two most feared warriors.)
Donald Trump – Other presidents didn’t have the guts to negotiate with Kim Jong Un or his father or grandfather but I’ve got brass balls, and my threats to completely destroy his country have scared the Little Rocket Man. And all this time I’ve been strangling his sick economy with sanctions that get tougher every day.
Kim Jong Un – I knew Trump would meet me. His predecessors thought they were too powerful and rich to meet us at the executive level, but Trump is different, he might be crazy. I better calm him down and, in effect, put his aging body and mind in the freezer.
DT – I’m always ready for the Art of the Deal but think this deal’s almost done even before we sit down to negotiate. Kim knows he’s not dealing with Barack Obama or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton or any of those other weaklings who did everything by the book and therefore did nothing.
KJU – All I had to do to lure the big fish was tell him I’m committed to denuclearization. I didn’t say I guaranteed it.
DT – Kim has promised to get rid of his nukes. I’ve even forced him to stop testing bombs and missiles. Otherwise, I wouldn’t honor him with my presence.
KJU – It’s irrelevant I’m not going to test for a while. My scientists and military officers will privately be working even harder than usual.
DT – We’re still gonna have our great annual exercises with South Korea. Kim knows he can’t stop that.
KJU – The excited puppy’s wagging his tail because I invited him to talk on the grandest stage. I know joint military exercises are not, for the time being, a prelude to invading my nation.
DT – When Kim starts destroying his nuclear weapons, I’ll slowly start easing the sanctions. The guy’s gotta get something in this deal. And a few years after all his nukes are gone, we’ll meet again to talk about normalizing relations and withdrawing American troops from South Korea.
KJU – I’m not going to deactivate a single nuclear weapon until all sanctions have been removed. If our economy collapses that would be as dangerous to me as war. Trump will also have to get his troops out of here if he expects me to dismantle the only things that deter him from invading.
DT – I’m going over there in good faith, ready to accept Kim Jong Un’s offer to denuclearize. But if he lies to me like his family lied to other diplomats from other administrations, you already know what I’ll do, and so does Kim.
KJU – You see what happens to American adversaries, like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, when they voluntarily give up their nuclear programs. I not only have a program, I’ve got the weapons and am making more all the time, and no matter how many I might someday dismantle, I’m too shrewd not to keep some.