Former President Trump made an unprecedented offer to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un after the pair met in 2019 for their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam: a ride home on Air Force One, which Kim declined, according to a top former U.S. official.
Matthew Pottinger, a former deputy national security adviser who specialized in Asia policy, told the BBC that Trump made the offer after negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program ended at the February 2019 gathering with no significant progress.
“President Trump offered Kim a lift home on Air Force One. The president knew that Kim had arrived on a multi-day train ride through China into Hanoi and the president said: ‘I can get you home in two hours if you want.’ Kim declined,” Pottinger told the news agency.
The offer, never before reported, constitutes the first time a North Korean leader or top official has been invited on the president’s aircraft.
Other former Trump administration officials detailed the unprecedented casualness of the conversations between Trump and Kim at the Hanoi summit and a previous summit in Singapore.
“Trump thought he had a new best friend,” former national security adviser John Bolton told the BBC.
The former president’s summits with Kim and his visit to the Demilitarized Zone were seen at the time as the first real conversations between the U.S. and North Korea but ultimately failed to spur any significant changes to U.S.-North Korean relations or the status of North Korea’s missile program.
Via The Hill