Since President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un opened the possibility of holding a summit, there has been much speculation as to whether the North Koreans would be willing to give up their nuclear weapons. A newly revealed CIA assessment reportedly shows that the agency considers it unlikely that the hermit kingdom will hand over its nukes, but did suggest the possibility of a surprising concession to President Trump.
The CIA assessment, reported by NBC News and sourced to three US officials, detailed the agency’s belief that North Korea would not voluntarily give up its nuclear weapons any time soon. The CIA did conclude that Kim is interested in a peaceful overture toward President Trump. The report concluded that the North Koreans might be willing to open a McDonald’s hamburger franchise in their capitol city of Pyongyang, citing Donald Trump’s affinity for the fast food chain.
In 2016, Trump said that he would welcome Kim Jong Un to the United States, but that he would not offer him a state dinner. “We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table, and we should make better deals with China and others and forget the state dinners,” Trump said at the time.
The intelligence report contradicted recent statements by President Trump. In an April 22 tweet, the president said that the North Koreans had “agreed to denuclearization.” The president’s tweet may have been based on another NBC News report detailing South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s claim that the North had agreed to “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula without conditions.
Since Moon’s statement in April, there has been no further news of North Korean concessions. The summit was canceled by President Trump, but now appears to be on again. CNN reported this morning that Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, is flying to New York to assist in preparations for the summit. Vice Chairman Kim is the highest ranking North Korean to visit the United States since 2000.
The Trump Administration has not commented on the CIA assessment, but an early morning tweet by President Trump seemed optimistic that that a meeting between the two leaders would go forward. There was no comment on the possibility of a McDonald’s in North Korea in lieu of denuclearization.
Although North Korea is frequently racked by famines and starvation, settling for Big Macs instead of denuclearization would seem to be a disappointment. In the opinion of this writer, if the North Koreans offer the expansion of a corporate franchise as a concession, President Trump should hold out for permission to build a Trump Hotel, Casino and Golf Course in Pyongyang.
Originally published on The Resurgent