Trump and Rocketman pull off publicity stunt
It’s showmanship: North Korea talks may not lead anywhere, but for now it doesn’t seem to matter
You have to hand it to US President Donald Trump — he sure knows a photo op when he sees one.
This weekend’s little sally into the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea wasn’t a cooling off between Trump and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, but rather a stage-managed publicity stunt in which both sides can gurn for the cameras and say "we’re talking again, ’kay".
Sure, four months from now the talks will resume, but will they lead anywhere? Remember this: North Korea has a nuclear weapons programme and has launched multiple test missiles. But Iran — which has no nuclear weapons programme — finds itself under threat of invasion.
It must, of course, have everything to do with "peace and stability" in the Middle East (hello Israel and Saudi Arabia), as if peace in the Korean peninsula were somehow less important.
In 18 months’ time Trump will be in the fight of his life as he seeks a second term. US voters, numbed by the many scandals, obfuscations and half-truths, will not know where to look.
But a sitting US president, that country’s first in the DMZ — which is ground zero for all the misery and loathing of the Cold War — with Rocketman, well, that’s a photo op.
As Trump said to Kim as the photographers jostled for the picture: "You made us both look good."