Tags: Kim Jong Un | trump | North Korea

Fleitz: Trump Likely Communicated With Kim Jong Un

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un before a meeting with President Donald Trump on on June 30, 2019.  (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/ Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 01 May 2020 06:55 PM EDT

Fleitz: "I’ve discussed North Korea with President Donald Trump and I know how proud he is of his personal diplomacy with Kim Jong Un. I believe, based on recent cryptic statements about Kim’s status by Trump, that Trump has been in communication with the North Korean leader, either by phone or by exchanging letters. I also believe it is likely that the president offered to send U.S. doctors to North Korea if Kim was seriously ill."

Editor's Note: This is part of a symposium asking what happens if Kim Jong Un died.

As someone who watched North Korea in a series of U.S. government national security jobs over twenty years, there is one thing I know about expert assessments of the inner workings of the Hermit Kingdom: they are constantly wrong. This is in part because North Korea is such an extremely closed and secretive country. But it also stems from the determination of North Korean officials to hide and deceive about activities within the country from outsiders. As a result, there is a long list of predictions by well-known experts of North Korean nuclear and missile tests that never occurred. There also have been many assessments of North Korean officials who disappeared and were presumed dead who later reappeared.

Since the North Korean regime knows it is being closely watched, especially by the United States, assessing developments within the country based on what Pyongyang chooses to make available can be hazardous to an expert’s reputation.

For these reasons, I have been skeptical of recent news reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has died or is seriously ill. This could be the case since there is credible information that he may have health problems. His father Kim Jong Il, who died at age seventy in 2011, reportedly suffered from obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The elder Kim also was a heavy smoker and drinker.

Read Full Article on National Interest Here.

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Politics
As someone who watched North Korea in a series of U.S. government national security jobs over twenty years, there is one thing I know about expert assessments of the inner workings of the Hermit Kingdom: they are constantly wrong...
Kim Jong Un, trump, North Korea
324
2020-55-01
Friday, 01 May 2020 06:55 PM
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