Also, it was during Trump’s presidency that 22-year-old university student Otto Warmbier was returned to the United States in a coma after 17 months in a North Korean prison — and died a few days later. On balance, this would seem to diminish somewhat Trump’s bragging rights, at least out of respect for Warmbier’s parents, who, one imagines, might have suffered a little upon seeing the healthier hostages return home when their son had no such happy ending. Warmbier apparently had been so severely beaten for the crime of trying to remove a government sign as a souvenir that he was doomed.
Trump being Trump, the president was able to put that ugly episode behind him, distort the facts, and boast about something that wasn’t true in the run-up to his face-to-face with Kim, a fateful meeting of potentially portentous consequences. Or not.
If Kim really does want to join the civilized world, boost his economy, feed his people and make nice with his neighbors — and if Trump succeeds in effectively securing peace in the region — then he will deserve one of the biggest nonmilitary parades any century has ever seen. The media will fill the streets with champagne and shatter the sky with air horns, while thousands of women converge on the Mall to toss their pink kitty hats into a bonfire that will burn until 3 o’clock in the morning.