Trump’s real-estate politik is working

But, in some peculiar way, this cod spiritual gibberish works. It cuts across boundaries.

Trump has talked before of how he sees the Middle East Peace process as a real-estate problem. He sees North Korea in the same terms. ‘They have great beaches!’ he exclaimed in the press conference after his meeting today. ‘You see that whenever they’re exploding canons into the ocean, right? So I said ‘Boy look at that beach. Wouldn’t it make a great condo behind?’ — and I explained it.’ We can all chortle as much as want, and we will. Clearly, however, Kim was not put off or offended by the suggestion. It’s quite likely he relished the thought.

Trump’s tour of Asia last year was his first foreign-policy success. Thanks to his experience in business, he understands the importance of cheesy gestures in Far Eastern culture. He gave Japanese Prime Minister a baseball cap that said: ‘Donald & Shinzo, Make Alliance Even Greater’. He presented China’s premier Xi Jinping with a video, again on an iPad, of his six-year-old granddaughter, Arabella Kushner, wearing a mini geisha dress and reciting songs and poems in Mandarin. The stunt went largely unnoticed on western social media accounts; those who did spot it tended to cringe. Yet on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent to Twitter, little Arabella became a hit — she has been since she first sang for Xi in Florida earlier this year. The latest Arabella clip got millions of Weibo views. Weibo users said it was ‘extremely cute’ and ‘the best gift’ Trump could have given his hosts.