The espionage work is being imposed on diplomacy in the previous work to lay the foundations of a new relationship between the United States and North Korea. The characteristics of the country that is intended to be incorporated into the international order, after decades of obscure secrecy, force us to act in a less conventional manner. But Donald Trump’s decided lack of confidence in politicians and diplomats to use is also determining. To advance the historic interview with Kim Jong-un, the outsider president opted to send spy chief Mike Pompeo, then a CIA director, to the very heart of Pyongyang, where he kept a secret face to face with the dictator. Trump’s preferences for the efficacy of those working in the shadow had been confirmed very recently, when he nominated Pompeo himself to be his secretary of state, replacing Rex Tillerson.
The White House had to correct today the president himself, who in his tweet announcing the good news had placed the surprise interview in “last week.” In fact, it was at Easter, at the end of March, when Pompeo met Kim Jong-un’s eyes, in an interview that laid the foundations of the expected summit. Since the year 2000, when Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, visited the then dictator, Kim Jong-Il, father of the current North Korean leader, there had been no interview between representatives of both countries with such rank.
The words exchanged by Pompeo and the North Korean dictator have not yet resolved the main details of the interview, for which many doubts remain open. Trump referred to “early June” when asked about a possible date. Although it did not rule out that it could be before. The place of the meeting offers even more complexity. According to the president, five possible places are being considered, “none of them in the United States.” Asia and Europe cover all possibilities. From the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, around the so-called Parallel 38, to Asian countries where other similar meetings have already been held between North Americans and North Koreans, as is the case of Singapore, make up the Asian option.
Although it has also been targeted to Ulan Bator, capital of Mongolia, as a possibility. Likewise, Switzerland and Sweden are on the table, European countries that traditionally host peace talks or meetings at the highest level between countries and organizations in conflict. Among the main determining factors that arise, is the caution of the North Korean dictator, whose recent visit to Beijing was his first official departure. Preparations for another trip out of the country, also foreseeably by train, will put your entire security service in check.