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How do you plan a high-stakes meeting between a freewheeling American president and a paranoid Asian dictator? The world is about to find out.
As President Donald Trump prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, officials from both countries are working overtime to prepare for a June 12 nuclear summit in Singapore.
The article goes on to state the following:
In theory, traditional diplomatic protocols will apply. In reality, anything could happen. Here’s a look at some of the issues organizers are grappling with as they scramble to arrange this extraordinary meeting:
Security and insecurities
While Kim and Trump are presumed to be safe from one another, the North Korean leader is famously wary of threats to his life. According to media accounts, reporters on a flight to Singapore saw a senior Kim aide reading a briefing paper that said, “in order to guarantee the results of the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting, guarantee the safety of Chairman Kim Jong Un above all else.”
Let’s get physical
With the entire world watching, even the smallest interactions will be studied for deeper meaning and signs of psychological advantage. This could be especially unnerving for Kim, according to North Korea experts.
Eat, drink and be wary
How big is the table? Where will each side sit? What type of water do the delegates prefer — sparkling or flat? Are the countries’ flags the exact same size? Even flower arrangements, if any, must be vetted — including an accounting for possible allergies.
If there’s a meal involved, the delegations will have worked out the menu in advance. Alcohol can pose special complications. Trump, for instance, is a teetotaler, while Kim is known to enjoy wine.
To communique or not to communique
Presidential summits are usually the last step in a negotiation process after months, even years, of talks among lower-level aides. Trump and Kim have turned that process upside down, and it’s anyone’s guess what the next step will be.
The art of the gift
Gift exchanges are standard in such summits, though they often happen behind the scenes with details publicized afterward.
Meet the press?
Although reporters will clamor for a press conference, it is hard to imagine Kim — who rarely speaks to his own people and tolerates only an uncritical state media — will allow American reporters to ask him unscripted questions.
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