What The Meeting Between Kim And Xi Might Have Been Like

The Long March
In this March 26, 2018, photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, shake hands at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

My imagined transcript of the exchange in Beijing between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un:


XI: C’mon, just say you want “denuclearization.” You don’t have to mean it.

KIM: But, honored leader, won’t I look weak, and inconsistent with the unalterable and proven leadership principles of late President Kim Il-sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il?

XI: (Shakes head and smiles avuncularly) No, L’il Kim, you will stride largely on the world stage. This is an opportunity your mighty forebears would seized had they seen the welcoming hand of history outstretched before them. It is the right choice to make based on reality.

KIM: OK, OK, I’ll say it. (Pauses) But what if Trump tries to hold me to it?

XI: Little grasshopper, listen now and believe me later. Trump is like the hobbled donkey of the ancient proverb. He’s probably not going to be in power a year from now. But even if he is, he is so erratic, he will have moved on to other crises. This pronouncement buys you time, gives you much prestige, and pulls the United States into negotiations. Who knows what might happen at the table of negotiation? Trump is a reckless capitalist bandit, and in a difficult political position at home. Who knows what he might give you when he rolls dice? Bonus for you: You can use Trump’s quite unstable style to drop hints that will scare the dickens out of the South Korean regime in the process. And if Trump is not forthcoming? Well, then, you can play the talks out for years until he is tossed onto the ash-heap of history.

KIM: What’s the story about the donkey? Tell me!

U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch

This article originally appeared on Military.com.

Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.

It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.

Read More Show Less
DOD photo

After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.

Read More Show Less
Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less