John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Singapore Summit Summary

Posted on June 12, 2018
Here are some initial thoughts from the Trump-Un summit:


  • I don’t know who won or lost during the Singapore summit.  It seems to me that anytime we are talking peace instead of war, we all win (unless you have a vested interest in war).

  • Yes, the North Korean regime is brutal, terrible, horrible, really bad. It has gulags, it imprisons Christians, it murders journalists.  So did the Chinese regime, the Soviet regime, the North Vietnamese regime, the Castro regime and just about any other communist country you can think of.

  • We have to ask ourselves: Does the status quo work for us and for the people of North Korea?  The answer is no.

  • Peace is much more preferable to war. Peace with a nuclear armed North Korea is preferable to war with a nuclear armed North Korea.  The North Koreans have nuclear weapons.  So that is the current choice at hand.

  • Yes, it would be great if the North Koreans would get rid of their nuclear weapons. It would also be great if the Pakistanis got rid of their nuclear weapons, and it would make me more comfortable if the Indians got rid of their nuclear weapons.  It would super awesome if we were the only country in the world that had nuclear weapons because we would never ever use them, except for those two times when we had no choice but to use them.   But that’s not the world we live in.

  • It seems to me that bringing North Korea into the world of civilized nations makes it less likely that they will export their technologies to Iran.

  • In my mind, the highest goal with the North Koreans is normalized relations, where we could expand trade opportunities, where we could get in there and help to feed the millions of folks who are dying of starvation, and otherwise bring modern civilization to a nation that desperately needs it.

  • South Korea wants peace with North Korea more than we want peace with North Korea. We should listen to the South Koreans.  They have more at stake than we do.

  • Donald Trump understands that the best way to Kim Jong Un’s heart is through flattery. Hell, it works for him.

  • Dennis Rodman might be the most successful diplomat to North Korea that we have ever had. Better than all the experts that have failed consistently to move the ball forward in any substantive way.  More effective than John Bolton, for example.

  • If peace does break out between the US and North Korea, it is Rodman who should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • I am usually a pretty big skeptic when it comes to celebrity diplomacy. I don’t care much for Robert De Niro for example.  But Rodman is a unique case because he is a unique celebrity at a unique moment in time.  There is no way Rodman’s diplomacy could have worked during the Obama or Bush years because those guys were too vested in the status quo.  Only a Trump, whose knowledge of traditional diplomacy is roughly equivalent to Rodman’s, could appreciate the unique contributions of the former Chicago Bulls superstar.

  • It is very hard to do business with brutal regimes like the North Koreans, or the Chinese for that matter. It takes courage for entrepreneurs to go in to these types of places and try to do business.  But the reason that so many will do it is the chance to make a lot of money fast.   And so, if we do normalize relations there, businessmen will flock in from America to do their best to make a lot of money.  They will run into a lot of obstacles.  They will be followed, they will be bugged, they might be harassed.  And let’s face it, North Korea is broke, so the money-making potential will be limited at first.  But usually greed wins out when there is a chance to open a brand new market.

  • The question remains: Can America do business with Kim Jong Un?  I don’t know if we know the answer to that question yet.  But I think it is worth a try.  The status quo is bad.  War is bad. Starvation is bad.  Communism is bad.   Moving forward with the promise of riches that inevitably flow from the open market is our best bet to achieve peace in North Korea.  I think it is worth a try.  And I applaud the President for having the balls to give it a try..

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