Timepass summitry? Kim Jong Un and a vacuous American president

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL September 13, 2018

The first summit, which produced nothing but news stories and television footage

There’s an Indian slang word for Kim Jong Un’s request for a second summit with Donald Trump and the US president’s eager response. The word is “timepass”.

It means, according to the OED, “the action or fact of passing the time, typically in an aimless or unproductive way.”

So, the North Korean dictator meets and greets the US president. Their two countries’ flags flutter beautifully. Everyone notes the historic significance of the moment. Mr Trump and Mr Kim fly home from Singapore or anywhere else, and …there’s no discernible denuclearisation, nothing at all to suggest North Korea will give up its only form of security.

That’s what Mr Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, said on Monday, September 10. On the very day the Trump White House welcomed Mr Kim’s letter proposing another meeting of the two leaders, Mr Bolton expressed frustration that nothing had been done to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons.“The possibility of another meeting between the two presidents obviously exists,” Mr Bolton said, “but President Trump can’t make the North Koreans walk through the door he’s holding open. They’re the ones that have to take the steps to denuclearize, and that’s what we’re waiting for.”

Well, they won’t. Why would they?

But Mr Kim is not averse to a bit of timepass – meet-and-greets, grip-and-grins, full-on summitry-sans-substance. That suits Mr Trump just fine too. He doesn’t know what the fuss is about anyway.