What evidence is there that North Korea's leaders have always wanted to meet a US President?


It's been reported on a number of news channels that President Trump's meeting of North Korea's leader Kim Jun Un could be a propaganda victory for Kim Jun Un. All the reports claim that North Korea's leaders have always wanted a meeting with a US President to give more credence to their leadership domestically.

But I don't have any recollection of any reports of any previous leader seeking such a meeting. US has tried to engage North Korea diplomatically for (literally) as long as I can remember. But no one has ever mentioned that there was a similar desire on the North Korea's part for the sake of just having the visual of having had such a meeting.

In fact, it is usually reported that North Korea's internal media always tries to delegitimize the US. So this argument seems like saying that North Korea's propaganda machine puts out the message "The US President is just like Hitler -- he won't even meet with North Korea's leaders." Which doesn't seem to make much sense. And I don't believe propaganda (especially successful propaganda) can be effective if it doesn't appear to make sense.

Which leads to the question in the title of this post.

What evidence is there that North Korea's leaders have always wanted to meet a US President?


Posted 2018-05-11T23:55:58.843

Reputation: 5 838

2North Korea is a nation largely built on propaganda. They strongly control the inflow of any news from outside. I don't see how meeting with the president of the most powerful (and from their perspective, most threatening) nation in the world wouldn't be a huge propaganda opportunity. That may not be evidence, but it seems to me, virtually automatic that Kim Jong Un would use this and any similar situation at least partially as a means for propaganda. If he wants to avoid propaganda, all he needs do is open up dialogue between his citizens and the outside world. – userLTK – 2018-05-12T08:28:13.387

3That's not exactly what's been reported insofar as I understood it. Both sides had always been open to meeting but until now the US consistently had a laundry list of (unacceptable) preconditions before proceeding with a face to face meeting. The fact that Trump will meet Kim without any such preconditions is new, and perceived as good propaganda for NK because they'll de facto be meeting as equals. – Denis de Bernardy – 2018-05-12T15:22:32.707

@userLTK, well, the regime may use it for propaganda purposes, but it's not a guarantee. For example, the news of Kim Jong Un meeting with Kim-Moon was suppressed in the North Korea. It seems clear that there is at least some argument to be made for both opinions. Which is precisely a point in an argument at which some factual evidence would be useful. Is there any? – grovkin – 2018-05-12T22:00:10.087

1@grovkin Something to consider is that they don't have to broadcast these meetings at the time they happen. Some footage of Kim Jong Un shaking the US President's hand could be brought back out later and presented as current if they are changing their internal stance on the relationship in the future, or thrown in the fire if the talks don't work out. – IllusiveBrian – 2018-05-13T01:06:17.060

@IllusiveBrian, you are making the argument that such meeting could be useful for future propaganda. But the question wasn't about that. It was not about whether this could be made useful as propaganda. It is about whether this particular venue of propaganda is something that NK has sought out for a long time (as has been claimed in a number of newscasts). – grovkin – 2018-05-13T17:33:29.870

No answers