The Hamburger Summit



Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again bromance with Kim Jong-un is apparently on again. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee told a rally in Atlanta that while he wouldn’t travel to North Korea, he would be open to sitting down with Kim Jong-un over a hamburger and seeing if they couldn’t sort out the nuclear mess. “If he came here, I'd accept him, but I wouldn't give him a state dinner like we do for China and all these other people that rip us off when we give them these big state dinners. We give them state dinners like you've never seen. We shouldn't have dinners at all. We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table.” According to reporting in the Korea Times, Trump assessed the odds of talking Kim out of his nuclear arsenal as low, something on the order of 10-120 percent.

Before you stop laughing, let me remind you that this would not be the first “hamburger summit.” Back in 2010, President Obama took Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Ray’s Hellburger (photo above) in a not-exactly-upscale strip mall on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA. Unfortunately, Ray’s Hellburger no longer exists and in its place is a make-your-own rolls joint, whatever that means (photo below taken by yours truly). Needless to say, despite hosting the first hamburger summit, the address is not in the National Register. 

Anyway, it got me to thinking that Kim still has not had a sit-down with any world leaders, hamburgers or not. A government official who must remain nameless suggested that I think about how such a meeting might go. So here goes. And remember: this is all made up. It’s pretend. Make believe.

The Obama-Kim conversation

Obama: We are here today because enough people ignored the voices who told them that the world could not change.

We're here today because of the courage of those—meaning “you and me,” Mr. Chairman—who stood up and took risks to address the spread of nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

And I’m not pointing fingers, Mr. Chairman, but the black market trade in nuclear secrets and nuclear materials abound.

Now, understand, this matters to people everywhere. One nuclear weapon exploded in one city, be it New York or Pyongyang, could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be – for our global safety, our security, our society, our economy, to our ultimate survival.

We cannot succeed in this endeavor alone, but we can lead it, we can start it.

So today, I state to you, Mr. Chairman, clearly and with conviction, America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. The United States will take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons. We will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and I urge you to do the same.

Kim: But you just authorized the expenditure of a trillion dollars on a nuclear weapon modernization program.

Obama: To achieve a global ban on nuclear testing, in my remaining months in office, my administration will immediately and aggressively pursue U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, Mitch McConnell be damned. After more than five decades of talks, it is time for the testing of nuclear weapons to finally be banned.

And we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon. This is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. One terrorist with one nuclear weapon could unleash massive destruction. Those “radical Islam” folks that Trump is always going on about seek a bomb and would have no problem with using it. And we know that there is unsecured nuclear material across the globe. To protect our people, we must act with a sense of purpose without delay.

Now, I know that there are some who will tell you that I can’t possibly deliver on this broad agenda. There are always the haters who doubt whether true international cooperation is possible, given inevitable differences among nations. And there are those who hear talk of a world without nuclear weapons and doubt whether it's worth setting a goal that seems impossible to achieve.

But make no mistake: We know where that road leads. When nations and peoples allow themselves to be defined by their differences, the gulf between them widens. When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also a cowardly thing to do. That's how wars begin. That's where human progress ends…

Kim: zzz zzz zzz

The Clinton-Kim Conversation

Clinton: Despite making a series of denuclearization commitments through the 1994 Agreed Framework, and again during the Bush Administration through the Six-Party process, your country has subsequently carried out a series of nuclear tests, declared itself a nuclear weapons state, and even enshrined its nuclear status in the new preamble to your constitution.

You now refer to nuclear weapons as your “strategic deterrent,” but it is more likely to bring catastrophe. Sanctions focus the mind and the choices in front of a country. But in this case for sanctions to truly work, the impact needs to be severe. And why stop there? Military deployments, the deployment of the massive ordnance penetrator, missile defense in South Korea and Japan, greater military assurance to our allies, and other technical and public diplomacy actions, including a focus on human rights and the state sponsorship of terrorism, are also tools that should bring greater clarity to your deliberations.

Kim: It sounds like you are trying to bring down my regime.

Clinton: It is becoming increasingly clear that the status quo likely is not sustainable, and unexpected changes—including sudden regime collapse or a coup—cannot be ruled out. As a result, frank discussions between the United States and China, together with South Korea, and Japan could enable all of us to find more areas of agreement than have existed in the past. Ironically, Russia seeking to enhance its geopolitical standing may, as in the Iran negotiation, turn out to be a useful party in pressing China forward in responding to rising threats from your country if a negotiated denuclearization appears out of reach.

It is increasingly necessary for all of the key players to discuss how each would respond, and how chaos can be minimized and unintended conflict be avoided. These discussions would need to address a range of very tough issues…

Kim: zzz zzz zzz

The Trump-Kim Conversation

Kim: Pass the mustard.

Trump: So, Jong-un, I hear those Pleasure Squad girls are pretty hot. Not in Melania’s league, mind you, but pretty hot nonetheless.

Kim: Yeah, I know how to roll.

Trump: I bet you do.  But you know, we’ve never had a North Korean contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant. My guess is your hotties could definitely compete. From “isolated wack jobs” to “sex bombs.” Talk about rebranding.

Kim: Watch it.

Trump: Hey, don’t take it personally. I’m just saying I think your chicks could win.

Kim: Really?

Trump: I pick the judges. (Winks.)

Kim: Gimme another Coke.

Trump: But it wouldn’t be for free. I’m thinking a Trump Casino in Pyongyang. Think of it: showgirls, high rollers…it would be huge. Biggest thing since Granddaddy won the war. And, of course, it would have an extensive penthouse Presidential Suite available 24/7 for you and the Pleasure Squad.

Kim: What’s my cut?

Trump: I was thinking 10.

Kim: 15. And you hire my brother Jong-chul to oversee the slots. He’s as useless as tits on a boar…but he’s my older brother. What can I say?

Trump: I can’t do that. I got a crew of Israelis to run the floor. But I can put him in hospitality.

Kim: Fair enough. But I get 15. And I’ll throw in a lifetime supply of Super-Viagra.

Trump: Super-Viagra?

Kim: Yeah, you know like the Super-Notes—better than the real thing. After we got the nukes, I didn’t need all these scientists doing bio-chem so I set them off on Super-Viagra—you can never be too prepared if you know what I mean (snickers). The stuff’s awesome—I hit the sack with a bottle and a couple of the Pleasure Squad girls every night. But you might want to start out slow, Gramps. Vapor lock and all that.

Trump: So this is what Worm meant about the 7-star lifestyle. Listen, I know you are a baller. What would you think about a franchise? I could lean on Egghead Adam Gold and get you the Raptors.

Kim: Don’t f#ck with me—Toronto is in Canada—you’re the President of the United States!

Trump: Hey, hey cool down—once I get done with the Mexicans, I got plans for those Canucks too, heh heh heh. But look, what would you think about Cleveland? You would be Lebron’s boss. 

Kim: Awesome.

Trump: It would serve those b#stards right for voting for Kasich in the primary. But Cleveland won’t come cheap. I’m thinking…the bomb.

Kim: No way.

Trump: Really? Think about it. Right now you are a big—very big—fish but in a small, small pond. I can take you global if you let me. Casinos, beauty queens, your own brand of 24/7 Pleasure Palaces…we’ll stick ‘em in every Trump Tower. And now that Hef is hitting the skids, you will be the envy of every man on Earth. You like rap? I’ll get you Ice Cube

Kim: I’m more of an East Coast guy…

Trump: 50 Cent, then. Can you imagine the video? We’ll stick Foxy Brown and Azealia Banks in it. You’ll need all the Super-Viagra you can find with that pair, heh heh heh. I’m setting up my own television network—you’ll be on heavy, super-heavy rotation. It will be huge!

Kim: So let me get this straight: I get my girls winning the next three Miss Universe pageants, a casino, the Cleveland Cavaliers, my own global line of Trump Tower Pleasure Palaces, my own record label with guaranteed hit records and an endless line of pneumatically inflated rap video dancers, and you get the bomb.

Trump: I was thinking more along the lines of one winner and a couple of runners up not to raise suspicions.

Kim: You forget the lifetime supply of Super-Viagra?

Trump: OK, ok, three winners but not in consecutive years, all right? Deal.

Kim: Deal. Can I have your fries?

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