It’s hard to imagine what Donald Trump and Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will have to say to one another besides, “Love your hair, dude!” but it turns out one real question about the venue they choose will be whether Kim can actually get there.
Word has it the IL-62 is his presidential plane. This is a screaming Soviet era plane so funky I once rode in one that was for official trips and it had a stationary ceiling light in the first class section, just to give it some class. It hung down there like a fixture in a vintage movie house. You had to walk around it to get to the front of the plane.
What was I doing on a Soviet government IL-62? Well, none of your specific business but let’s just say I had to be there as part of my foreign correspondent life back in the 70s. It was the strangest big plane I have ever been on (and nowhere as big as big planes are big now).
So word has arrived, confirmed by the CIA, that Kim has one of these beasts he uses when he needs to leave the country, which may well be why he has never left the country except by fancy green train. Will it fly? Has anyone changed the oil in, say, the past 50 years? Will the snacks be fresh?
Gawd only knows. But there is no doubt that President Trump, his Air Force 1 under his arm, will win the “method of travel” by a long, long shot. If we had any class, we would offer to fly into North Korea and give him a ride and back to whatever summit it is we intend to hold. That would be nice. Air Force One would probably also be shot down on approach or something North Korean-ly appropriate.
That would make for a great movie, but not for a great summit.
I think this reveals why the North Koreans went to such lengths to build nuclear weapons, test them, and fire some rockets into the pond. They got nothing. We got everything. They want some.
The IL-62 was on a terrible trip, for 10 hours, to Siberia, where we got to stay in a hotel where the water pipe ran OVER the top of the toilet seat, so that baby wasn’t coming up for anyone. Communism may well mean elecrification for all the peoples, as it used to say on a utility building in Moscow, but it never evolved to the point at which it could address travel options.
I never thought I would say this, but I hope Trump the casino operator shows up just to make sure we don’t get our pockets picked by these guys. A nice gift would be a new passenger jet with a kitchen full of snacks for the North Korean leader and just enough fuel to get him home, or maybe 100 miles short of home. But that would be harsh.