Depending on which side of the aisle your affiliations lie, it’s difficult to argue the historical significance of the Singapore-based face-to-face between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. This is, after all, the first meeting of sitting U.S. President and a leader of the reclusive nation. The result: a tenuous bilateral agreement capable of yielding three possible results (i) the phased denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, in exchange for (ii) lifted sanctions allowing for trade with North Korea and (iii) the cessation of the U.S. joint military drills with neighboring South Korea. While these goals seems clear enough, the vague wording leaves plenty of room for speculation, especially since the accord was reached between two of the most divisive leaders in recent history.
Recent days will have inevitably littered your social media newsfeed with opposing memes, depicting the meeting (as well as the events of the G7 Summit) from different points of view. Adjusted to fit whichever narrative the source would like to promote, the stories will inevitably paint Trump as either a visionary leader well-versed in hardball negotiation or a short-sighted buffoon playing into the hands of oblivion.
Here at THE LEMON, we choose to refrain from publishing politically-biased content. Where we come from that’s called “Lazy Writing.” We prefer to dig deeper, and if we can, we aspire to find (what we call) the “story behind the story.” Where we’re from, that’s called “Journalism.”
In the case of this iconic moment in global politics, only time will tell what the true results are. But in terms of finding the ‘story behind the story,’ we must travel back a few weeks, to when this historic diplomatic summit was nearly canceled.
It was Thursday, May 24th. And from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, President Trump announced the change of plans after months of diplomatic advances. In a formal letter to Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, he wrote,”I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
While the mainstream media reported that President Trump’s refusal to meet was prompted from an insulting statement made by North Korea’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs about Vice-President Mike Pence, THE LEMON has unearthed the truth of additional behind-the-scenes goings-on.
According to an insider, who will remain anonymous, the real culprit was the Changi Airport in Singapore. In accordance with Neutrality Regulations, the airport was to work with governmental aids to provide approved transportation for all U.S. and North Korean dignitaries, and their staffs. Traditionally, such transportation would take the form of armored vehicles, but both leaders have a well-established reputation of arriving with oversized entourages. As such, more transportation would have been needed to accommodate the large number of personnel. However international security protocol demands that vehicles be indistinguishable from one another, so as to protect the anonymity of its respective passengers.
According to, Jeff Huang, Prestige Transportation Specialist at Changi Airport, “We immediately contacted every high-end automotive dealership in the Republic but were unable to secure 46 identical vehicles, let alone vehicles that met safety standards. Once it was determined that armed security could provide the required protection, the focus shifted to finding 46 undifferentiated vehicles. After an exhaustingly unsuccessful search, the solution was found in a Shanghai-based KIA dealership that could offer 46 base model Sportage.”
Considering this unsuccessful, President Trump took to Twitter stating, “Arrive to a historic summit in a KIA Sportage? Unacceptable. Do Better, Shanghai.”
Of course, the summit did come to fruition. One can only assume that the transportation dilemma was solved, but the details of that resolution are being kept tightly under wraps. One can only assume, that the KIA dealership was able to hook them up with 46 Sorento’s? I mean, it’s just a hunch but, that’s like $2,200 difference in MSRP so…it certainly counts as “better.”