Art of the Deal Revisited while Waiting for the Next Summit


Donald Trump with René Wadlow, Ghostwriter – TRANSCEND Media Service

The Art of the Deal, part biography, part business advice, received wide readership and drew attention to Donald Trump beyond the New York milieu in which he worked (1).  The book was largely written by his ghostwriter, journalist Tony Schwartz.  In this spirit, here is a ghostwritten presentation of what Donald Trump should say in his next meeting with Kim Jong-Un which should also be held in Hanoi so that Kim can take a train.

“Good to see you, my friend, hope you had a comfortable trip.  Look, our meetings are getting to be a habit, but if we want to continue focusing attention on us, we have to come up with a few things people can easily understand. So we drop unrealistic things and focus on where we can really make a deal.

“So we drop all hints about ‘reunification’ – not in my lifetime in any case.  You are younger, and you never know where history may lead, but we want to keep terms simple.  We drop ‘denuclearization’, maybe in my lifetime as I plan to live to real old age. Nukes are going to be around. Let’s hope neither of us will need to use them.

“Let’s see what we might discuss.  One idea that has been kicking around is what some call a ‘double freeze’. I don’t like the term myself.  There had been a sort of hippy-leftist movement in America with people going around saying ‘freeze, freeze’.  I don’t really recall what it was all about, but I don’t like leftist in any shape or form.

“Our propositions are hard-headed. We could call it ‘no-no’.  You do not test any more long-range missiles.  They make people nervous in Japan when they fly overhead. Guam too, even Hawaii. Some people in California think they might even get there. I don’t need any nervous people around. In exchange, we stop having war games on your frontier which makes you nervous.  Look, you know we’ve got soldiers, lots of them, sitting around doing nothing. I can’t even put them on the frontier to shoot Mexican rapists, but if we have to, we can move them. So we say, no more war games, but you know that if you attack South Korea as you did in 1950, we can get troops in the field fast. We don’t have any melodramatic active generals like MacArthur any more, but we might have some in reserve.

“Next we look at your economy and what we can do for it. Look, I know that we have sanctions.  They are not going to go away all at once. Some are sanctions voted by the U.N. and some by our Congress. Some people in Congress are a real pain in the ass as we say, and I have to do things in several steps.  But I think that your country has real potential.  Just look around here in Hanoi, at the crowds at Starbucks.  We couldn’t have more American products on sale here if we had won the war. So let some of our investment-people look at your economy, see where there are bottlenecks that have to be removed. Trade between our countries can increase. There is not a hell of a lot that we want to import from you, but I hear that you have nice beaches and mountains. We could help build up the tourist trade. With all those Chinese next door, many might want to come. I’ve got family and friends in the hotel business. We could help make a real difference.  We get rid of sanctions that are related to creating the bottlenecks. It’s done without too much publicity.  What counts is how money moves around.

“Then, it would be useful to have something with a human touch. We could work with our South Korean friends to increase meetings between separated families, families who haven’t seen each other in many years hugging one another. I could see it made into a reality TV show “What have you been doing all these years?”  It might go over big.

“One last thing, some people have been even pushing to have a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War – transforming the armistice into a peace treaty. I’m not big on this international law stuff, but it could be a real photo opportunity, done at the U.N. because the war was under the U.N. flag – at least for our side.  You come to New York.  You can even stay in my house. But if you don’t want to, as I said, I have family and friends in the hotel business and we could find some rooms at wholesale prices.   You bring your sister. I promise to keep my hands off her, but she is good looking and would be great in New York newspapers.  After the U.N. signing we could open a liaison office and a hot line.

“So let me repeat what we have agreed to:

  • No missile testing, no war games.
  • Economic cooperation, sanctions progressively reduced without much publicity,
  • More meeting between separated families,
  • A big bash at the U.N. in New York, end of the war.

“It’s a deal.”

Right, it’s a deal.


1) Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz. The Art of the Deal (New York: Random House, 1987)


René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 4 Mar 2019.

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One Response to “Art of the Deal Revisited while Waiting for the Next Summit”

  1. rosemerry says:

    Thanks. We need a bit of humor and also commonsense. Kim is no fool, and Trump needs to keep Pompass, Pence, Boltonarsol and of course Elliot Abrams well away from any decision-making influence.