If Kim Jong-un Asked to Visit the United States...

Would we let him come?

So let’s say he said he wants to see the sights, take in a few Bulls games, and sit down and talk to the president.

The talking to the president part, assuming the president agrees, could easily be done in a third country, but he’d really have to come here for the other stuff. We know his interest in basketball is sincere and wanting to see something of another country is pretty normal, but this is Kim Jong-un we’re talking about here.

So what would likely be our response to such a request?
My son asked me this question earlier, and I said that I doubted it, but I had to admit that I really had no factual basis for that opinion. I’m confident that he would have ulterior motives, and I’m sure the state department would agree, though I don’t know how much of an effect that would have on the answer. I’m endlessly fascinated with North Korea and read a lot about it, but I’m far from an expert on any of it. We’ve been willing to meet with them directly, such as during the six-party talks, but meetings like that are quite a bit different from North Korea’s #1 baddie popping by for a visit.
I’m putting this in GQ instead of IMHO because I expect that the answers to this, while speculative, will be based on past precedent and current policy, so based in fact. Please move it if you feel otherwise.

What ulterior motives would those be ? Asking for political asylum ?
I am not American, but would assume a visit’s motives would be entirely open, normalizing trade, thrashing out alleged ideological differences, buying arms etc. etc.; and that he would have full rights of diplomatic traffic and speech as a sacrosanct head of state, just as would be reciprocated if Mr. Obama emulated Nixon and visited North Korea.

Let’s take the whimsy out of the OP: are you literally proposing that Kim would come to the US primarily for tourism? Or are you just being silly?

If Kim sought to come to the US to basically screw around for two weeks and throw in one or two business meetings during that time, my opinion would be no, that such a trip wouldn’t be approved. But there is no factual answer here.

Please re-read the OP. Kim SAYS he wants to come here for tourism.

I wouldn’t believe it, and neither would you, but that is what he is requesting.

I respectfully submit that you may want to read up on North Korea a bit.

Why exactly ? I may or may not know as much as you, yet what in my post is controvertible ? That Kim is a head of state — of an equal in international law country ? That he might wish to normalize relations ( and void sanctions ) ? That Nixon went to China ?
North Korea may be a ghastly place, with suffering and camps galore, but the US — and every other country — has dealt with, and in some cases supported, dictators and regimes just as awful and brutal as those of NK.

But usually it’s been for some political reason. If Kim wanted to come to America for the purposes of improving relations between the United States and North Korea, that would be a diplomatic mission. But if he wanted to just come here to see the sights? Why let him in for that?

My understanding is that Kim Jong-Un could visit the U.S. in order to address the U.N. in NYC without needing U.S. approval.

From the US Visa Website of the State Department:


So it would be at least somewhat tricky.

Not a chance he comes here, for the same reason he doesn’t just try to call our President.

In those cultures, ‘who approaches who’ is a matter of grave importance. When the USA approaches NK for talks, this increases the prestige of NK, as they are the ones being approached. Just as China was pretty solidly pissed off that KJU didn’t come visiting them (approaching them) as his father had.

Rodman said KJU asked him to tell Obama to call him. Of course. He wants the most powerful person on the planet to be seen as the one approaching him. He isn’t about to be the one to pick up the phone and be seen as the one who approached the USA or it’s President like a supplicant.

Likewise with all of the approaches to get them back in 2-, 3-, 6-way talks. They believe it increases their prestige, that everyone keeps coming to them, and they are the ones with the power to control how those talks go. Then of course, they’re oh so insulted when they get into those talks and we’re not talking like the supplicants they think we should be, since we are the ones who ‘requested audience’.

So the very idea of Kim Jong-Un asking to make a trip to the USA, whether a diplomatic trip or merely as a tourist, is laughably absurd.

The OP included ‘Talk to the president’ — no doubt of the US, rather than of a TV conglomerate regarding his upcoming interview with Oprah.
And if he did just want to come to kick up his heels and have fun, I can’t see the harm.

Other than providing adequate protection — no longer from the angry crowds of Americans who seem to have protested with banners [ right-wingish in the 50s, left-wingish in the 70s ] excitably both at the docks and outside buildings whenever somebody they disapproved of landed: since that has gone out of style — but from Korean exiles whose families were murdered and members of his own family, the US government need not interfere.

It’s hard to tell if you were being literal or cute in the OP, especially because you use terms like “number one baddie.”

The US has no obligation to allow entry to dictators who principally want to enjoy their ill-gotten billions. I strongly suspect that he would be denied entry for purposes that are primarily frivolous.

Back in 1959, Nikita Kruschev, the head of the Soviet Union, decided he wanted to do a little sightseeing while he was in the U.S. to meet with President Eisenhower.

It did not end well.

The US is obligated to grant entry to diplomats visiting the UN, without exception. But they can place strict limits that would allow him only to travel to or from the diplomatic district and for a limited time period.

I remember when Gorbachev and his wife visited Minnesota in 1990. They had a good time. His wife decided to visit a number of stores.

“Mikhail Gorbachev then proceeded to the Radisson Plaza Hotel to address a room full of CEOs hosted by ADM’s Dwayne Andreas. Gorbachev told the business leaders that U.S. companies who jumped quickly into the Soviet market would be rewarded. Meanwhile, Raisa Gorbachev headed for south Minneapolis to visit the home of Karen and Steve Watson and their four children, a “typical American family.” A sociologist by training, Raisa seemed genuinely curious about the daily life of ordinary Americans. En route, she stopped for an unplanned visit to the Pepito’s deli at 46th and Nicollet and the nearby Snyder’s Drug Store.”

Chimera, Thanks for the reminder I had completely forgotten about that trip.

I found a pic


Official Logo (I think)