No SITTING US President has ever met with the leader of North Korea for a one on one meeting. That does make it unprecedented and historic. The Kim family has been trying for literally decades, as it would confer a certain amount of recognition and status.
Former presidents have, of course. Jimmy Carter was the first, back in the 90s.
Seriously? That’s a regime that has a notorious record for breaking nearly every agreement they’ve ever made.
Yes, Obama was willing to meet with Kim eventually but only if North Korea built up some trust by, say, not reneging every time they said they’d do something. George W Bush was the same way. No President is going to throw away a good opportunity but only if the other side is acting in good faith. And there’s never - to this very moment - been any indication North Korea has ever or will to the foreseeable future act in good faith.
That’s why no serious foreign policy expert thinks much of this upcoming “summit”. North Korea hasn’t given up anything (their nuclear test site was already falling apart when they “destroyed” it) but has still gotten a historic first meeting with POTUS. They’re getting free stuff and not giving anything up in return. That’s pure win for them. They even get to make the US bend over backwards while doing so and eventually will make the US look foolish when they inevitably get up to their usual shenanigans.
In eastern cultures, foreign leaders coming to your nation, to your court is/(was historically) seen as them bowing before you and recognizing your superior position. Hence the focus on meeting in neutral spaces.
Obama did not ‘follow up’ because he was the only president in the last 40 years smart enough to not play the game of paying off the North Koreans in aid and concessions in order to get meetings and “negotiations” that would never produce anything.
A trap which egomaniacal Trump immediately fell straight into.
I get annoyed that none of todays “journalists” has even mentioned the 09 meeting with former President Clinton and Kim II.
Journalists should at least set the current summit in historical context. Report on previous meetings with high ranking Americans. I don’t recall Carter going over there. But that sounds like something he probably did.
Remember the 5 W’s? Who,What,Where,When,Why and How
I’m not trying to hash on you, but the I reiterate my pint about doing some background before making assertions. Here are two CNN articles that discuss Bill Clinton and other presidents and why they didn’t go To NK as sitting presidents. This is the kind of context you are looking for.