Pursuing a diplomatic solution to the ongoing North Korean nuclear crisis, President Trump should invite Kim Jong Un to a summit in Qingdao, China. Trump should take Dennis Rodman and Piers Morgan with him.
Why these two men, you might ask?
Simple. Because working together with Trump, they would form a negotiating dream team.
Well, as the map below shows, Qingdao is in China and proximate to North Korean territory.
Also possessing a five star Shangri-La hotel, the city thus offers a perfect spot for Kim to feel safe and comfortable. Finally, Qingdao's coastal location along the Yellow Sea would allow a pre-positioned U.S. carrier group to evacuate Trump if needed.
Trump would obviously be the main anchor point. Entertaining Kim over a steak (medium rare, not well done) dinner at the Shangri-La hotel in Qingdao, the U.S. president could earn Kim's trust by ensuring him of his desire to cut a deal. While Trump is often teased about his self-professed adoration for "the art of the deal," a deal is exactly what America needs from North Korea.
The diplomatic effort would begin with a dinner between Trump, Kim, and their translators. Here, Trump might offer a commitment that won't depose Kim absent an imminent North Korean attack.
Then the two leaders only shared friend, Dennis Rodman, would step into the ring. Rodman's mission would be to help Kim relax and to provide a friendly ear for the North Korean leader's concerns. Perhaps retreating to the Shangri-La's Chi spa, Rodman and Kim could chat about nuclear deterrence theory and the Celtics' just-ended streak. As important, they wouldn't have to worry about being disturbed: the Chi website ensures guests "Your privacy will be protected at all times. Your therapist will leave you to change in private and throughout the treatment you will be draped with towels, covering all parts of the body not being treated."
The first day's events concluded, Kim would hopefully have found a degree of confidence that America is not out to get him.
The next day would begin with Kim having a boozy breakfast with Rodman. Sufficiently relaxed, Trump and Kim would go on a walk together and show the world's press that they are building a better relationship. The good press would be a welcome respite to the two men's constant battle with media outlets and fake news.
For lunch, the two men would try and hammer out a deal over a bowl of terrapin soup. In the context of North Korea's ongoing terrapin shortage, Kim would surely appreciate this gesture of American generosity.
Of course, small turtles wouldn't solve nuclear politics. By 2 p.m., it's probable that Trump and Kim would remain in disagreement on certain key issues.
That's where Piers Morgan comes in.
The key here is that Trump trusts and likes Morgan. Their relationship was sealed years ago on "The Celebrity Apprentice," when Morgan launched a broadside against Omarosa Manigault. Sitting alongside Trump and opposite a giggling Dennis Rodman, Morgan told a flustered Omarosa, "You know my argument against you has always been that you're not a celebrity and that you don't have star power." In the world of celebrity ego and one-upmanship, Morgan's was a thermonuclear strike on Omarosa's headquarters.
But Trump loved it and reacted with glee. The future president smiled, referenced Morgan and stated, "He doesn't stop, you know, I'm just realizing, I don't want him as my enemy!"
Kim will agree. Having spent an hour or two with Morgan, the North Korean leader will be begging to talk to Trump again.
And that's where Trump will show his cards: suspend your ballistic missile program and accept vigorous inspections, the president will tell Kim, and aid supplies will follow. Refuse, and you and China will be encircled by increasing U.S. sanctions and military pressure.
Nobel peace prizes earned; mixing charm to confidence building and British-accented threats, Trump-Rodman-Morgan will prove itself the diplomatic dream team.