It's often been said that politics is the art of the impossible.

It's hard to argue with that when you consider where North Korea was just a few months ago and where it seems to be today. Who would have thought in their wildest imagination that Donald Trump could in a few weeks time be sitting down to talks with the leader of the hermit state?

Remember Trump's tweet: Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!

Well since then Kim's stopped lobbing missiles and Trump's laid off insulting tweets and they've both indicated they'll sit down with each other for a yarn, although seeing is believing.


If they do we'll all breathe a sigh of relief, with our fieriest politician, Winston Peters, even talking about a free trade deal with the rogue country in the future, and why not? Some are saying it's a bit rich for our Foreign Minister, who hasn't exactly built his career as a free trader, to now be beating that particular drum.

But countries who've been isolated like North Korean and Russia are surely ripe for the plucking.

Russia's finally been put on ice by Peters because of its support for Syria, but even though Kim's totalitarian state isn't a market economy - although he is personally thought to be worth around five billion greenbacks - it can be brought up to speed with time and New Zealand could lend a helping hand.

Certainly the people of that impoverished nation would welcome it. It's hard to get accurate statistics from Pyongyang about the level of poverty there, but there's plenty of literature written by people who've escaped telling of their desperation. At the moment more than 85 per cent of their trade is done with China and it's mostly one way.

So Peters is itching to get things started if Trump can pull it off. He's been to North Korea before and would like to go again. He's also dealt with the South Koreans the last time he was Foreign Minister, claiming he was offered a much better deal than the one signed off by the National Government. That was disputed at the time by the chief negotiator Tim Groser, who said that wasn't true and Peters was offered very little.

Groser's currently our ambassador in Washington, meaning Peters is now his boss. Don't fancy his chances of having his term extended.

So don't discount a trade deal with North Korea some time in the future, but do discount one with the Commonwealth, that'll never happen despite the enthusiasm of the born-again Winston Peters.