If you Google "Trump," "Nixon" and "China," you will find billions of pixels devoted to comparing the 37th U.S. president's breakthrough with Beijing to the potential summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The parallel is understandable. It took a committed anti-communist to open relations with Communist China. Perhaps it will take a president who threatened "fire and fury" to open ties to the leader he called "little rocket man." In 1972 when Mao Zedong hosted President Richard Nixon in Beijing, Communist China suffered severe international isolation in much the way North Korea does today. Like Mao, Kim espouses a harsh collectivism that imposes misery, famine and death on his people.

All of that said, Trump's willingness to meet with North Korea's dictator is not really comparable to the opening of relations between the U.S. and China. The latter was far more important strategically and economically for both countries. What's more, the geopolitical conditions that drove China to go to Nixon were entirely different from those today for the grandson of the "Great Leader" in Pyongyang.