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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Symbolic Trump-Kim summit: a step in the right direction?

News Analysis |

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un finally met on Tuesday amid a media frenzy in an unprecedented development between the two hostile nations after nasty verbal exchanges between the bitter rivals in recent past.

The landmark meeting marks the first-ever convention between the sitting US president and North Korean leader after a year of serious threats to wipe each other out of this planet.

There is still a chance that all this may turn out to be a farce and propaganda from North Korea.

The two leaders met at a luxury Capella hotel in Singapore’s Sentosa Island. They approached each other from two sides of the hotel, firmly shook hands and exchanged greetings in front of US and North Korean flags. After the one-to-one meeting with the Korean foe, two leaders appeared relaxed.

Trump and Kim signed a document at the end of the historic meeting.

US president termed the summit a terrific day and said that “a lot of progress was made” between the two. While commenting on the occasion, the North Korean leader said: “the world will see a major change”.

Read more: The bizarre Trump-Kim Summit

Although both sides seemed very happy with the result, they did not disclose any details as of yet.The two countries discussed defusing tensions and nuclear disarmament.

The document which showed the signatures of both the leaders emerged online showing that Kim has committed to “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and Trump to providing security guarantees.”

Moreover, both the leaders have committed to “cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.”

“The United States and the DPRK commit to holding follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit,” the document shows.

Both the nations have also committed to establishing new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

From the very beginning, Trump was upbeat regarding this historic meeting and had predicted its success. The leaders who hurled insults at each other quite regularly in the past managed to move on.

Speaking on the occasion Kim said, it has not been easy to come to this point. For us, the past has been holding us back, and old practices and prejudices have been covering our eyes and ears, but we have been able to overcome everything.”

They approached each other from two sides of the hotel, firmly shook hands and exchanged greetings in front of US and North Korean flags.

Trump termed it an honour sitting next to a man once he dubbed as a lunatic rocket man. He also spoke of developing a special bond with Kim and said he was absolutely willing to invite him to the White House.

 A start of new era?

Trump Kim summit is the start of a new era between the two nations. Though many analysts termed the summit a success, few remain divided on what the summit will eventually achieve.

Read more: Trump and Kim head for historic Singapore summit

Will it lead to an era of peace; it’s difficult to comment at this early stage of negotiations. But willingness from Korean side is apparent. Trump will have to inform and convince the American people over this remarkable change/turnaround in the stance against the enemy number one.

In the last 26-years, two warring nations have entered into two major previous agreements over the past 26 years which also aimed at guaranteeing North Korean security and economic incentives for rolling back its nuclear program.

The deals in 1994 and 2005 fell apart due to trust deficit and blame game which emerged after both sides cited a violation of each other’s rights. There is still a chance that all this may turn out to be a farce and propaganda from North Korea.

South Korean leadership has played a key role in reducing the hostility between the two foes. Undeterred by US threats of fire and fury from Trump, Kim has managed to slowly develop his nuclear arsenal.

Kim was highly sceptical of war-games involving US, Japan & South Korea and saw them a provocative. These actions in self-defence were intimidating Kim. When the US tested its missile capability by intercepting a fake nuclear bomb, it enraged Kim for sure. His reaction may not be entirely irrational if one looks into the threat posed by these joint exercises aimed at containing the North Korean threat.

North is now believed to have at least two dozen warheads, including a thermo-nuclear bomb, and despite claims may not have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting US mainland.

Both sides may declare victory as tensions have diluted but knowing the history, in future nothing is guaranteed.