Our Take

Trump, Kim to hook up

Trump, Kim to hook up
This is the most unlikely meeting in global geopolitical history. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un are headed for an unprecedented summit in Singapore on June 12. The island city-state has hosted unlikely summits before, in 2015 it hosted a meeting between Chinese premier Xi Jinping and his Taiwanese counterpart Ma Ying-jeou. But relations had already thawed across the Taiwan straits. In the case of the Trump-Kim meeting, just a year ago even the respected newspaper, The Economist printed a possible war scenario between the two countries predicting the destruction of Seoul. The constant jibes between the two leaders, indirectly via Twitter in the case of Donald Trump and North Korean state TV in the case of Kim led many into a state of despondency. 
Yet, things seemed to change rapidly. Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently in the ‘Peace Village’ and both the Koreas are actually considering ending the state of war that has existed between them - the armistice that ended the Korean War was never made into a peace treaty. And the new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Kim this past week to formalise details of the talks between the two men. 
What will the talks lead to? Peace on the Korean peninsula? That might be a bit much to ask for, but given the rapid pace of how this relationship has evolved, it would be stupid to rule it out, or even the potential of a possible Korean unification and (what China actually wants) a US withdrawal from the Korean peninsula. With the talks a month away, every outcome is in play, even a disastrous one. But sometimes, as in real life, when relationships start on the wrong foot, they tend to work out very well.


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