Recent developments have led us to scratch our heads over what is going on in the North Korean patriarch’s head. Many a bold moves have been taken by who was once called the Madman in Korea from conferring the First Lady status to his wife, to stopping the war and establishing ties with its neighboring nation of South Korea which the latter graciously responded to. The most recent one however, takes the cake! The highly anticipated meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is about to take place on 12 June 2018 in Singapore. The information was released by Trump on his twitter handle and was later confirmed by the Singaporean ministry of foreign affairs.
The news has been building up for months and while the meeting had been confirmed by both sides earlier, it has now gotten a date and a location. It was impossible to imagine such an event taking place as recently as last year when both countries seemed to be on the brink of war with nuclear tests by North Korea, news of North Korea having an ICBM which could reach U.S. mainland, harsh sanctions imposed by the USA on North Korea and intense name calling on both sides.
Somehow things started to change around the time the Winter Olympics rolled around with North and South Korea announcing that both countries will march under a common flag, both countries being represented by a common women’s hockey team and a brigade of North Korean cheerleaders being sent to perform at the games. Since the games, North Korea has been friendlier towards South Korea and USA (both of which have historically been its archenemies) There has been a meeting between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-In at the demilitarized zone(the border between the two countries and also ironically one of the most militarized areas on the planet) in which both countries announced plans to officially end the Korean war(till now there was only an armistice, they have committed to signing a peace treaty) and to completely denuclearize the Korean peninsula. To add a cherry on top of the icing, North Korea even released three American citizens it had imprisoned.
Singapore may seem like an odd choice for the location as neither does it have the symbolism of meeting at the DMZ attached to it nor does it have the practicality of meeting in South Korea or China. It, however, is an excellent choice because the country has no vested interests in the dialogue between NK and USA and has historically maintained good relations with both countries (until recently North Koreans could even visit Singapore without a Visa).
This meeting is incredibly significant as North Korea and USA have been foes for a very long time now. The talks will almost certainly involve discussion of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal which is seen as one of the biggest threats to world peace today but North Korea might be hesitant in entering a nuclear deal with a country which recently walked out of a deal which it itself took part in crafting with Iran.
What happens in the would-be historic meet is to be seen but just the fact that such a meeting is taking place is a major step forward towards world peace.