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US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who until the recent past exchanged threats, acrimonies and hate against each other, met at Capella Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday. The two leaders of rival nations shook hands for the first time and sent a strong message that even seemingly the most intractable problems can be solved through dialogues. North Korea had eluded a number of past US presidents. With this Singapore Summit, international image of both the leaders—one seen as a warlord and a dictator with no regard for human rights and the other seen as risking wellbeing of America and the world with isolationist policy—is going to be redefined. It is also expected to redefine the world order of our times. If it can lead to world peace and denuclearization, June 12 is going to be remembered in the world history as an end of era of intense animosity between the nuclear power countries.
This sudden shift in relation between the two countries is meaningful for the world. Once it appeared that the world’s superpower and North Korea were on the brink of a full-blown nuclear war. At the end of 2017, Trump had designated North Korea a state sponsor of terror and imposed additional sanctions. Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” a “maniac,” a “sick puppy.” In August last year, Trump had warned that North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if North Korea endangered security of the United States. In response, North Korean leader had threatened the US with a “super-mighty preemptive strike” and warned America not to “mess with” North Korea, otherwise his country would “immediately wipe out the US mainland” and reduce its enemies “to ashes.” Fear and loathing marked US-North Korea relation. Trump, at a press conference on Tuesday, said past relation won’t define new road to peace. Kim has acknowledged that “old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles” to building peace with America but such obstacles have been overcome. This marks a big departure from the bitter relation of the past.
In Singapore the two leaders have signed a joint document promising a “complete denuclearization in the Korean peninsula.” After signing the agreement, Kim and Trump have announced they have left the “the past behind after the historic meeting.” The two leaders shook hands and had lunch together. “Our relationship with Korea will be different following the historic summit,” Trump declared after signing the agreement with “a talented man.” This historic rapprochement between the two countries must gain greater momentum in the days to come. Nepal may have little in common with US-North Korea relation. However, the Singapore Summit offers a lot for Nepal to resolve outstanding issues with its immediate neighbors, especially with India with which there have been longstanding problems of border encroachment and unsettled tri-junction issues with both India and China. The Summit offers a hope that if the leaders of two or three countries sit together and discuss issues in good faith everything can be amicably settled. With dialogues, mutual give and take, cooperation and understanding every thorny issue can be resolved. We wish both the countries the very best in their long and difficult road to peace.