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The Trump – Kim Historic Summit in Singapore

A few weeks ago, it would have been unthinkable that President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim would meet in such a seemingly friendly atmosphere in Singapore. The two leaders traded the most uncivilised public insults unworthy of Heads of State. The on, off Summit finally took place in Singapore, which appeared to have been carefully choreographed by diplomats from both countries, with the help of leaders of South Korea, China and Japan.

The joint statement signed by the two leaders, was thin in detail and specifics, but the emphasis was denuclearisation of the Korean Pennisula, which the two sides, countries in the region and the United Nations, have been advocating for, for a very long time. Successive US administrations have taken this route before, only to end in heroic failure.

It is not often that I praise President Trump, because I believe that his record in office has been consistently inconsistent. Trump must be commended for taking a worthwhile gamble to sit down with Chairman Kim and having what appears to have been constructive dialogue between the two men and countries. It goes to show that the weapon of dialogue has the capacity to solve national and international issues no matter how complex. This historic summit also supports the old cliché that in this very complex world we live in, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests. Enemies of today are capable of becoming friends of tomorrow. The two leaders had very complimentary things to say about each other. In diplomacy, it is often said that the devil is in the detail. This summit was important for world peace and for the peace of that region. It should be remembered that North and South Korea are still technically at war after the Armistice Agreement of 1953 and one hopes that they will now move to sign an agreement to end the war between them.

Verifiable Denuclearisation takes time to negotiate, finalise and verify as the United Nations can confirm. A useful beginning has been made and it would be unwise and unhelpful to pour cold water on the Summit. Zambia has had diplomatic relations with North Korea for many years and has interacted with its leaders from its founding father Kim IL Sung, the grandfather of Kim Jong Un and we subsequently recognised and established diplomatic relations with South Korea. Now it is up to the officials of the two countries to put meat on the born left by President Trump and Chairman Kim. Kim is a young man almost half the age of the unpredictable Trump. He has been thrust on the international scene, after many years of brutal international sanctions and isolation. He has been running a brutal regime where democracy and human rights are non-existent. He managed to extract concessions from Trump, who unexpectedly announced that the US would suspend military exercises with South Korea, which appears to have caught the South Korean leaders by surprise. Trump also held out the possibility of inviting Chairman Kim to the White House, sometime in the future. All this is a triumph for peaceful co-existence among nations of the world, which should be emulated by others.

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