Light in Kim's eyes
The historic summit between Trump and Kim seems to have ended on a high note with smiling faces and signed documents, discusses Sushil Kutty
The summit of the century: all over the world, echoes were heard of 'We are live in Singapore' with TV news channels streaming pictures of Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. Images abound of them shaking hands and sitting side-by-side – priceless additions to the world picture library. The only grouse some have is that Kim shouldn't be treated like a rock-star! Of the two, Trump is the established celeb, a TV star who became President.
Every life story starts with mum's love, treads the middle with pop giving the long or short rope and then it takes off on a quest to the top. Kim can certainly count this 'Historic Summit' as his life's top. Donald's will be when he gets CNN's Jim Acosta to speak to him in respectable terms.
Kim must have changed his assessment of Trump but not Jim Acosta, who, even on a historic day, would not give Trump an inch. The setting was Singapore but Acosta looked like he was in the White House Press Briefing Room, refusing to give Trump anything other than scepticism and distrust.
Analysts on BBC gave Trump his due but those on CNN said there was not much "meat on the bone". Leave that moment of levity behind and we had, in Kim's words, the "world will see major changes" moment. Trump was effusive with praise for the 'Little Rocket Man' who did not look all that "little", more like a mountain of change!
'Donald and Kim' doesn't come so easy on the tongue but 'Kim and Trump' sounds like a cinch. The two men's life stories intersected at this moment and it was historical, for both sides, no matter how much Jim Acosta may disagree. "We both wanted to do something, we both are doing something and I'll say that it worked for the both of us," said Trump.
The two sides had six hours of talks and President Donald Trump had "25 hours of no sleep". Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un even sat down for lunch. Jim Acosta's big story will be if he can get his hands on the menu that Trump and Kim shared at the lunch table, the tidbits that he could pick up from the leftovers.
"It's my honour to address the people of the world as an emissary of the American people," Trump said at the press conference. Trump thanked Singapore's Lee, Japan's Abe, South Korea's Moon and China's Xi. "My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct; we are prepared to start a new history. The war never ended but now we can say it will end… There's no limit to what North Korea can accomplish."
Kim Jong-un and Trump signed a joint declaration in which Kim made a commitment to total denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. "Anyone can make war but only the most courageous can make peace," Trump told the media. "People thought this could never take place but it is taking place."
About 'Kim the Man', journalists in Singapore had nothing much to reveal other than that he was a dictator who killed his uncle and his brother and will probably kill many more North Koreans. Trump, on the other hand, was more forthright. "Kim," Trump said, is a "very talented young man" who has committed to do all that North Korea has promised to do in the joint-declaration, and "which he'll do right after he lands in Pyongyang."
Kim has accepted an invitation to visit Washington DC and Trump said that, contrary to what he has been hearing and reading about the summit, "we have secured what we set out for".
"I, agreeing to take some hours off to come here, itself is an achievement…I showed up because we really wanted to something and he showed up because he wanted to do something."
According to one journalist at the Trump presser, what came out of the summit was that Trump was treating "historical enemies as friends" and "historical friends as enemies"; calling Kim Jong-un "talented" and Canada's Justin Trudeau "weak". To that, Trump said that he had a "very good relationship with Justin Trudeau" and "we have a good relationship with Angela Merkel, and now we have a very good relationship with Chairman Kim."
President Donald Trump said that the "process started" with the Olympics and that till North Korea agreed to attend the Olympics there was the feeling that "nobody wanted to be bombed out of the opening ceremony."
Ultimately, Trump, being the world's most (self-styled) accomplished deal-maker, the summit was all about deals and the "right deals were struck" with Kim Jong-un and for that the "world will be a better place".
Finally, Trump said this of the Historic Summit, "We can't say 'O! Gee, we have done it', it will take a long time, but it will be done, and after a point, say 20 per cent, there will be no going back... that document (the joint-declaration) is far down the line, far down…the timing will go very quickly…"
As said, everybody's
life-story takes a certain line, starting with mum's love and getting along with pop's long and short rope and then the take-off for the final quest… Trump has shown Kim a video of what North Korea can be – a development model with fast trains and those sort of things – and "Kim looked at that i-pad" and there was a light in Kim's eyes!
(The views expressed are strictly personal)