S Korea hails summit as ‘talks of the century’
SOUTH Koreans erupted in applause on Tuesday as Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met for what local media billed as the “talks of the century”.
As the historic first meeting between a sitting US President and North Korean leader began in Singapore, images of Trump and Kim exchanging handshakes and warm words drew jubilant reactions in Seoul and hopes for a new beginning with Pyongyang.
“We hope the summit will be a success and bring us a complete denuclearisation, peace and a new era” in relations between the two Koreas and the United States, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said.
Moon, whose earlier meetings with Kim had paved the way for the Singapore summit, smiled and applauded alongside his cabinet ministers as they watched live-streamed scenes from the summit at the presidential Blue House.
He has spent “a sleepless night” with excitement ahead of the meeting, his office said.
The English language ‘Korea Times’ welcomed the meeting as a step towards ending tensions on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided between the communist North and democratic South for nearly 70 years.
Since the 1950-53 Korean War, South Korea has grown into one of the most prosperous countries in Asia, while the isolationist North has suffered a stagnant economy and alarmed its neighbours with its increasingly sophisticated nuclear weapons programme. “The two leaders are certainly under great pressure to make the talks a success,” the editorial said.