S Korea hails sum­mit as ‘talks of the cen­tury’

The Hitavada - - PASTIME -

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.

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