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Opinion and Editorial

Trump and Kim have trusted their instincts for peace

Filed on June 13, 2018

If it takes two mavericks to talk peace on the Korean Peninsula, so be it. They have succeeded where statesmen have failed. Pundits, experts and those who predicted it wouldn't happen can now eat their words and spin I-know-it all tales in their vacuity. In Singapore, it took straight talk, looking the former arch-foe in the eye and confirming that there's nothing worth fighting about. Even nukes. Because it would mean annihilation, not just of the Korean Peninsula, but of the whole region. We are not sure if there was any underlying philosophy that dictated the summit's agenda in Singapore but US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have done what could not be done in 70 years, with a lot of help from friends like South Korean President Moon Jae-in. It was a brave act for the two men, worlds, ages and agenda apart. They were reviled and despised, yet delivered when it mattered.

And Trump was statesmanlike when he gave credit to his hosts Singapore, President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping. A majority may love to hate Trump and the North Korean leader, but this is it - the reality - that peace is possible when no one ever attempted it seriously all those years from 1945 when North and South Korea were divided right in the middle along the 38th Parallel by the ideological foes - the US and the erstwhile USSR. The split tore families apart, broke hearts and has deeply affected the psyche of a people. It was made worse after 1950-53 when the two fought a bitter conflict. In fact, the two countries are still in a state of war and a formal peace pact between the two could be in the works following the show-stealer from Trump and his unlikely partner in peace, Chairman Kim. The stage was set for the pledge of complete nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula, the key takeaway from the summit. For Trump, this is a coming of age on the global scene while Kim's image as a peacenik rises a few notches with this trip. Their Singapore foray proves only leaders who trust their instincts get a clear shot at peace. Leaving it to so-called statesmen like in the past is a waste of time and will only obfuscate the process.

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