By Sushil Kutty
The summit of the century and all over the world it’s ‘We are live in Singapore’, TV news channels streaming pictures of Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump. Images of Kim and Trump 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 celebrity, 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 long or short rope and then its takeoff on a quest to the top. The ‘top’ described each to his/her own. Kim can certainly count this ‘Historic Summit’ as his life’s top. Donald’s will be when he gets CNN’s Jim Acousta to speak in respectable terms of him.
Kim and Jim! Kim must have changed his assessment of Trump but not Jim Acousta, who even on a historic day would not give Trump an inch. The setting was Singapore but Acousta looked like he was in the White House Press Briefing Room, refusing to give Trump anything other than skepticism and distrust.
Analysts on BBC gave Trump his due but those on CNN said there was not much “meat on the bone”. The ‘expert’ who said that had no hair on his head! 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, for 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 in time and it was historical, for both sides, no matter how much Jim Acousta 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 “25 hours of no sleep”. Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un even sat down for lunch. Jim Acousta’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.
Maybe Jim Acousta will surprise the world with a story headlined ‘Kim Jong Un is Not A Cannibal, After All’. Acousta will then be able to say that he is no less a “journalist” than the late Antony Bourdain, CNN’s celebrity chef-journalist, who killed himself in Europe a week ago.
“It’s my honour to address the people of the world as an emissary of the American people,” Trump said at a 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 denuclearization 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’ the 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 invite 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, that itself is an achievement…I showed up because we really wanted to something and he showed up because he wanted to do something.”
According 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 good relationship with Angela Merkel, and now we have a very good relationship with Chairman Kim.”
President Donald Trump said 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%, there will be no going back… that document (the joint-declaration) is far down the line, far down…the timing will go very quickly…”
Like 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 that sort of things – and “Kim looked at that i-pad” and there was a light in Kim’s eyes! (IPA Service)