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Singapore summit: Trump, Kim shakes hands  

Monitoring Desk

SINGAPORE: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history Tuesday after they shake hands at Singapore summit as they were the first leaders of both the countries to meet to end a tense decades-old nuclear issue in the region.

Both the leaders held a meeting at upscale hotel in neutral Singapore as all eyes were on the both leaders and were expecting some breakthrough from the dialogues.

Both Trump and Kim shook hands for several seconds, Trump reaching out to touch the North Korean leader on his right shoulder.

The summit was unthinkable only month ago. When, the two nuclear-armed foes appeared on the verge of conflict, as Kim conducted nuclear and missile tests and the two leaders slung personal insults.

Trump had cajoled the international community to exert “maximum pressure” to buckle Kim’s regime and threatened to unleash “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if Pyongyang did not disarm.

For his part, Kim called the US leader “mentally deranged” and a “dotard” as he fired off a series of provocative weapons tests.

That seemed a distant memory amid the palms of the ultra-exclusive Capella Hotel.

And it is part of what Trump calls a “one-time” offer to resolve the stand-off through diplomacy.

“We will all know soon whether or not a real deal, unlike those of the past, can happen!” Trump tweeted shortly before departing for the summit.

The pair — Kim in his thirties and consolidating his dictatorship, Trump in his seventies and struggling to bend Washington to his impetuous will — are unlikely protagonists, both instantly recognizable, so much larger-than-life as to be cartoonish.

But their work today is deadly serious.

They represent nations that are still technically at war, even if the mortars, carbines and gunships of the bloody 1950s conflict have long since fallen silent.

But that frozen Cold War-era conflict risks being thawed by North Korea s increasingly potent weapons programs.

The totalitarian regime is on the cusp of marrying nuclear and missile technology that would put Los Angeles, New York and Washington within striking distance of a nuclear holocaust.

The United States says that is unacceptable and will be dealt with, one way or another.

For North Korea the talks are hugely significant.

Still, it remains far from clear that Pyongyang is willing to give up its nukes — weapons that may be the ultimate guarantee of regime survival.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on the eve of the summit that the United States is willing to offer the regime “unique” security guarantees.

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