Twelve months ago, Kim Jong-un was launching missiles at will and making enemies of everybody. But now he's just four weeks away from discussing denuclearisation with Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump has revealed he will meet North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.
The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
In the tweet, Trump also said his goal was to make the historic summit a “very special moment for World Peace!”.
Singapore, according to Nuclear and proliferation expert Tom Plant from London’s Royal United Services Institute, is an ideal venue for both parties.
According to ABC News, North Korea has had diplomatic relations with the city-state since 1975, and it is a trusted partner of the United States.
“Kim will be on friendly territory, not hostile territory. But he wouldn’t be on home turf,” Plant said.
Trump is clearly optimistic about the talks.
“People never thought a thing like this could happen, it can,” he said.
“People never thought you were going to have a situation where we’re having serious and positive communication with North Korea and we are.
“What happens, who knows? But we have a chance at something really great for the world and great for North Korea and great for everyone.”
Trump meeting was unthinkable 12 months ago
It is one year to the day since newly-elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared he would attempt to engage in dialogue with Kim.
Kim responded to the statement by firing two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan that month alone.
By September last year, relations between Pyongyang, and Washington and Seoul, had deteriorated to the point that Trump tweeted: “Just heard Foreign Minister of North Korea speak at UN If he echoes thoughts of Little Rocket Man, they won’t be around much longer!”
However, the landmark decision for the Koreas to march under a unified flag at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics paved the way for a meeting in Pyongyang in March between Kim and an official delegation from the South.
South Korea’s national security advisor, Chung Eui-yong, then visited the White House where he told Trump that Kim was willing to discuss in-person the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Trump, in turn, agreed to the meet.
Now, here we are, four weeks from what could be one of history’s defining moments. And the first time a sitting US President has ever met with a leader of North Korea.
But as Republican Senator Cory Gardner was quick to emphasise, past history demands caution.
“The road we have been down is well travelled and it’s never ended well. So I hope this time is different,” he said.