If you were a witness to the diatribes exchanged between the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and American president Donald Trump, you’d be surprised to note the scenes right now. Who would’ve imagined that the bitter enmity existing between the two would be changed to regard, that too coming from President Trump?
If there’s a month or a period in history that will be remembered for bringing about a sea-change in the attitudes between the USA and North Korea, then it’ll have to be May 2018.
A few hours back, North Korean dictator and self-styled autocrat- Kim Jong-un- freed 3 American prisoners that had been languishing in North Korean captivity for the past half-decade. In fact, so enormous and surprising have been the change of events that President Trump who, alongside the world had been handing expletives to the North Korean dictator till a while back thanked Kim Jong-un.
The two countries, far from being friends, have constantly been at loggerheads. There existed, until a while back, real threat about either of the two countries considering the nuclear option against another. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened and given the current calm that has descended between the USA and North Korea- it doesn’t seem to be happening in the future.
Giving the three freed captives a hero’s welcome, Donald Trump and wife, Melania were all smiles as they received the freed trio at the airport. And these were indeed scenes that none would’ve have been able to predict, especially given the animosity between the two countries. Although, till a week back, it was known that North Korea may not free the then-captive individuals anytime early, this ‘unprecedented’ move has left everyone surprised. And one has to admit- why not?
As Kim Dong-Chul, Kim Hak-song, Tony Kim walked free and were greeted by the President and his wife, a thought also goes out to what lies in the immediate future. It is known for some time that President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un are to meet in what are considered to be important bi-lateral talks. Although the idea of these forthcoming talks, for the longest time has been on the vital issue of nuclear weapons, it now seems that there may be other possible avenues and perspectives that may feature in the talks, given North Korea’s apparent change of heart.
The US President, on the occasion of the 3 prisoners’ freedom said: ‘These are great people. Frankly, we didn’t think this was going to happen, but it did. It was important to get these people out. This is a special night for these three really great people.’ Mr Trump also thanked Kim Jong Un for freeing ‘the folks early’, calling it ‘a wonderful thing’, adding he believes the North Korean leader ‘really wants to do something’ and bring the pariah state ‘into the real world’.
Ahead of the Trump-Kim summit, what will also be interesting to see is that how American media responds to Donald Trump? Not the most popular leader in the USA, will he be credited for having initiated the eventual freeing of the Americans? Perhaps, the current scenes may also offer a slight change of heart to the American media in its reception of Donald Trump.