File - This combination of photos shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on April 29, 2017.
Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump
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BANGKOK: In one corner: the unpredictable dictator, the third-generation family ruler whose nation has a seven-decade reputation of being erratic, quick to take umbrage and insistent that it is powerful enough to upend the planet. In the other corner: a sandpaper-tongued American president like no other, barely past his first 100 days as leader of the free world, liable to say just about anything – including a handful of conciliatory words at the most unexpected of moments.Those conciliatory words from the mouth of Donald Trump Monday included some extraordinary ones about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, long an object of American scorn and suspicion.In South Korea's case, such a meeting would be an existential event. Most agree that Kim's arsenal has enough accuracy and firepower to devastate the South, and so a meeting between the U.S., South Korea's military protector, and the North would have serious security implications for Seoul even if virtually nothing of substance was discussed.Beijing has courted South Korea in recent years more than before, with Chinese President Xi Jinping visiting Seoul in 2014 in what was seen as a hint to the North.THE ALLURE Whatever the political implications, this much is certain: Any meeting with Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, anywhere in the world, would be – if it ever actually happened – one of the most dramatic events of the 21st century thus far.
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