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Singapore summit may mark a new beginning: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2018-06-11 20:27

It is no exaggeration to say the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on Tuesday in Singapore could be epoch-making. The denouement to months of diplomatic efforts and the on-off-on-again saga that unfolded after its announcement, the meeting is of great significance. The first between the incumbent leaders of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, it is a face-to-face conversation that can set the course of history - for better or worse.

Such a meeting seemed impossible less than a year ago, when Trump and Kim were exchanging fiery rhetoric and trading personal insults. Indeed, to many it seemed that conflict was imminent.

And even after olive branches were extended and accepted and the meeting agreed, there were still twists in the plot. When the DPRK denounced the US-ROK joint military drills in May and suspended pre-arranged high-level talks with the Republic of Korea because of the drills, many began to doubt whether the summit would go ahead.

And their rendezvous seemed to be an increasingly remote possibility with both Trump and Kim threatening to call it off.

However, in the hours and minutes between then and now, hasty judgments and words were rescinded. And so it has come to pass that they meet today.

China has undoubtedly contributed much to materializing the meeting. It has long called for such direct talks, and it has worked hard as an intermediary to materialize them. It sincerely hopes that Kim and Trump will be able to make breakthroughs when they meet so that the two countries can begin taking steps toward the signing of a belated peace treaty to bring a formal end to the Korean War.

And there's the thing, even if there is no immediate substantial outcome from the talks, the Singapore summit can serve as the necessary beginning for achieving this, as it can make it possible for the US and the DPRK to continue their communication to secure their final rapprochement and thus the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Both parties have long considered the other to be an enemy, and it has been a long journey to reach this point. Now Trump and Kim should do their utmost to agree on their next step so as to maintain the positive momentum. This would not only reward all those who have spared no efforts in their attempts to make their meeting a reality, it would also enable both to hail it as a success.

Certainly, the world expects them to do nothing less.

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