SEOUL: South Koreans in Seoul have mixed views about Tuesday’s (Jun 12) summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
More than 2,500 journalists from around the world have descended on Singapore for the landmark summit, and some South Koreans are optimistic that the talks will bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The 1950-53 Korean conflict ceased with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two sides technically at war, and US President Trump said last week that it would be one of the issues that will be discussed at the historic summit.
A South Korean woman Channel NewsAsia spoke to said: “Of course, not everything could be resolved positively, but the fact that we are starting to see these changes from the North, I expect them to have a positive impact on the Korean Peninsula.”
Some believe that Kim is sincere in his desire to reform North Korea.
One South Korean said: “I used to regard Kim Jong Un as a person who only existed in the media, but now, it feels like he’s a real person who actually exists. I feel like I know him better now.”
“I viewed him as a weird dictator, but it looks like he has the will to reform,” said another.
Yet, there are others who remain sceptical that the meeting would bring about denuclearisation, or even result in peace on the Korean Peninsula.
A South Korean woman said: “I am a bit scared, because this discussion around unification is progressing so quickly. The two Koreas are already so different from each other, and with the United States getting involved, now there are three different parties. It worries me a little.”
One elderly South Korean quipped: “As far as I know, unification will never happen. Even if it does after the summit meeting, South Korean people will have to be the ones paying to feed those in North Korea. Is there anything good that can come from this?”
His sentiments were echoed by another man who said: “South Korea used to give a lot of money to help North Korea, which was only used to develop so much nuclear weapons. South Korean people are feeling very anxious about the nuclear weapons of North Korea. So to be honest, I personally do not trust Kim Jong Un at all.”
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