North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un reached Singapore on Sunday, June 10, ahead of his Tuesday summit with US President Donald Trump. The latter was also set to reach the city-state later on Sunday.
Although the outcome of the summit was uncertain, China's Global Times said in an op-ed titled 'North Korea takes a giant leap' that Kim took a "big step forward" by flying to Singapore, which is an ally of the US in Southeast Asia. North Korean leaders are not known to be visiting to foreign lands and Kim's visit to a country with which the US has a close relation was seen by the Chinese media as a unique development and it gave the North Korean leader full support for that.
"Pyongyang agreed to hold the summit in Singapore implies North Korea has confidence about the security of its leader in the city state. This shows that North Korea believes in the diplomatic rule book of today's world and its leader is ready to obey the norms and resolve major problems based on rules. It takes more courage and will for Kim to hold the summit in the Lion City than holding it on the Military Demarcation Line," the Global Times piece said.
The piece also praised Trump over his latest statements sounding hope for the summit but also showed a concern that he could walk away from the summit if it did not produce results of his preference.
"However, the two countries have prepared long for the meeting. It is widely anticipated that the possibility of the two sides officially defining the outcome as successful is much higher than the likelihood of the two breaking up in discord," the piece said.
The international community is waiting with berated breath for the summit hoping that six-months of diplomatic parleys in the run-up to the summit will finally pay off despite the periodic lows. The summit could be a major step forward towards a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, something the world in general and Pyongyang's neighbours in particular are eagerly waiting for.
The Chinese op-ed said while strength is the trump card of the US, the ability of effective decision-making and perseverance is what North Korea is banking on. "Both Washington and Pyongyang need to show flexibility to ensure that they can find consensus," it said.
The summit will be the first ever between an American president and a North Korean leader and none would like to miss the opportunity to score a brownie point.