Trump-Kim summit: Interpreters have massive role to play in talks like these
Samuel P Huntington had spoken about "clash of civilisations" but at the Capella Hotel in Singapore on Tuesday, June 12, it was almost like a "meeting of civilisations".
US President Donald Trump shook hands with yet another world leader and this time, it was Kim Jong-un, the dictator of the hermit kingdom of North Korea ahead of their historic summit at the neutral venue.
Such a meeting was unthinkable even six months ago when the two leaders found themselves in the middle of a verbal confrontation over North Korea's nuclear programme. The two met over a one-on-one meeting after shaking hands and they were accompanied by their interpreters.
Inclusion of interpreters in such high-profile summits is not something new but for a summit between a US president and a North Korean leader, they assume utmost significance because the chances of misinterpretation and misunderstanding are too high.
Generally, meetings between top leaderships of countries that have been too incompatible with each other are preceded by comprehensive confidence-building measures. In case of the US and North Korea, it didn't happen as extensively as one would expect for North Korea is too isolated a country yet to engage in all-out diplomatic parleys. This makes the scope for misinterpretation even higher.
Kim Jong-un's initial words after meeting Trump were appreciated by the latter which proved that the interpreters did it correctly and the world would hope that they do their duties best throughout the all important day, i.e., June 12.