Trump-Kim meet a gift for Southeast Asia
All the hullabaloo surrounding the historic Trump-Kim summit in Singapore must be discarded if one wants to seriously assess the overall ripple effects, in particular, the four-point statement. For the region, at least for now, the tight knot of a nuclear war has been untied. After all, President Donald Trump gave his personal assurance of this after he returned to the United States from his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. That is good for Southeast Asia as a whole. If there is a war, the region's progress would be badly undermined as much as, if not more, than those of the two protagonists. The US provides a marketplace and the Korean Peninsula remains the last stronghold of long-awaited peace and stability.
The summit has given rise to many prospects and challenges. Similar to former president Richard Nixon's journey to China in 1972 ahead of the US diplomatic link-up with China, the Singapore summit will have the same result in terms of opening the floodgates for new relations and diplomatic adjustments with the hermit kingdom. From now on, Asean will increase engagements with Pyongyang, taking its cue from the recent summit's outcome and South Korea's new attitude toward the North.
Kavi Chongkittavorn is a veteran journalist on regional affairs.
A veteran journalist on regional affairs
Kavi Chongkittavorn is a veteran journalist on regional affairs