The Straits Times says

Seizing historic opportunity for peace

After more than a year of trading insults and bellicose rhetoric, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump stunned the world by agreeing to meet. If it comes to pass, it will be the first-ever summit between sitting leaders of the two nations. The summit proposal came about after a meeting between Mr Kim and South Korean envoys. The latter conveyed the diplomatic overture to Washington and Mr Trump responded speedily and positively.

A further surprise was that Mr Kim is reported to have told the South Koreans that he is willing to negotiate the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapons with the US. The Trump administration was right to have shown some flexibility by dropping its insistence that Pyongyang must begin the process of denuclearisation as a precondition for talks. The issue of denuclearisation should be on the table, of course, but it's better to avoid a hardened stance at this early stage.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 17, 2018, with the headline 'Seizing historic opportunity for peace'. Print Edition | Subscribe