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The devil is in the details

Jun 14,2018 - Last updated at Jun 14,2018

The summit between President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un in Singapore was off to a good start from the beginning of their first one-on-one contacts.

The body language, the smiles and warm handshakes that permeated their personal contacts gave a vivid expression to the conclusion that the two leaders were bent on a friendly and warm start, not only for their own personal relations, but also to the bilateral relations between their two countries.

As President Trump said on the eve of the meeting with the North Korean leader, he would be able to test the grounds of whether the summit would lead to fresh and positive relations between them or not in the first few minutes of their first personal contact.

Trump is known to negotiate with his heart with friends and adversaries alike on the basis of personal  perceptions, impressions and attitudes. He either likes or dislikes his counterpart in any form of negotiations, and luckily this time, he struck a friendly note with Kim, thus opening the door wide open for cordial relations between them.

The US President personalises not only his personal relations with other world leaders, but also his country's bilateral and multinational relations. That cordial tone continued throughout the day of the summit meeting, with President Trump heaping praise on his former adversary leader by signalling that he has waged a special and cordial relation with him, and that relations between the two countries will be very different from the past decades.

Trump also predicted at the outset that the outcome of the summit will be much better than anyone could have expected. The North Korean leader was no less exuberant about his first contact with the US president, by saying that the past years of animosity between the two countries are gone forever.

Yet, in concrete terms, all that the two leaders  have agreed upon is the signature of a document in the form of a memorandum of understanding expressed in generalities, defining their future relations . As the saying goes, the devil is in the details, and the two countries and the world at large will have to hold their breath till the details of their agreement is carefully and meticulously negotiated  and articulated.

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