What we should expect from the Trump-Kim summit on June 12 in Singapore? The simple answer is that anything can happen before, during or after the summit. Both are known for their moody demeanour and impulsive nature that often transcends to the limits of psychosomatic recklessness — if not lunacy. Both have an incredible tendency to give surprises to each other and the rest of the world. Even a cursory glance at the exchange of verbal tirades between the two in the last year or so would reveal the capriciousness and fickleness that constitute the core edifice of their personalities. “Little rocket man”, “madman” and “tyrant” are some of the favourite labels that Trump has repeatedly used for Kim Jong Un. Similarly, Kim has also vehemently reciprocated by calling Trump an “old lunatic”, “warmonger”, “political layman” and “political heretic”. There is a long list of such piercing and slighting lexis that both of them have used regularly to express their extreme disliking for each other. There have been many instances during the last 18 months, when the intensity of their verbal fracas reached a point where the world started bracing for the sounds of ballistic missiles travelling across the Pacific Ocean. Both of them touched the peak of their mutual repulsion in September last year, when, in his pugnacious first address to the UN general assembly, President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. “The US has great strength and patience. If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” are the exact words used by Trump. Indubitably, this was a blatant show of arrogance that instigated Kim Jong Un to respond with an equally aggressive tone and lament “the mentally deranged behaviour” of Trump. Suddenly, the Korean peninsula appeared to be at the brink of another catastrophic crisis, with the potential to throw the whole region into a new, fiery mess, as Beijing flexes its muscles in support of Pyongyang. Since then the rollercoaster relationship between the two has seen many wayward swings and finally reached a point where the whole world is anxiously waiting for the two adversaries to shake hands and sit across on the same table. Just six months ago, you would not find a single person on the planet who could have predicted a Trump-Kim meeting — and that too, so early. Ironically, only one person had predicted, though sarcastically at that time, about the possibility of their friendship. “Little rocket man”, “madman” and “tyrant” are some of the favourite labels that Trump has repeatedly used for Kim Jong Un. Similarly, Kim has also vehemently reciprocated by calling Trump an “old lunatic”, “warmonger”, “political layman” and “political heretic” It was none other than Donald Trump himself. On November 12, 2017, while retorting to Kim Jong Un’s taunts, Donald Trump tweeted, “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!” Even Trump would have never thought that almost within seven months of that famous tweet he would be sitting with Kim and sharing a lunch with him. Trump takes pride in being a totally non-conventional president and he never leaves an opportunity to show his disdain for his predecessors who mostly exhibited strict adherence to the established diplomatic norms and discipline. The problem with Trump is that, having an extremely successful track record of real estate deal making, he is over confident about his bargaining skills and he believes that his non-conventional methodology will always yield handsome returns. His corporate mindset excessive dominates his management style at the White House. No one knows to what extent Trump has secured pre-assurances from Kim Jong Un on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, so as to claim a victory or at least a veneer of victory in the Singapore summit. Yes, Kim Jong Un is also a very astute manipulator and has been playing his cards very smartly so far. Ostensibly, Kim has taken many confidence-building measures in the last two months, including his meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and unprecedented major overhauling of top military command (bringing in young and his most loyalists at the top), and he is depicting an eagerness to “do more” to tell the world that he means serious business this time. Obviously, a shrewd businessperson like Donald Trump is not expected to get carried away by the recent positive overtures from Pyongyang. We should not forget that he is a skilled strategist who has the capability to bargain a deal even when the chips are down. He has done it many times in the past and this time again he will not like to fail. Anything can happen at the Singapore summit — ranging from comprehensive accord on denuclearisation to a total deadlock and a walk out by any of the two moody leaders during the talks. We should be ready for any dramatic upshot. However, one thing is certain that, regardless of the outcome, Donald Trump will still be able to claim a victory. The writer is an acdamic Published in Daily Times, June 12th 2018.