TOKYO: The East Asian region stands to benefit from a successful meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
“We welcome the opportunity for the West to meet the leader of North Korea. Any opportunity to meet will be something that will be good for the world. It is far better than confrontation,” the prime minister said.
Speaking at a dialogue with foreign correspondents at the Japan National Press Club here, Dr Mahathir said the Trump-Kim meeting will reduce tension in this part of the world and can contribute towards improving good relations between Japan, South Korea, China, and North Korea.
“All this will in turn, enhance trade between countries and increase prosperity of the world,” he added.
The North Korea-US Summit will take place in Singapore on June 12, and will be the first meeting between a sitting US President and the leader of North Korea.
Dr Mahathir said although there are some quarters who are sceptical about Jong-Un’s change in attitude and question whether his intentions are genuine, the important thing is that there will be contact between the two sides.
“Any contact between people who are in conflict with each other is something that we should welcome.
“There is a Malay saying — ‘if you do not know, then you cannot love’ (Tak kenal, maka tak cinta) — so if you know each other, it is always good for improving relations between people and between countries,” he added.