From taunts to talks: How Trump and Kim's relationship has evolved
Updated 12:13, 06-Feb-2019
By Meng Yaping
01:36

From "fire and fury" to fuzzy feelings, the world has been on a rollercoaster of a ride in the past two years as U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un went from trading insults and threats to exchanging personal letters and pleasantry.

Now people around the globe are holding their breath as the two leaders plan to meet for the second time in less than a year on February 27-28 – this time around in Vietnam.

“If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea (DPRK),” Trump said in his second State of the Union address on Tuesday evening at Capitol Hill.

The two leaders have a history in exchanging explosive words, with Trump calling Kim "little rocket man" and saying that "threats" from Pyongyang will be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." Meanwhile, Kim threatened to send missiles towards U.S. Guam, and called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard."

But last year saw tensions easing on the Korean Peninsula as well as between Kim and Trump. The pair softened their rhetoric ahead of their Singapore summit on June 12, and from then on the two exchanged personal letters and Trump became effusive in praising Kim, calling him an "honorable leader" and saying they "fell in love."

Who said what when? /CGTN Infographic

Who said what when? /CGTN Infographic

Despite the sound momentum, it remains to be seen whether the second summit between Trump and Kim will lead to a détente in the DPRK nuclear talks, as little progress has been made since the first summit in Singapore and differences between the two sides remain over the scale of the denuclearization, U.S. sanctions, and whether to issue a war-ending declaration.

(Infographic designed by CGTN's Zhang Xuecheng)