2018: The Year That Was
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World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits

Team KT
Filed on December 24, 2018 | Last updated on December 24, 2018 at 05.23 am
World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits

Khaleej Times brings you some key moments in the life of important nations.


Will centre hold as world politics tilts towards right?

The year that is about to end has been witness to several dramatic events. There has been a growth of rabid anti-immigrant sentiment and ultra-nationalism in the developed world. Emergence of the assertive right made things difficult for established centrist players. The Mideast has seen no let-up in blood letting, though there have been some silver linings in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. In Asia, tsunami and quakes wreaked huge havoc in Indonesia. The miraculous rescue of 12 children from Thai caves captured world imagination. 

Unrepentent Trump, a dancing May, and bold Kim make this year special

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181581223.JPG)

Trump never fails when it comes to shocking people. This is what happened at the G-7 meeting in Quebec on June 9. The iconic picture shows the exasperated world leaders trying to reason with a nonchalant Trump who refused to bend. The image was flashed across front pages of the newspapers. Another dramatic moment was when UK PM Theresa May, nervous over Brexit blues, tried to make a dancing entry at the Conservative party conference on October 3. The quintessential third world dictator Kim Jong-un of North Korea is finally making peace and took first steps by meeting his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in on April 27.

Brazil gets a Trump-like figure

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181591223.JPG)

Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right leader in Brazil who is often compared to US President Donald Trump, has become the leader of the country. He will begin his innings from January 1, 2019. He is expected to add to the far-right and nationalist rhetoric that became strident across the world in the recent years.

US-Mexico border wall a source of tension

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181601223.JPG)

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands travelling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from teargas in front of the border wall between the US and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico.

Obrador begins on a right note

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181611223.JPG)

Mexico's new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a progressive and far-left leader, came to power vowing to end corruption and reduce inequalities. In the few weeks he has been in power, he has made some right noises. Is Mexico on the verge of a revolutionary transformation? Only time can tell. 

Trump pick takes oath as justice after drama

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181621223.JPG)

Brett Kavanaugh was sworn-in as justice of the US Supreme Court by Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) as US President Donald Trump stands by on October 8. His nomination was marked by a spectacular drama over charges of sexual allegations dating from his student years.

Brothers separated at birth?

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181631223.JPG)

US President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they meet in Helsinki, on July 16. The relation between the two leaders continues to be a source of intense media speculation and controversy.

Macron sees red in yellow vests

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181641223.JPG)

A protester wearing yellow vest, a symbol of a French drivers' protest against higher fuel prices, stands on the red light on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, on November 24, Fluorescent jackets have become symbols of defiance and challenged the audacious reforms launched by young and energetic President Emmanuel Macron. It remains to be seen how the enigmatic French president will navigate through this crisis.

Russia flexes muscles over Ukraine

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181651223.JPG)

Ukrainian soldiers stand atop a tank near Urzuf, south coast of Azov sea, eastern Ukraine, on November 29. Ukraine put its military forces on high combat alert after Russian guards fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea. Ukraine continues to be a flashpoint in Russia-West relations.

Putin targets rivals abroad

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181661223.JPG)

On March 8, members of the emergency services work to fix a tent over the bench where ex-Russian spy Sergei Skirpal, his daughter Yulia were found in critical condition in Salisbury. They were attacked with nerve agent Novichok by suspected Russian agents. Putin came under attack for targeting his rivals abroad.

70 killed in Syria chemical attack

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181671223.JPG)

Syrian babies receive treatment for a suspected chemical attack at a makeshift clinic in the rebel-held village of Al Hifuniyah in the Eastern Ghouta near Damascus on February 25. A string of chemical attacks in the early months of this year killed over 70 people, sparking worldwide outrage. Syria and Russia as usual denied their hand. 

Saudi Crown Prince cements his control

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181681223.JPG)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) posing for a selfie with an unidentified man near Saudi billionaire Prince Al Walid bin Talal (R) during the Future Investment Initiative FII conference in Riyadh on October 23. Saudi Arabia hosted the key investment summit after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Hopes rise in Iraq as Mahdi takes charge

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181691223.JPG)

Iraq's new Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi (centre) leaves the parliament building in Baghdad on October 2. Veteran Shia politician Mahdi was tasked with forming a new government nearly five months after national elections were held. He had put up a brave front by deftly treading his way through the sectarian landmines.

Ethiopia, Eritrea end decades of hostility

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181711223.JPG)

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerk embrace in Asmara, Eritrea, on July 9, after signing a peace declaration that formally ended their two decades of hostility. The two countries have restored trade and diplomatic ties, and have planned joint projects, bringing in winds of change in Horn of Africa.

US move riles Palestinians

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181721223.JPG)

Palestinians run for cover from teargas during clashes with Israeli forces on May 14, as Palestinians protest over the inauguration of the US embassy in occupied Jerusalem. Over 50 Palestinians were killed after the controversial US move.

Tsunamis, quake shake Indonesia

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181731223.JPG)

Residents walk through debris in Perumnas Balaroa village in Palu, Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on October 2, after an earthquake and tsunami hit the area on September 28. The quake and tsunami killed more than 2,000 people and left thousands of others unaccounted for. Another tsunami triggered by undersea landslides struck popular beaches around Indonesia's Sunda Strait, killing over 200 people.  

Rohingya plight as bad as ever

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181741223.JPG)

Wounded Rohingya refugees walk with the help of crutches as they await the arrival of a UN Security Council team at the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong, Bangladesh on April 29, 2018. Rohingya refugees continue to languish in Bangladesh camps despite umpteen UN interventions.

Dramatic rescue has all in a tizzy

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181751223.JPG)

The 11 Thai boys and their coach in Buddhist robes pose with monks at a temple. The dramatic rescue of the boys who were trapped in a cave for more than two weeks captivated the world - from the heart-sinking news that they were missing, to the first video of the huddle of anxious boys when they were found by UK divers.

Xi is here to rule China forever

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181761223.JPG)

Chinese President Xi Jinping drops his ballot during a vote on a constitutional amendment lifting presidential term limits at the third plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 11. This removes the legal hurdle for Xi to remain as president for lifetime.

Hindu right wing loses a benign face

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181771223.JPG)

Three-time Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee died on August 16. He had led the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party for several decades and made the hard-line party acceptable to many sections through his gentle approach.

Will ex-PM Nawaz Sharif regain his old glory?

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181781223.JPG)

Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif arrives to attend funeral services for his wife, Kulsoom, in Lahore, on September 14. He has been in and out of jail for most part of the year over a slew of anti-corruption investigations, which he alleges, are politically motivated. It remains to be seen how he will salvage his name and reputation.

The hug that redefined Rahul Gandhi's image

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181791223.JPG)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi hugs Prime Minister Narendra Modi in parliament in New Delhi on July 20. The proverbial hug followed by a wink put the Gandhi scion back in the political limelight.

Imran's impressive show in elections

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181801223.JPG)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan waves at his supporters during a rally, in Lahore on April 29, in the run-up to his election. Khan's party Tehreek-e-Insaf put up a strong and credible anti-corruption platform before people who felt let down by successive regimes. Ever since his election, Khan has been trying to cleanse Augean stables.

Flood of century ravages Kerala

World milestones in 2018: North, South Korean leaders make peace; Trump-Putin meet in Helsinki; China lifts presidential term limits (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/assets/jpg/KT181811223.JPG)

Rescuers evacuate people from a flooded area to a safer place in Aluva, Kerala, on August 18. Severe floods affected the south Indian state due to unusually high rainfall during the monsoon season. It was the worst flood in Kerala in nearly a century. Over 483 people died, and 14 are missing. About a million people were evacuated, according to Wikipedia.





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