North Korea and South Korea make pledges to restore peace: America can’t ignore!
Ri Kuk-Chol, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The leaders of North Korea and South Korea held a historic summit where major issues were discussed in the hope of bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, came across with being composed, focused, and appearing sincere towards his South Korean host. In turn, the leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, is known to support a similar line to the older “Sunshine Policy.”
It is easy to be skeptical based on past hopes of a genuine thaw but that only ended in disappointment. Yet, it could be that Kim is a little different because he acknowledges that North Korea needs to play catch-up with South Korea in various sectors. Equally, modern China is a powerful engine of regional and international growth and the armed forces of this nation are fully focused on modernization. Therefore, despite China taking a “quietist approach,” it is apparent that North Korea now knows that a greater equilibrium now exists in Northeast Asia and this also applies to the Russian Federation.
Kim pointedly said, “We bade farewell to the frozen relationship between North and South Korea, which was a nightmare. And we announced the beginning of a warm spring to the world.”
It is equally incumbent on South Korea to acknowledge the fears of North Korea. This applies to the nuclear prowess of America and the military bases of the same nation in Japan and South Korea respectively. In other words, North Korea needs guarantees from America and South Korea if denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is a genuine goal. Hence, the goodwill of South Korea is instrumental in paving the way for genuine political and economic ties between both Korea’s.
President Trump of America should not misjudge the growing feelings between North Korea and South Korea. After all, the leader of South Korea is known to be more independent and for much of his career, he supported a mild approach to solving the crisis that divides both Korea’s.
Trump said some positive words but he also used hawkish language that isn’t needed by either Korea’s. Trump implied that he would not be “played” by the leader of North Korea. He also stated, “We will come up with a solution and if we don’t we’ll leave the room.”
However, it isn’t that simple because the fact remains that firstly Japan, and then America, have both set the Korean Peninsula alight with the end result being extremely negative for the Korean people. This applies to colonialism, dividing the Korean people, untold massacres during the Korean War, and then dividing the Korean people based on ideology. Hence, the political elites in North Korea and South Korea – and this notably applies to the Moon government – are both disillusioned by the division of the Korean people and being enemies of each other. Therefore, a belligerent Trump isn’t needed at this moment in time because it will only lead to tensions with its ally, South Korea.
It remains to be seen if Kim and Moon can overcome the ghosts of outside nations that have divided the Korean people. Equally, it is unknown how sincere Kim is despite appearing to be open to genuine change with South Korea. Despite this, the current leader of South Korea is the right leader of this nation to try to reset the clock between both Korea’s. Hence, it is incumbent on Moon to tell the Trump administration to not upset the applecart. After all, hope is better than the hostile voices of war that were emanating from Pyongyang and Washington in late 2017.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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