Let’s get something straight before we get to the meat of this post…..I think that this situation shows promise for a happy ending for the Koreans. But it will depend on the negotiations of the two parties and not the handshake for the cameras. This is a dangerous situation and not a reality show….and yes if the deal actually ends the hostilities on the Peninsula then Trump should be awarded the Nobel but not for a handshake photo op.
Now let’s look at what is happening in the Koreas….we already have been beat to death by the US media…..the South Koreans have spoken at the polls….
When South Koreans went to the polls yesterday they registered their unambiguous backing for President Moon’s Democratic Party and the peace process that is a signature policy of his administration. In doing so, they also dealt a devastating blow to the country’s main faction hostile to North Korean diplomacy.
Here’s how one South Korean outlet summed up the results: “In what was considered an opportunity to measure the public support of the Moon Jae-in administration one year into its term, the Democratic Party achieved an enormous victory in the local elections of June 13th, providing even more political flexibility for Moon’s government…. At the same time, the Liberty Korea Party suffered a historically crushing rout that has seen its power wither, leaving it solely with its [traditional strongholds]…as the party appears on the verge of being swept away in a maelstrom of internal discord with members looking for someone to blame for this defeat.” (Translation of original Korean by author.)
Looks like the locals are looking for that happy ending to 70+ years of hostilities……and SecState Pompeo has put a time limit on any deal….
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that there had been understandings reached with North Korea on in-depth verification of the denuclearization process, and a lot of other issues related to it, that weren’t written explicitly in the official document shown to the public.
Pompeo also talked about the length of the disarmament process, saying the US wants to see major parts of the disarmament done in the next two or two and a half years. President Trump has long said he expected denuclearization to happen in phases.
The time-frame likely reflects US political realities, with the administration hoping that they can have major progress to show off to the voters during the 2020 presidential election. Pompeo added that Trump would restart the frozen wargames with South Korea if North Korea stopped showing good will in the process.
That would be fantastic if a deal could be finalized….as long as South Korea is at the table and agrees to the deal .
As a foreign policy wonk I see this as a chance for a true diplomatic break through……as much as I hate to admit it it does smell like some small beginning of sanity in our foreign policy…..
President Trump gave peace a chance like few presidents before him, and if his critics cannot respect that fact, shame on them. What he and the hawks around him have done is as profound a shift in U.S. foreign policy as it is unexpected in its departure from an America-centric view of the world.
At the heart of this bold initiative is an openness to the wisdom and concerns of other nations, beginning with the government of South Korea but including most definitely the insights of the leaders of neighboring China, Russia and Japan. It is a break with the demonization of the North Korean enemy in the spirit of Richard Nixon’s opening to Communist China, which effectively ended the Cold War.
Now maybe we can work on the G7 and NATO…..a good beginning but it must continue…..the world is waiting.
But wait! What about those interventionists like John Bolton? Where will they be standing during this time of sanity? Trump should worry more about these toads than the media for they are already working to derail the deal.
Critics and pundits have been reacting dismissively to President Donald Trump’s engagement with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. A few weeks ago Donald Trump was going to start World War III with the Korean peninsula’s “Rocket Man,” or so observers said. Now, the prospect for peace, which has never been formally codified by treaty with North Korea since 1953, seems to have critics equally vexed and upset.
Yet, hoping for peace to fail in order to prevent Trump from gaining a victory is to engage in precisely the type of behavior his critics accuse him of displaying.
So much to do and so little time…..and the clock is ticking…..