As most people were either drinking the last of their Christmas eggnog or chilling the champagne for New Year’s Eve, Kim Jong-un was seeming to allude to his nation being peaceful during the Olympics in South Korea. This has been a huge concern, though no one knows if this is just the D.P.R.K. stalling the world as they further their nuclear ambitions.
Some experts have said that this gesture could lead to talks with the ever-reclusive Hermit Kingdom, but this remains to be seen. They have claimed that the U.S. will never start a war with them because they are now a nuclear nation, so they aren’t about to sacrifice that achievement, we can be sure. However, the Olympic games are about sportsmanship, not politics. “South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim Jong Un’s apparent willingness to enter into dialogue,” even going to far as to welcome North Korean participants, CNN confirms.
The President also called for “measures” that will allow those wishing to compete from North Korea to do so in the “2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.” This openness was proclaimed during a recent cabinet meeting.
Kim Jong-un, likely secure in his status as proven nuclear power, was talking about peace, much to the dismay of everyone. While it may yet be a ruse (and many feel that it is), the cruel leader said that he hopes “for (a) peaceful resolution with our southern border.”
The wayward Asian leader has called for talks “as soon as possible,” though this likely comes with no chance of halting their nuclear weapons program, a caveat demanded by much of the free world.
Moon said that Kim’s comments could be taken “as a response to our proposal to turn the Pyeongchang Olympic Games into an epoch-making opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations and establish peace.” The leader called on the Unification Ministry “to quickly come up with follow-up measures for the speedy restoration of South-North Korean dialogue and realize the North Korean delegation’s participation in the Pyeongchang Olympics.”
President Donald Trump has championed the news as a sign that sanctions are taking a toll in North Korea and that they have no choice but to talk. “Soldiers are dangerously fleeing to South Korea. Rocket man now wants to talk to South Korea for first time,” the White House tweeted.
“The government proposes the North to hold high-level, inter-Korean government talks at the Peace House of Panmunjom in consideration that the Winter Olympics is about a month away and to discuss related matters such as the participation of North Korea’s delegation in the Pyeongchang Olympics,” suggested South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.
This could all be a stall tactic, also. “By suggesting North Korea will send a delegation to the Olympics, the North may also add impetus to the South’s offer to delay joint defense exercises with the US, and may add to some of the differences between Seoul and Washington in coordinated North Korea policies,” Rodger Baker, vice president of strategic analysis for the intelligence firm Stratfor reminds us.
Tong Zhao, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing has stated that “He (Kim) wants to convince the international community that his nuclear weapons are purely for self-defense and wants to have a negotiated solution with the United States on the basis that he gets to keep its nuclear deterrent capability.”
He adds, “After achieving a preliminary strategic deterrent capability, North Korea might want to de-escalate tensions and see(s) the Winter Olympics as a golden opportunity. The Games make it possible for Washington and Seoul to meet Pyongyang’s demand for self-restraint — adjusting their military exercises — without losing face and appearing weak on Pyongyang.”
If this happens, it looks like Kim Jong-un will have won, at least in terms of being allowed to keep his nuclear arsenal. If Trump opposes this talk of peace, he will appear as the bad guy in this most dreadful of plays.
From here, it remains to be seen just how far the U.S. is willing to bend when it comes to allowing a nuclear-armed North Korea to exist, no matter how tempered the speech gets from Kim Jong-un.