“We are the same people,” despot Kim Jong-un of North Korea has been saying about South Korea since the Winter Olympics. He recently stated the fact again as both nations have surprisingly “agreed on Friday to work to remove all nuclear weapons from the Korean Peninsula,” as the New York Times has confirmed.
Also, within a year’s time, the two nations want to approach the United States about ending the Korean War which has been only in a state of cease-fire for roughly a generation. This meeting marks the first time that a North Korean official has “set foot” in South Korea at all, and was a huge part of the peace process as Kim Jong un crossed the DMZ.
A treaty is being planned to replace the mere truce that exists now. It is quite possible that, in part due to American leadership under President Donald Trump, one of the greatest risks to world peace may end with a handshake and smiles for the cameras.
If nuclear weapons are taken off of the table, North Korea feels more comfortable giving up their nuclear ambitions. Under President Moon Jae-in, S.K. is willing to move in this direction. Considering that if nuclear weapons are ever “needed” (for lack of a better word), America would come to aid of South Korea and China would have North Korea’s back, the risk is minimal to both nations in light of the peace which may happen.
A joint statement (itself unheard of only months ago) from both Kim and Moon proclaimed, “South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” This happened as the two leaders met “at the border village of Panmunjom.”
When the cameras had their fill, the two men went into a more secluded area in the woods and spoke alone for about half an hour, too. It is said that “candid moments” were had and “pledges” made by both sides. Kim, for instance, said, “I came here to put an end to the history of confrontation.”
Peace House, “a conference building on the South Korean side of Panmunjom,” could be the staging ground for peace between U.S. President Trump and his nemesis of nukes, Kim Jong-un, too. Not since the Soviet Union fell and Gorbachev met President Reagan has the world been so very hopeful.
Furthermore, it can not be forgotten that the D.P.R.K. is a starving nation. The worst of Africa and China have nothing over on the horrific poverty and destitution that North Korea knows. The South under Moon has reminded N.K. that if they do denuclearize, investment money from the rich South will be given for new roads, schools, and much-needed food and medicines.
Even Mr. Trump has gone from a hard skeptic to what could be called “skepticism lite.” He tweeted, “Good things are happening, but only time will tell!,” and then only a half-hour later, “KOREAN WAR TO END!” That is quite a rate of progress, to put it mildly. The White House said that Americans should be “very proud” of what is happening on the peninsula.
Mr. Trump and even U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been imploring China to help with sanctions which could drive the Hermit Kingdom to the bargaining table, and the U.S was quick to thank Chinese leader Xi Jinping for his “good work.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, likewise, “praised the courage” of the two nations as “the new journey” to more peaceful times is underway.
When Moon said that he would like to visit N.K., their leader said it would be “embarrassing” due to the condition of the roads there. Such an admission from a nation that claimed to be the gold standard of the world as recently as Christmas is staggering.
Bear firmly in mind that the average North Korean has no idea how nice life looks elsewhere, so the admission about the horrid roads is not a small matter.
Kim was still bold, however, and said, “As the expectations are high, so is the skepticism. In the past, we had reached big agreements, but they were not implemented for more than 10 years. There are people who are skeptical that the results of today’s meeting will be properly implemented.” Perhaps, these concerns are what prompted a bit of a Twitter softening by Mr. Trump.
While addressing the matter of waking up Moon with nuclear bomb threats, Kim made a joke to smooth the topic over and again said, “I heard you had your early-morning sleep disturbed many times because you had to attend the N.S.C. meetings because of us. Getting up early in the morning must have become a habit for you. I will make sure that your morning sleep won’t be disturbed.”
Moon humored back, “Now I can sleep in peace.“