I watched with great interest on CNN, a late Thursday night here, a couple weeks ago, 13 or so hours later on Friday in Northeast Asia. Another page was been added to the world history book as leaders of the two Koreas, President Kim Jong Un of the North and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in were preparing to meet for the first time at a concrete separation referred to as the demarcation line).
Why did that so-called Breaking News story matter to me? Because I’m a living and breathing citizen of the world with an interest in what’s going on… So after many years of western media demonization of another of [their] concocted faraway enemies, it was nice, indeed revealing to know and see that that North Korean man was human after all. Most importantly, it was an historic and propitious meeting, a symbolic (re)unification of the two Koreas.
For people of a certain generation, all we have known about Korea was the Korean War – 1950-53, which pitted polarized and deeply nationalist forces, eventually cum two nations – the North supported by the Soviet Union and China, along with other so-called “Communist” nations, forces of “evil”; pitted against the U.S. and its western allies, forces of “good.”
Essentially, it was a proxy war, an extension of the so-called Cold War (the global political climate at the time), which pitted East-West forces. So to bridge that 65-year-old gap, the current leaders of the respective countries decided that the time had come to formally end the war.
[Oh, by the way, don’t give any credence or credit for that matter, to Donald Trump for his misguided and skewed thinking that his war rhetoric and threats against North Korea, coupled with stiff economic sanctions, were in any way instrumental, let alone responsible for making that bit of history. As we have learned over the years the two Koreas are populated by people… families of similar stock, like say… North and South Vietnam? And as we’re both nations have been engaged in informal discussions about reconciliation and unification for decades.
So there they were late that Thursday night here, late morning over there, South Korean President Moon Jae-in standing on that concrete division, waiting… and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, making that historic walk south.
He approached his counterpart on the other side of the concrete wall (part of the Demilitarized Zone), arms extended as they got closer, then connected, both men smiling, shaking hands, like old friends happy to see each other again after a long separation. And they kept shaking hands, embraced… Then the man from the South stepped on the Northern side. Then both stepped back onto the southern side and walked towards a delegation that had assembled for the historic event.
Both men genuinely looked happy to be in each other’s presence, rightly so. They were like brothers, of “similar stock” and they speak the same language. No translator necessary.
It was rapprochement in effect after decades of physical and ideological separation, and months of global fears of a nuclear conflict.
And as I watched a smiling Kim Jong Un and his counterpart do their walkabout shaking hands and having brief chats… I was waiting to see another (of the western world’s) ideological nemeses morph into a ‘bogeyman’, those grotesque beings the U.S. and other western media analysts regularly opine on in their (geo)political discourse, much as they did his predecessors—“monster, butcher, thug, tyrant, murderer…”
The tacit message being communicated at that extended moment of those two leaders coming together in harmony was that the process of “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and a pledge to bring a formal end to the Korean War, 65 years after hostilities ceased” was underway. More importantly, reconciliation and what many are hoping will be future summits and negotiations towards the ultimate objective, re-unification will continue. Hopes were seeded at that daylong summit.
In fact, a tree – one imagines of peace – was planted. And in separate speeches both leaders promised “[…] a new era…that the Koreas will be reunited as one country…that there will not be any more war on the Korean peninsula.”
So with that summit, North Korea appears to be gradually working its way into America’s (or at least Donald Trump’s) good book. He’s even talking about Nobel Peace Prize? Imagine.
That said, we all know that U.S. government penchant for demonizing certain international political leaders, many of whom have become geopolitical straw men:
Saddam Hussein, toppled and hung with the assistance of the U.S. and its allies (coalition) in December 2006; Muammar Gaddafi, toppled by a western coalition and assassinated on a street in October 2011. Incidentally, the investigation President Obama promised never happened; Bashar al‑Assad, the man many would love to see gone, but is still lording over a country collapsing under the destructive force of WMDs.
And there’s Iran, a member of George H. W. Bush’s Axis of Evil collective. That country is permanently in the minds and sights of American presidents. And it has been on Donald Trump’s mind too.
[Aided and abetted by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and looming Middle East military powerhouse Saudi Arabia with its new, young, brash Prince of a leader (which over the last year spent about one trillion dollars on the latest U.S.-made military equipment), Donald Trump has now joined the anti-Iran club by ripping up the nuclear non-proliferation agreement concluded in 2015 with several European countries, along with China and Russia.
Astute ‘politician’ that he is, Trump, in all his speciousness, finally withdrew from the agreement negotiated by the Barack Obama administration to the delight of his powerful Middle East allies. You see, the (racist+), egotistical president has vowed to nix everything the African-American president signed off on.
You remember, when Barack Obama was in the presidential campaign he spoke of using some of his presidential time, if elected, to engage in ongoing efforts to talk about finding constructive ways to secure peace.
Needless to say, once in office he was stymied by powerful forces… who pledged to make him fail.
Now with America killing the Iran deal, Armageddon is a word been thrown around… not just in the Middle East region.
Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Donald Trump? I vote No!
In recognizing the propitious moment for another historic occasion in Korea, one article states, “As an orange sun brought the dawn to South Korea, a group of 20 pastors stood on a hill overlooking North Korea. They offered up a petition to “please hold Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in the light,” said Jiseok Jung, one of the pastors there, referring to the leaders of the two countries…”
After watching CNN for a short period I switched to BBC for a more comprehensive analysis of what was happening at the Korean summit. And I began thinking if after 65 years of separation, the result of Cold War and geopolitics and manipulation, why can’t other nations and peoples separated by political, tribal, ethnic, religious… enmity fomented by external forces, why not look at what’s been played out in the Koreas. Why not see the wisdom of resolving differences, rather than prolonged, recurring deadly tensions or military crises…
Who needs it?