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Supporters and Opponents of Peace in Korea

According to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the surprise announcement of a summit in May between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to address the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula marks a “historic milestone” on the road to peace in the region.

Through a presidential spokesperson, Moon declared this through the South Korean delegation that traveled to Washington after the inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, after the U.S. president agreed to hold the meeting proposed by Kim.

The German and Japanese governments described the event as “a success story of international pressure,” but were cautious in describing the likely consequences of such a meeting.

For their part, China and Russia, both powers with veto power in the UN Security Council, reasoned that this is “a step in the right direction”, after advocating a diplomatic solution to the conflict throughout last year. This was in open contradiction to Washington’s position, which led to the imposing of sanctions against North Korea and even to agitation for the military option.

Beijing, Pyongyang’s main ally in the region, said through a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry that the proposed major meeting is a way out of the conflict by means of a “double suspension”, in which Seoul and Washington would have to stop their military maneuvers in exchange for North Korea stopping its nuclear tests.

It is no secret to anyone that South Korea is full of people, including leaders, who object to their country’s neocolonial relationship with the United States. Many people even admire, although they do not applaud, the North Korea’s extreme defense of national sovereignty in the context of its tense relations with the US superpower. They deplore the contrasting situation of a virtual occupation of South Korea.

The invitation extended by the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to a dialogue would be the first meeting in history between the leaders of the United States and North Korea. It includes the offer to suspend the testing of weapons and the discussion of issues related to the North Korean nuclear program.

With Trump’s acceptance, the inter-Korean thaw of the Winter Olympics, the announcement of the summit in April, and now the dialogue at the highest level are closed. This is in stark contrast with the climax of the escalation that until last year confronted Kim and Trump. It raised tensions in the region and the world following Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests that led to heavy UN Security Council sanctions on Washington’s initiative.

It is clear that if Kim’s meeting with Trump is held in May after the inter-Korean summit, humanity will have taken a significant step towards a serious and complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Many factors and people who have contributed to this goal must be recognized, including the role played by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will be in power for a year in May. He has made efforts to bring the country closer to its northern neighbor ever since he took office. South Korea is practically a gigantic US military base. Washington has no less than 30,000 troops of its own in an extremely tense relationship with North Korea. Using its status as the world’s only superpower, the United States systematically threatens the DPRK with all kinds of international sanctions.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that the South Korean leader, perhaps the main driving force behind the rapprochement between Washington and Pyongyang, invited Trump to support the effort. He predicted that “he [Trump] will receive praise from the people, not only from the two Koreas but also from those who want peace throughout the world for accepting Kim Jong-un’s invitation,” according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap

What did not fit in well with the peace-friendly environment on the Korean peninsula was the announcement by the South Korean Ministry of Defense that the United States and South Korea will conduct new military exercises on April 1.

However, anyone who objectively analyzes developments on the Korean peninsula in the light of history’s lessons will have to recognize that the unshakable firmness of its principles with which the Korean communists have defended the independence of this Asian nation as the only way to curb the unbridled appetites of U.S. imperialism today.

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

 

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Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

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