NP Upadhyaya, Nepal: Politics has at times surprises in its baskets. Honest politics yield good results. Yes this time we wish to talk about new and comparatively benevolent initiatives taken by the two strong leaders dominating politics in the Korean peninsula, which has remained in a tensed state after the end of the Korean War in the year 1953.
Since the end of the war, power politics separated the two brotherly nations into two politically differing systems: the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the South opting for a road to democracy and the North preferring for a closed society. The North Korea still remains more or less a clogged society unfortunately.
Interestingly, South Korea obliquely enjoys support of the United States of America then the North continues to enjoy the blessings of Middle Kingdom-China.
The North has also some clever Nepali communists, radicals included, in its favor who on some dictated occasions talk high of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The former Maoists are very close to the North Korean quarters in Kathmandu for understandable reasons.
However, things appear now to opt for a change for the better. The two divided Koreas have made several declared and undeclared political attempts in the recent years, more so in this year 2018 and these political moves at times have enjoyed the backing of some world powers. Even in the absence of patronage of the world powers, the Korean leaders residing on both the sides of the 38th parallel have taken some substantial initiatives with the aim to establish peace in the entire Korean peninsula.
Remarkable was the event when the President of Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in primarily took the grand peace initiative as early as April this year that facilitated the way for a series of similar peace initiatives with talks that included in between the two constitutional heads of the two Koreas, the DPRK and the ROK. And later it also paved the grand way for the spectacular meet with the President of the US who met with the North Korean leader in Sentosa Island on June 12, 2018. The event was carefully watched in Nepal as the two world leaders were heavily guarded by Nepal born Gorkhali soldiers stationed in Singapore itself.
On the other hand, the ROK President Moon Jae-in is a longtime friend of Nepal and has made several trips to Nepal in the past.
To recall, an Inter-Korea Summit was held under the direct supervision of ROK President on April 27, 2018, which saw the two Korean stalwarts, Kim Jong-Un, the Chairman of the Worker’s Party of Korea who is concurrently the Supreme leader of North Korea and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea talking together.
Observers said then that this Summit was the third Inter-Korean Summit and the first in eleven years.
The world population with utmost surprise watched the event on their television which was first of its own kind taking place after the end of the Korean War- where a leader from communist North had entered the democratic South.
And today, Tuesday September 18, 2018, the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un heartily greeted the South Korean President Moon Jae-in upon his arrival in Pyongyang for their third summit this year, as the two countries look to establish peace in Korean Peninsula.
Both appear determined to achieve something very substantial for their people. The present visit is aimed at this most likely.
The two leaders smiled and hugged at the foot of Moon’s plane at Sunan International Airport, amid crowds of cheering North Koreans waving flowers and national flags, including those symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula, claim various news agencies covering this epoch making events both in Seoul and Pyongyang. Moon and Kim and their wives then shook hands with various officials, before reviewing a North Korean ceremonial guard of honor.
It was the first time the North Korean strong man Kim Jong-Un had greeted visitors at the airport since the young leader took power in 2011, according to South Korean officials.
Prior to the third Inter-Korean Summit in 2018, the two leaders have met each other in April and May, both times in truce village of Panmunjom-a demilitarized zone.
President Moon, who is equally close to US President Donald Trump has made it known that the South Korean government’s role shall be to “find the points of agreement between the US and North Korea so that the two countries can accelerate meaningful conversation and speed up denuclearization process”.
Denuclearization is high on the agenda in between the US and the North. However, progress remains yet to be observed in this regard.
Both China and Russia are watching the events that have been unfolding in Korean peninsula of late. Observers hope that such meets ease tensions that have been prevailing in the entire region for long.
Although conflicts and confrontations have raged between the two Koreas across the DMZ for well over six decades, an atmosphere of dialogue, exchange and cooperation was fostered temporarily between the two countries following the summits held in 2000 and 2007.
And now the two estranged Korean leaders talk in a friendly and brotherly manner. This is a positive change.
“This meet of the two Korean leaders in the North is perhaps the first inter-Korean summit to be held in Pyongyang in 11 years, since the summit in 2007,” said Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom.
By visiting the North the ROK President has kept his promise.
It will also be the first time in 18 years for a president to visit the North Korea capital by plane, according to the Korea Joongang Daily.
The main press center for the ongoing summit will be open at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul from September 16-21, Korean news agencies have reported.
Now it remains to be seen as to how China and the US take the meet of the two Korean leaders in the North Capital.
On September 13, prior to the visit to the North President Moon had announced that the objectives of the upcoming third inter-Korean summit, were to develop and improve inter-Korean ties, and to accelerate and mediate US-North Korea talks, the Blue House had said in a statement, it has been reported.
“The inter-Korean relationship is proceeding faster than we expected,” the ROK president beamingly said.
He emphasized that during the upcoming summit the ROK government will focus mainly on ending any fear about threats of war or worries about military clashes between the two Koreas, it has been learnt.
Concerning the US-North Korea relationship, the president had downplayed any pessimism, saying that the leaders of the two countries are building trust by continuously exchanging personal letters.
The two Koreas fought a war in early 50s. Since the signing of the armistice agreement on the July 27, 1953, the Peninsula has remained divided, as stated earlier.
Since the two Korean leaders have vowed to work for the establishment of peace, observers in Nepal have every reason to trust to what has been said by the two competing Korean leaders.
In the meantime, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has discussed the Korean Peninsula denuclearization agenda over phone with his South Korean counterpart Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, the US State Department said Monday, September 17.
Pompeo’s talk came a day ahead of the scheduled meet of the two Korean top hats.
The two talked by phone twice in the past two days on the eve of a widely expected summit between the leaders of Pyongyang and Seoul, news agencies have stated.