N.P. Upadhyaya, Kathmandu: Let’s call it “Trumplomacy” which just the last week surprised millions and millions of political brains the world over, President Donald Trump being courteously greeted by the Chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kim Jong-Un at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)-almost taken as the border that divides the two Koreas after the War.
That was not all.
The two leaders, Kim and Trump, held talks for all along fifty minutes which centered on making “peace efforts” in and around Koran peninsula. The talks were held in the Freedom House in the South of the border.
The fresh meet of the two, President Trump and Chairman Kim is perhaps the third face to face between the two leaders in just over a year or so.
Preparations for the third Summit has already begun, reportedly.
President Trump crossed the border from the South to the North wherein he was greeted by Chairman Kim. Trump had left Osaka for Seoul after the conclusion of the G20 meet.
G20 comprises of 19 countries plus the European Union. The 19 countries included in this grouping are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States respectively.
This conglomerate is also talked as rich men’s club save the “faulty” inclusion of a few highly uncivilized countries located in South Asia.
The question is whether the meeting of such a scale and of global import was in essence, as is being given to understand, arranged in just twenty four hours or were the result of underneath hectic diplomatic activities from both the sides consuming several weeks is yet unknown but media sources close to the US claim that U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun held secret discussions at the DMZ to set up the meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean president Kim Jong un, reports the CNN.
This sounds logical.
To recall, the series of meets of the US President and Chairman Kim meet began when in April 2018, Kim met the South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the same DMZ village, also known as 38th parallel.
During the same encounter, Kim became the first North Korean leader to step into the South since the end of the war.
Cordiality between the two Kim and Moon increased thus.
In effect, it was this meet of President Moon Jae-in and Chairman Kim at the DMZ which later facilitated the materialization of President Trump and Chairman Kim’s meet first in Singapore and then Vietnam, Hanoi and now in the DMZ itself.
This meet later did miracles. The world people have made positive comments and praise for the leaders concerned who have tentatively made a history.
President Moon Jae-in is a great sympathizer of Nepal as he prior to becoming the President of the ROK made a few trips to Nepal, it is talked. However, Nepal is yet to benefit from the South Korean experiences. A highly arrogant Prime Minister controls Nepal at present who only prefers to talk with India for some mysterious reasons.
The fresh meet of Chairman Kim and President Trump at the de militarized zone both the “leaders” have made sincere efforts in preparing grounds for yet another talks in between the two countries in order to bring in permanent peace in the peninsula.
The eagerness of Chairman Kim to meet President Trump at a short notice ( as claimed by President Trump) too in many more ways than one hints that he too preferred some sort of significant concessions from the USA and enjoy from the largesse of President Trump for the benefit of his country and its poverty stricken people.
And President Donald Trump is on record to have hinted after meeting Chairman Kim that DPRK has “tremendous potential” which implied that the USA would wish to invest in or provide some substantial help to Kim’s “monarchy” in a visible manner that satisfies the so far secluded country.
President Trump appreciated Chairman Kim and took him as a “wonderful person” after the meet.
This concurrently means that the DPRK too should act in terms of the US demands for which President Trump appears so excited.
Though the DPRK may or may not fulfil the US preconditions at a single stretch as expected by Donald Trump but yet since the negotiation process has already begun and thus a time may come soon when the USA and the DPRK could inch closer. Chances remain fifty-fifty.
The next meet of the “Two New Friends” is expected either to be in Washington or in Pyongyang, if things go as per the desire of the two leaders who have their own political reasons and need to come closer and sort the core troubling issues so that it is in the good of the Korean peninsula and the world at large.
Trump has already invited Kim to USA. Chairman Kim is yet to reciprocate.
Take it for granted that this meet at the DMZ in between Kim and President Trump, June 30, must have had the undeclared facilitation of the South Korean President Moon Je-in who from the very beginning of his ROK Presidency has made several political overtures, seen and unseen both, that have finally brought the two estranged countries closer to a level that was a matter which could not even be thought of even some three years ago. Things are moving in a positive direction, needless to say.
So whatever positive developments have come to the notice of the world peace loving population more so to those who wish a peaceful settlement of the issues confronting the Korean peninsula (including the restoration of brotherly ties in between the two Koreas) are all due to the quiet diplomatic efforts made by President Moon Jae-in.
Chances remain hair that Nepal UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal may claim the credit for this Kim-Trump meet any time soon who may assert one fine morning that he in fact “facilitated” the talks at the DMZ as per the appeal made by President Trump.
And President Moon has valid and logical reasons to bring North Korea to the negotiating table because the failure of the US-DPRK talks shall have a direct impact on the stability and the security of the Republic of Korea for understandable reasons. It is these compulsions which may have encouraged President Moon Jae-in to act fast in restoring peace in the trouble peninsula.
So President Moon Jae-in ventilated his inner feelings, let’s presume so, after the DMZ meet of the two estranged leaders, and said “Through today’s meeting, the peace process for complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of permanent peace has overcome a big hurdle “.
“It gave a big hope to the world and the 80 million people of South and North Korea, so had written Seung Min Kim and Simon Denyer for the Washington Post dated June 30, 2019.
President Moon’s expressions do hint what significance the Kim-Trump meet meant for the Koreans on both the sides and for the entire world, the Peninsula included.
According to the Xinhuanet, Tuesday July 3, 2019, the ROK President Moon Jae-in said at a Cabinet meeting that the “DPRK and the United States “actually ended their hostile relations and started a new peace era through the Panmunjom Summit between the DPRK and the US leader, Kim and Donald Trump.
He further said that “they launched a new peace era through acts, though the two sides hailed no signing ceremony for a written document at the Panmunjom meeting”.
This means that the threat of the possible use of nuclear weapons against each other has for the time being come to an end and that Kim and President Trump have developed a very strong friendship. If so, not bad.
To get it right, writes Christine Ahn for the ‘National Interest’ dated July 3, 2019 that “the first step the Trump administration should take is to offer North Korea a security guarantee, whether in the form of an end of war declaration or a non-aggression pact. It may have been, after all, what convinced Kim to meet Trump at Panmunjom”.
Perhaps this could be some sort of incentive for Chairman Kim. If Kim is convinced and happy then the US shall have an opportunity to pocket concessions in instalment from the DPRK leader which eventually will facilitate the “era of peace” as claimed by President(s) Xi and Moon and also desired by PM Abe of japan.
It should be not out of place to recall that the US and South Korea (ROK) have been in a security alliance for several decades and a trip to the DMZ is something of a ritual for visiting US leaders.
No wonder that the then president George W. Bush too went to the DMZ in February 2002, a month after he named North Korea as part of his “axis of evil”.
The axis stands perhaps dismantled but US sanctions continue.
Interestingly, a very timely but convincing interpretation of this surprising meet of Kim and Trump has at best been put on record none less than by Andrei Lankov, a Professor at the Kookmin University in Seoul who says, to put in his own words, “it was inconceivable that the leaders (implied Kim and Trump) of two powerful nations had arranged a meeting at such a short notice. The
Professor then says further that, “it (the meet) as a show (was) designed to send a political message without raising (high) expectations about actual progress.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too said in a hurriedly issued press statement this Monday that Japan supported the United States and North Korea’s “process” and wished for the latest talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to result in positive developments, Japanese media agencies reported.
“I hope that this summit will lead to progress,” PM Abe noted.
Peace in Korean peninsula is equally important for neighboring Japan as much is for the two Koreas.
Abe was speaking after Kim and Trump agreed on Sunday to push forward dialogue for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Meanwhile, Nepal’s former foreign secretary Mr. Madhu Raman Acharya in his twitter handle June 30, 2019, writes, “Considering that Chairman Kim and President Trump were threatening to nuke each other until a year ago, their ( regular) meetings and Trump’s visit to the demilitarized zone have reduced the chances of nuclear attack from either side though the challenges remains in negotiations.
The Nepali diplomat Mr. Acharya considers the event as “commendable” one.
High placed diplomatic sources in Nepal claim that the fresh meet in between Trump and Chairman Kim must have some links with China.
Similarly, the ailing Chairman of the Nepal China Study Center and an acclaimed political analyst, Mr. Madan Regmi says referring to this meet, “In yet another great event, the American President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met and (held) talks at the Inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom. Thus Trump became the first US President to step in the North Koran soil. (Twitter June 30, 2019).
Chinese President probably told Chairman Kim to narrow the political differences with the United States-sooner the better.
Prevalence of continued political tension in the Korean peninsula is not in the larger interest of China much the same way Japan has.
That China may have said so too has some logic in that China is not only a friend of the DPRK but is taken as the real “guardian” of Chairman Kim and the State he controls. The guardian thus may have impressed upon Kim during his fresh trip to Pyongyang.
The Chinese President Xi Jinping after attending the Shanghai Cooperation organization, June 12-14, 2019, held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan visited Pyongyang beginning June 20, 2019.
Pleased perhaps by the sudden event that took place in the Korean border, the Chinese President Xi Jinping has suggested the leaders of the United States and North Korea to pave the way for the third summit, and show the required flexibility in resolving the Korean peninsula nuclear issues.
With the use of the term flexibility, Xi expects flexibility from both the negotiating countries.
President Xi was in DPRK just the previous week.
According to media agencies, while meeting the ROK President Moon in Osaka, Japan, just ahead of the G20 meet Xi said that since the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s determination to denuclearize remained solid, and that Beijing was still committed to political engagement over the future of the peninsula and thus, President Xi perhaps hinted the ROK leader to encourage and help assist both the NK and the USA to come to the table for the third time.
The foreign ministers of the US and the DPRK have reportedly come into action to give a shape to the third Summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
In the meanwhile, writes Linda Bordoni for the Vatican News July 3, 2019, “May the year 2020, which marks the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War become the beginning of a new era of peace and unity.”
May it be the year in which “the tragedy of national division is overcome with a declaration of the end of the Korean War and a peace treaty for the Korean peninsula”.
Similarly, The Russian Tass new agency reports, July 1, 2019, that Russia hails any steps aimed at reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday, commenting on Sunday’s meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
This means that the US, China, Japan, ROK and Russia are all on the same page and wish peace to prevail on a permanent basis in the troubled Korean peninsula. Chairman Kim and President Trump deserve deep appreciations. Let’s wait for the Kim-Trump Third Summit. If everything goes fine then can we expect that Chairman Kim Jong-un will adhere to the norms and the values of democratic principles? Will he change himself from a ruthless authoritarian ruler, as he is very much known to the world, to a liberal democratic leader? It is altogether a different matter that Nepal as a nation-state is being controlled by the ardent followers of baby Kim Jong-un-the coldblooded despot that he is.
Former UML leader Mr. MK Nepal is talked to be very close to Chairman Kim. That’s all.