Korea: a step toward peace

"Kim is not Gorbachev" -- Analysis by Israel Shamir

Kim, Trump
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From Russian.RT

A joyful event, that summit in Singapore. It’s good that it even took place: both sides refused it, they then assented, and until the last moment there was no certainty that Trump and Kim would actually meet, nor whether the meeting would go smoothly. And the chances were fifty to fifty if not worse. If the DPRK made the first move for the meeting, to destroy the nuclear test sites, also the United States took a realistic step back, abandoning the provocative maneuvers in South Korea.

Kim and Trump confirmed the recent agreement between the northern and southern presidents about the impending “liberation of the entire Korean peninsula from nuclear weapons.” This is a great achievement for the Korean leader: the North Koreans have always insisted on “the entire peninsula”, that is, on the liberation of South Korea from American nuclear weapons,and from visits by American ships having nuclear weapons on board, and, in the long term, the elimination of American bases in the South. Until now, the Americans demanded the elimination of nuclear weapons only in the North. Now they have accepted the position of the DPRK.

Moreover, Trump said that he would have removed the bases – they cost money, – but, they say, it’s still early. However, the rejection of war games is worth a lot – on the Russian border these days there are NATO military war games, with NATO allies and their allies (including the Israeli army), and so far the US gives no thought to giving them up.

Russia supports the peace process in Korea. A few days ago, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Pyonyang and held meaningful and friendly talks with Korean leaders. The North Korean press was delighted with Lavrov, i.e, the former allies in the Korean War (1950-1953) apparently found a common language.

The meeting was approved by the Chinese, the main allies of Pyongyang. Chairman of the PRC Xi even gave Kim his high-class airplane so that he could fly to Singapore without losing face. After all, North Korea is under long-term sanctions, and civil aviation is weak there. Kim twice met with Xi on the eve of the summit.

China is keeping its hand on the pulse of negotiations. In the United States, they have begun to compare the meeting between Kim and Trump with the ill-fated meeting of Reagan and Gorbachev. Of course, Kim is not Gorbachev at all, but Chinese oversight will not hurt. In the worst nightmare, China would the reunification of the two Koreas under the American aegis, on the model of the reunification of the GDR and the FRG.

Of course, Russia would not want that either – the Korean border is only 120 kilometers from Vladivostok, but the level of Sino-Korean cooperation is much higher than that of Russian-Korean cooperation. Russia is respecting the regime of international sanctions, and theere isn’t even a direct road between the two countries. China dominates Korean trade, although North Korea is known for its stubborn independence and you can’t call it a satellite of China.

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There was a sigh of relief from South Korean President Moon. According to him, he did not sleep all night, but said about the results of the summit: “This is a great victory.”

What will happen now is unclear. For Trump it was important publicity, he took it in full. Kim wanted international recognition, and he got it. If sanctions are lifted, it will be very good, but even so there are real achievements. Trump promised to give Kim indestructible guarantees so that he was not afraid to disarm. But the Iranian foreign minister had already reminded the Korean how easily Trump could break the international treaty when he wanted. What can be the guarantee that the next US president, say Hillary Clinton, will not break the agreement with Pyongyang? Moreover, the US-DPRK agreement must pass approval by two-thirds of the US Senate, and there is not the slightest chance. In the Senate, Trump has many enemies.

The notorious leader of the democratic minority, Chuck Schumer, has already expressed “extreme concern” with the two leaders’ joint communiqué.

“How can Trump compare our legitimate wargames with their illegal atomic weapons ?!” – said the head of the Israeli lobby in the US Senate.

The mass media in Washington and London, dead set against Trump and pro-war, are outraged by the outcome of the summit, which is already encouraging. The famous hawk Nicholas Christof is tearing his hair in the New York Times: Trump refused to maneuver, having received in response to the complete elimination of North Korean weapons, what a horror! Noah Rothman, the editor-in-chief of “Commentary”, the organ of the neocons, called the meeting “a disgrace”. And the “humanitarian interventionists”, that is, the leftists of intervention for humanitarian reasons, have already rolled out complaints from emigrants from North Korea to the front pages, who demand to never consent to any peace without a complete change of regime, lustration, and international control. They were comforted by the observer of the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, the American journalist Anshel Pfeffer: of course, an agreement with the bloody tyrant (Kim) is undesirable, but there is a hope that, having reconciled with Kim, Trump will go to war with Iran more easily.

But we, the Russian supporters of the world, can rejoice at the results achieved. In the near future, the threat of war in Korea has been pushed aside, and if the presidents of the South and the North play carefully, then on the peninsula the era of peace and prosperity may indeed come. And Trump will see that it is better to be a peacemaker than to threaten with the nuclear baton.

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