The United States and North Korea merry-go-round: South Korea is in a fix
Sawako Uchida and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The government of South Korea under President Moon Jae-in is in a bind because clearly, the leader of this nation seeks a fresh start with North Korea. Yet, he ill-judged the recent US-South Korea military exercises that angered North Korea. Hence, after recent positive developments between South Korea and North Korea, it was incumbent on Moon to change tact and express to both militaries that upsetting the applecart at such a juncture is ill-advised.
Sadly, this never happened because the goodwill that was developed became enmity once more for North Korea. After all, to elites based in Pyongyang, it seemed like a betrayal.
The BBC reported, “Pyongyang has been angered by continuing US-South Korea joint military exercises which it sees as a rehearsal for invasion. It cancelled planned high-level talks with South Korea earlier this week.”
On top of this, elements within the Trump administration are hinting of a possible Libya scenario. This brinkmanship by certain members of the Trump administration became the last straw for North Korea. Therefore, the hope of a breakthrough on the Korean Peninsula became endangered based on intransigence and outright neglect by certain individuals in the Trump administration.
Hence, with the writing on the wall emerging it wasn’t a surprise when Trump called off the expected summit with North Korea. The leader of America uttered, “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it would be inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
In South Korea, the above comment by Trump will create political ripples in the government of Moon. Equally important, it is further evidence that South Korea is beholden to America even when the government of this nation is open to serious dialogue with North Korea. Therefore, the government of Moon is being pushed into a corner despite disagreeing with recent comments made by certain individuals in the Trump administration.
Reuters reports, “Last month Trump had praised Kim as “very honorable” while preparing for the summit but the outlook for the meeting suffered a setback this month after North Korea angrily rejected the notion that it would agree to unilateral nuclear disarmament as the United States has demanded.”
It remains to be seen if divisions will emerge between America and South Korea because clearly, tensions will ensue. Meanwhile, the geopolitical area of Northeast Asia faces the possibility of renewed tensions based on events that were preventable. Therefore, the United States and North Korea merry-go-round will continue unabatted once more and this bodes ill for the region.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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