Kim’s charm offensive is a step in right direction

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  • Holding pattern: Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea

    Holding pattern: Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea


Does anyone think that sanctions will stop the North Korean Government from pursuing its nuclear programme? If you do, I not only have a bridge to sell you but a tunnel from here to America as well.

Let’s assume for a moment the North Koreans did decide to abandon their weapons programme. How long will they last as a sovereign nation thereafter? Don’t ask any Libyans for that answer; nor Iranians, for that matter.

We have all heard how ruthless Kim Jong Un has been as a dictator. He tortures and even kills his own people. Yet these sanctions, whose sole purpose is to cripple the country economically and will undoubtedly lead to suffering and death to perhaps millions of people, are to be seen as a justified strategy to topple the regime.

Of course, the orchestrators of the sanctions will not be complicit with their suffering; it will be Kim’s own doing.

Frankly, his weapons programme is a mere façade for a defence. He is not intent on invading any country. He does not have the expansionist impulse or vision of an Adolf Hitler. His rationale is based on a deterrence against a perceived imminent American attack.

The Winter Olympics on the Korean Peninsula are now under way and we all are completely aware that this will be the first time in 70 years there has been a real public display of co-operation between the North and the South — they are competing as one nation.

Instead of demonising this collective participation, which took both leaders to agree on, why not consider it a step in the right direction? Why call it a “charm offensive” of Kim’s when both countries have agreed to participate jointly.

I am not the smartest guy in town on international affairs, but I would venture to say that peace and reconciliation have to be better than a war in this case.

South Korea is not an enemy to the United States and thus a united Korea should be an extension of the existing diplomacy of peace, which poses no real threat to anything pertaining to the US except an interruption of possible military dominance over the whole peninsula.

We are emerging into a new world of multilateralism, and American exceptionalism — at least the present design — does not fit easily into the formula of a new world order of mutuality and equality.

I listened carefully to the State of the Union address and heard the President say we will build our nuclear might beyond the capacity of any other nation as a deterrent. Those words were a return to the call to an international nuclear arms race.

How did China interpret those words? Or Russia? Will they sit idly and watch America supersede them militarily? Perhaps they will smile on the outside, but internally I would bet they will be slipping nuclear information under the carpet to Kim as a proxy. The real dilemma is that I thought the issue of war would become more complicated by smarter technology and not necessarily by more powerful ornaments.

The war in Syria has not ended in spite of the victory celebrations. Sadly, we are just benefiting from a news blackout in Yemen, which for the moment prevents us seeing another war that has exploded as harshly as that of Syria.

Perhaps one day we will have a balanced and sane perspective of what real peace should look like in the world, beginning perhaps with Korea since the spotlight of the world is on the Olympic Games.

In that regard, we may have to make an inclusion in a common statement. Instead of “All men are created as equal”, we should be saying: All men’s blood was created as equal.

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Published Feb 12, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 12, 2018 at 7:51 am)

Kim’s charm offensive is a step in right direction

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