Much of the world reacted with pleasant surprise — mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism — to the announcement last week by top South Korean diplomats that the North Korean regime desired a sit-down meeting with President Donald Trump, and were willing to make some important concessions to obtain such a meeting.
The concessions on the part of communist dictator Kim Jong Un included a willingness to give up his nuclear weapons program and promise to refrain from further ballistic missile and nuclear tests in the interim. There was also an understanding that joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea — long a sore spot for the North — would necessarily continue, likely in exchange for eased economic sanctions, fewer exercises in the future and humanitarian aid.
But according to The Daily Wire, South Korean media has reported that Kim is actually seeking something even bigger than a mere face-to-face meeting with Trump — a public relations victory in and of itself — that would theoretically “solve” the long-standing Korea problem.
That big something is a peace treaty between the U.S. and North Korea — replete with a U.S. Embassy in the North’s capitol of Pyongyang — that would bring an official end to the Korean War, a conflict halted by a temporary armistice or truce for more than 60 years.
South Korean media outlet Dong-A Ilbo reported Monday that during the expected May meeting between Kim and Trump, “Kim is likely to raise the possibility of a peace treaty, along with establishing diplomatic relations and nuclear disarmament.”
That desired outcome is based on what is believed to be a solid promise from Kim to “dismantle” his nuclear program, according to South Korea’s JoonAng Ilbo.
“Kim expressed willingness for denuclearization, which includes not only a nuclear freeze but also dismantlement,” stated a South Korean official familiar with the recent talks in Pyongyang between Kim and the top South Korean envoys. “Now is the moment where we have to wait and see if the North will actually start the process of dismantling its nuclear program.”
It is thought that Kim’s denuclearization promise will be confirmed during an inter-Korean summit scheduled for late April at the “peace village” of Panmunjom on the border of the two nations.
“Taking into account the outcome of the special envoys’ trip to Pyongyang, the North’s goal is forming diplomatic ties with the United States before the end of this year,” stated another South Korean government source. “If the North-U.S. summit takes place in May, there will be astounding changes in the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula.”
JoonAng also reported on speculation in regard to an alleged additional message passed on to Trump from Kim by the South Korean envoys entirely unrelated to the nuclear issue, something of a “good faith” effort to display an openness to diplomatic talks.
That message was thought to be a promise from Kim to release at least three Korean-American citizens known to be held in prison by the Kim regime, though an unnamed official with the U.S. National Security Council declined to confirm or deny such speculation and stated only that Trump accepted Kim’s invitation for a meeting on the expectation that all promises would be kept.
Meanwhile, it didn’t take long for the anti-Trump U.S. media to move on from their initial pleasant surprise at the historical announcement of the planned meeting between Trump and Kim. Bloomberg, for example, took a decidedly dim view of Trump’s ability to successfully negotiate with Kim.
Apparently still locked in the failed policies of the past three decades in regard to North Korea, and oblivious to Trump’s history of negotiations and deal-making, they surmised that “Ambassador” Dennis Rodman — former basketball player and “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant who has met with Kim previously — could be Trump’s only hope for successful talks.
For his part, a spokesman for Rodman named Chris Volo said the former NBA star stands “behind the president 100 percent,” and added, “We would both love to go back to the DPRK and help in any way possible.”
We can only imagine the head-exploding consternation of the media and foreign policy “experts” when the long-sought peace and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is finally achieved by the likes of Donald Trump and Dennis Rodman, should such an outcome indeed be reached.
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