This post is a little late, and a dollar short, but one of cheer after a long dry spell, let us say over 67 years since the start of the Korean War.
As the dawn broke in Asia the reporting of the historic event was very early.
That morning Dictator Kim Jong Un began bushing his teeth as his breakfast was placed outside on the terrace; President Moon was dressing as his assistants readied his best diplomatic suit and choices of appropriate colored ties.
Within the hour both men boarded their official lemos and headed for Panmunjom in the once embattled DMZ; Kim taking the 1.2 hour ride from Pyongyang and Moon’s trip a mere 35 minutes from Seoul.
For the first time since 1950 the current North Korea leader ceremoniously walked over the demarkation line into the south, and was warmly greeted by Moon’s handshake, and then came the trooping of the honor guard as the band played loudly. This all before getting down to the serious business of peace.
And pleasant business it was . The normalization of relations, families north and south may unite again for visits. a pledge to denuclearizing the peninsula, and climaxed by the signing of the first peace agreement ending the stalled Korean War. It appeared to be a dream, all roses and light.
The welcomed event went smoothly as Moon and Kim took protocol directions with no fuss, confusion or argument. It had never been that way in the past. Confrontations were often brutal, filled with verbal hate combined with foolish, silly, trivia.
I can recall during my few visits to Panmunjon in the early 60s, when our tour guide related the North Koreans, and also the South Koreans, contested the size of conference table flags. Each time a meeting commenced one or both symbolic flags would be taller, higher than the other negotiators. Each pole and flag began to grow taller inch by inch to more than two feet as their national table decoration.
Small crews would appear at night to saw or plane off the heels of each chair of the opposing negotiators so as the perpetrators would appear to be sitting elevated over them and appear to be prominently taller.
The killing of a U. S. officer by a hatch wheeling North Korean sergeant while arguing a DMZ tree trimming was a low point in the grueling relationship; darker as well was the infiltration of 40 commandos into Seoul to attack the Blue House in an attempt to assassinate President Park Chung Hee in the 1970s.
Who or what should get the credit for the peace initiative on the peninsula? Was it first the threatening dummy missile launches against neighbors and the U. S. that started it all, or the recent heavy sanctions imposed on the North? Or was is it giving credit and thanks to Moon and Kim who have come to terms in a new partnership? Both should be nominated for the Noble Peace prize. Was it Trump’s threat of fire and fury? China? No matter now as long as the agreements works out.
No doubt there are details to be ironed out, i. e. joint military drills and troops stationed in the country, nuclear disarmament etc.. Trump did well to broker the deal has done his part and should stay out of it to allow the two Koreans to negotiate in their own best interest. Of course due to his aggressive, enterprising, war-like egotistical nature he won’t. I hope he doesn’t screw it up by demanding a little too much.
All the Best to you.
Posted by the author of memoir Rogue Journey, the way it was 1935-1975, Asia, and Vietnam Journey, ten years in the Nam, a family story. RSM
In years of viewing GPS on CNN, I do not believe I have disagreed with host Fareed Zakaria’s views. The fellow is a sensible liberal and he says it without fear or favor as he occasionally cushions his criticism of other ideologies as not to be overly offensive even when it appears justified to do so.
Last weekend Zakaria interviewed an outstanding young man who won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing Harvey Weinstein’s predatory sexual nature in New York Times articles. The person, Ronan Farrow, is an interesting person himself. He entered Harvard at age eight and received a law degree at seventeen. As the two discussed domestic and international affairs the host recommended his recently published book, a book that requires reading in these times of political stress, titled, The War Against Peace.
During the interview the abuse of power by the elitist class was discussed in-depth. The gist went something like this: It is common and understandable the rich and powerful filter the news for their own benefit. The very well-connected can and do at times use intimidation, influence, hire spies, conduct surveillance and set laws to specifically gain their objectives and to reward themselves or to punish others’.
If the American people do not understand this maxim already, and should be perpetually on guard, we’re in deep trouble. As a reminder its necessary, good to hear words as this occasionally even though it is an ancient and established truth.
All the Best to you.
CNN had an enjoyable news clip yesterday of Trump and Micron repeatedly embracing, kissing, and holding hands titled, ‘Trump Gets Touchy Feelly’. The segment included wives and husbands socially cuddling with the host and guests. The brief episode was a Public Relations winners. After all Trump is congenial and friendly in it. Yes, Donald is human and accommodating, he’s one of us.
Nevertheless, the Trump position on the Iran Nuclear Treaty, of which he calls insane and the worse deal in history is troublesome and dangerously alarming. The president continues to be erratic and unpredictable, a loose cannon on the ship of state. Trump’s approach to eliminate the arduously negotiated agreement will immediately lead to an arms race in the crisis ridden Middle East and eventually confrontation leading to war. The participants are sure to be Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U. S. against Iran, but who else? Russia is right on the northern border of Iran, and though currently intimidated, Putin may not allow further infringement near or onto his country’s sovereign territory by three aggressors who may eventually establish themselves to some degree as unwelcome neighbors.
Trump’s position, when all is told, is a formula for all out war. He’s looking more and more like the erroneous, notorious, war hawk George W. Bush every day.
All the Best to you.
Recently Time Magazine published an article on Putin’s reelection, titled, Putin Won, but Russia is Losing.
It went like this, “What has Putin really won? Today Russia’s economy is smaller than Canada’s. Its entire military budget is less than the extra funds Trump has asked Congress to spend on U. S. defense. It has no NATO allies, and counts countries like Venezuela, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea, Syria, and Serbia among a few reliable friends. China makes deals with Russia, but only at a Chinese price”.
Russia is barely a superpower, and could be neatly replaced by a tiny populated Israel. Russia lives off of its resources, mainly oil and lumber. The Soviet Union was once a powerhouse during the Cold War because of its reach, but lost the war as the Berlin Wall fell.
In Syria the mixed military participation seems to have grown even more with the Coalition and of neighboring countries totaling officially nine, as last week the Israelis admitted a dozen airstrikes against ISIS forces operating in the country, a few days ago Iraq struck ISIS forces operating in Syria. Not to be left out on the sidelines Saudi Arabia as requested it is able to send troops to Syria. The reason for the Saudi intervention request is that there is an Iranian brigade and Hazbollah units deployed there the Saudis want to counter. So, it appears a never-ending conflict to pick the bones off Syria.
With authoritative denials on both sides, the story is currently buried. I notice Douma victims are often children with limited lung capacity who have been affected most. Previous the count was 70–75 dead, now downed to about 40. Access to the site has been opened, closed, rejected, denied, open again and presently closed according the U. N.. Let us see the final report, blood tests, witnesses etc., if they are properly gotten. (The U. N. claims it was fire on by rebels as the team approached)
It could be the 106 missiles launched were wrongly sent and an embarrassing error. The three governments involved in the 7 April attack may not want to admit it. Also the U. N. who backed them. I find the latest dispatches are four days old. Thus readers, a speculation of which we may never fully know for certain.
All the Best to you.
The pervasive dislike and near hatred for Russia by the media and the Pentagon is to me ridiculous, bordering on the absurd. Let’s look at the facts. The only current significantly lethal feature of Russia is their extensive nuclear arsenal. That’s it.
Research reveals the population of the Russian threat is only, take your choice, 144,000,000 or all the way to 154,000,000 people depending on which search engine you use. Their population is a pittance compared to NATO’s nations of 1.2 billion with firmly guarded borders. Russia the largest country in the world has vast areas to secure in cities and communities and enormous wilderness forests and permafrost setting. Russia is easily penetrated as is an unguarded aired balloon.
Economically it is a feeble sister depending largely on the current low prices of oil and natural gas. Life span for the average Rusky is declining by the year because of poor social habits, smoking, alcoholism, and narcotics addiction, and more often than not a decrepit medical care system. Moreover, Russia’s population is composed of 80% native Russian, the remaining are mixed ethnic. What can Russia do in the face of Trumpism and Western panic meddling? Practically nothing.
Most people are pleased the U. S. and its Allies are taking a measured approach to the Syrian gas attack (still alleged) The president should warn Russia and Syria of which facilities will be targeted when the missiles fly in order to avoid casualties. Why waste more human life.
A Second Subject:
Readers, I firmly believe in the one payer government medical program similar to every other advanced industrial country in the world. It is significantly less expensive to manage and it works. So, why not? I know you understand why not. It’s the monopoly of insurance, drugs, and service facilities for copious profit that is hindering legislation.
Herewith is a little known example of a day ago. In the province of British Columbia, Canada a once on duty police officer was badly injured chasing a run away vehicle died while being in a coma for 30 years. The government medical system paid the bill for the hospitalization out of the taxpayer’s kitty for all those years. The huge cost was shared among the public. That is suppose the way the system works and it does, with humanitarian needs transcending corporate profit.
Whether the plug should have been pulled earlier is a moot question I will leave to the medical experts. But these thing happen more than we know.
All the Best to you.