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.