|Lots of ritual in last week's meeting of the 2 Koreas leaders. Any substance?|
Either that, or just how insecure are they in the degree to which they will say anything intended to try to legitimize this Age of Trump that our society is now in.
IT WAS REGARDED as a significant event last week when the leaders of the two Koreas – Moon Jae-in of the South and Kim Jong Un of the North – actually met, engaged in a lot of ceremonial ritual, talked for about 30 minutes, then signed off on an agreement that technically ends the Korean War of the 1950s.
Or at least says that neither North nor South Korea regarded the war as ongoing,
As far as any gunfire or bloodshed is involved, that conflict between the two Koreas (with the sides propped up by the United States and China) ended with a cease-fire in July 1953.
The fact that there was never a formal agreement signed has always been regarded as more of a quirk of history, rather than one of significance. Although for those who cite the instability of Kim and his relatives who have governed North Korea for decades, it has had some fear that a moment of stupidity on someone’s part could resurrect that Cold War-motivated military conflict.
BUT INSOFAR AS our own political scene is concerned, there are those who are seriously suggesting that the headline ought to have been, “Trump Ends Korean War.”
Many of them also are suggesting that the U.S. president ought to receive credit for bringing the two sides together and ought to get a Nobel Peace Prize.
They think history ought to be crediting Donald J. for bringing an end to a conflict that I honestly suspect most people today only think of as the motivation for the M*A*S*H film and television series. Actor Jamie Farr’s “Corporal Klinger” in drag might be the war’s lasting image.
If you get the impression I think President Trump is spewing a whole lot of nonsense on this issue, you’d be correct.
IT SEEMS THAT the ideologues remain seriously miffed that the Nobel Committee back in 2009 gave their Peace Prize to then-President Barack Obama. Perhaps they think it’s a matter of “equal time” that their guy get the same prize as well.
Admittedly, that prize to Obama was one that has questionable merit. Obama had engaged in significant rhetoric about nuclear nonproliferation and the merits of peace between the Western world and the Muslim world. It had been hoped that giving Obama the prize would add credibility to his talk.
Although what happened was the distaste ideologues had for Obama meant they became openly hostile to the idea (just like they despised everything he proposed), and little of lasting value came out of that era.
But anybody who’s serious (which the ideologues amongst us rarely are) has to admit Trump has had very little to do with any lasting peace in that region of the world. If anything, his trash talk about North Korea has escalated tensions, and his general attitude toward the rest of the world may be what keeps any lasting peace from being achieved.
KEEP IN MIND that the agreement formally ending the Korean War would still have to be approved by U.S. and China officials. It could take months, if not years, before the Korean conflict (1950-53) is officially over.
There’s also the fact that the Koreas agreement does not include a resolution of one long-significant issue – the degree to which the North ought to have its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. Although the Washington Post reported Sunday that the North said it would dismantle its main nuclear test site sometime next month. Whether that can be settled in the yet-to-be scheduled talks that Trump hints he’ll have with Kim.
|Sad that some may think this is real|
So while the ideologues amongst us are writing chapters celebrating Trump in history and trying to strongarm people into giving him the Nobel Peace prize, I think the head of North Korea’s national intelligence service may have a more accurate perspective.
While acknowledging “changing norms,” Kim Yong Chol said, “It feels embarrassing to be applauded just for shaking hands.”