M A Hossain
Since the last couple of weeks, North Korea was showing an aggressive attitude towards South Korea, and finally on 16 June 2020, North has blown- up a liaison office set up as a symbolic wage on the South in Kaesong. Needless to say, this is a provocative activity to create pressure only on President Moon Jae-in, who is betting on Trump-Kim negotiations, where sanctions on North Korea will be withdrawn by the US provided North dismantles its nuclear programs.
After challenges posed by Iran, President Donald Trump most possibly faced another challenge in the Korean Peninsula. There were two summits between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un where we found indications of disagreements between the two parties. Before the summit, President Trump said in a statement “The Libyan model was a much different model. We decimated that country. We never said to Gaddafi, Oh, we are going to give you protection. We went in and decimated him, and we did the same thing with Iraq [Saddam Hussein]. That model would take place if we don’t make a deal”.
On the benefits of denuclearization, President Trump said, “A deal will make Kim [Kim Jong Un] very strong. He would be there [in power], he would be running the country, his country [North Korea] would be very rich”.
From the statements and sentiment of the Trump administration, it was evidently clear that Kim Jong Un is going to face a very difficult time if he doesn’t listen to Washington’s dictation. But, in my opinion, Pyongyang long-time ally Beijing may not let their old friend Kim Jong Un be defeated by the US hostility. Because, Chinese policymakers know, fall of socialism in North Korea and Kim Jong Un has the ‘similar fate of Gaddafi’ may actually pave the highway for the US is ultimately starting another long-term game plan of destabilizing communist rule in China.
Those who are considering Kim Jong Un as a fool like or coward like Mikhail Gorbachev are certainly wrong. In my personal opinion, any tactic of threatening would be counterproductive in the case of the Korean crisis.
But what North would get in exchange for its positive changes are not cleared by the US and South Korea. Still, there are no commitments from the US President Donald Trump rather makes the situation fishy by not lifting sanctions on North Korea. At this moment, this peace process does not seem to be reciprocal from the counterpart of North Korea.
We must not forget; 23,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea to protect it from the North. USA is selling billions of dollars weapons to South Korea and Japan because of threats from North Korea. Moreover, from South Korea, US can keep its arch-foe China under surveillance. Now it is almost clear that Mr. Trump is not going to compromise with this present scenario and get his administration involved in the withdrawal proposal of the US troops from the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump was unable to spend a single day at his office without chaos and controversy. Starting from Russia meddling, fake news, nuclear deal, impeachment, firing staffs from office, trade war, coronavirus, recent police brutalities, and of course his unprecedented, impolitic, insane, and inane rants to the media. So he somehow managed the Iran issue by neutralizing the strategic high-value target (Quassem Solaymani) and put the North Korea issue on his gamble table. It is clearly perceived that Mr. Trump is buying time for his second term presidential campaign on this issue.
Kim Jong Un needs to urgently create a strong media base similarly as he has successfully done in the case of developing nuclear technology. He needs to remember – a nation without media strength is certainly helpless and even isolated in the age of advanced technology, where most of the mighty nations are putting more emphasis on the media war than the physical war.
Till the next US presidential election, the anti-US bloc will be more proactive and aggressive on the US allies. Maybe this is the appropriate time to change the world order. So, it is a very crucial time for Kim and his nation to take every step carefully and diplomatically. Kim Jong Un must sense the foreboding of every future consequence.
The opinion expressed in this article are of the author and may not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Blitz.