KT Edit: US alone cannot secure peace in Korean Peninsula
Negotiating peace in the Korean Peninsula will be harder than what Trump thinks. Without roping in other major players, it will be a hopeless cause. Trump would do well to listen to voices and advice from Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo.
A beautiful letter followed by a short-range missile test. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un knows how to keep US President Donald Trump confused and guessing about his next move. Trump and Kim may have a great relationship going (Trump's words) but the US president is far from a nuclear deal, or for that matter any deal with the truant regime in Pyongyang, a rogue nuclear weapons power.
What exactly does Kim want? And what does Trump want from this engagement?
Kim is sending mixed signals that Trump reads as beautiful, and trumpets to the world and the press that he despises. The show must go on, the president suggests. A fourth meeting between the two men has also not been ruled out though nothing substantial came out of the first two planned summits in Singapore and Hanoi. Then Trump walked the line, rather crossed the border into North Korea in what was portrayed and projected as an impromptu diplomatic jig between two wannabe statesmen who thrashed out some serious issues. Trump loved the media attention showered on him, so did Kim. So what? The what-next still hasn't been answered despite best efforts to read the minds of the duo. The two men of different ages and hailing from opposing political systems appeared keen to be elevated to the pantheon of greats who walked the extra mile or yard
North Korea's long-range missile tests may have been suspended but short-range missiles are still being test fired. Five tests have taken place including the one on Saturday. The South is wary as usual, the outreach may not be working. China still holds the cards on Pyongyang and wants to have a say in the final solution to the Korean crisis. Clearly all is not well in the Korean Peninsula. The US cannot go alone for lasting peace with North Korea. It is pushing away partners like South Korea and making foes of others like China with its trade wars that could shake up the global order. Japan and Seoul are also sparring over trade and tariffs. This shindig over Kim's letter may be transient as the contents are only known to Trump. But it is clear that comrade Kim is angry. He wants concessions from the West like lifting of sanctions. Maybe food supplies to feed his starving millions. He is still a dictator with a ruthless streak. A beautiful letter to the White House won't make his atrocities fade into oblivion. Negotiating peace in the Korean Peninsula will be harder than what Trump thinks. Without roping in other major players, it will be a hopeless cause. Trump would do well to listen to voices and advice from Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo. Beautiful can quickly turn ugly. All it will take is a long-range missile test from comrade Kim.