By M A Hossain
Last couple of weeks, North Korea was showing an aggressive attitudes towards South Korea and finally on 16 June 2020. North blew up a liaison office set up as symbolic wage on South in Kaesong. Needless to say, this is a provocative activity to create pressure only on Mr. Moon Jae-in, who is betting on Trump-Kim negotiations where sanctions on North Korea will be withdrawn by the US, provided North dismantle its nuclear programs. To make the situation crystal clear, I need to recap the Trump-Kim saga.
After the Iran debacle, 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 North Korea and the US. 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 having the ‘similar fate of Gaddafi’ may actually pave the highway for the US in 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 counter-productive in case of Korean crisis.
But, what North would get in exchange of its positive changes are not cleared by the US and South Korea. Still there is 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 counter part of North Korea.
We must not forget, 23,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea to protect it from North. USA is selling billions dollars weapons to South Korea and Japan because of threat 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 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 Iran issue by neutralizing strategic high value target (HVT)(Quassem Solaymani) and put 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 advance technology.
Till the next US presidential election, anti-US bloc will be more proactive and aggressive on the US allies. May be 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 senses the foreboding of every future consequence.
The writer is a political and defence analyst, who writes on diversified topics in Bangladeshi and foreign newspapers.
Also published on Medium.