It seems like when Kim Jong Un stepped over the DMZ on the Korean peninsula that the entire world simultaneously doubled over in shock. And when President Jae-In went beyond what was planned on paper and stepped over to the North Korean side without anyone knowing beforehand, you could hear blood vessels pop as people’s eyes simultaneously bulged at the monumental act. For the people of Korea (well, South Koreans anyway, as they’re probably the ones who are allowed to witness the event from an unbiased viewpoint), this seems like the beginning of a new page in history.
However, we should be at least partially sceptical of the new revelations.
Despite the wonderful promises made by the dictator and his southern counterpart, such as dismantling nuclear sites which will slowly lead to denuclearization, peace and even reunification between the two Koreas seem to be on the horizon. The photo of the blood-on-his-hands tyrant holding hands in cheerful triumph with a democratic leader has seen many South Koreans, and many around the world, become enthusiastic about peace.
But we would all be wise to take a breath, and look back at the history of the peninsula before we declare true peace with any conviction.
Throughout the years, dating back to 1985 when Kim Jong Il was still alive and ruling the Hermit Kingdom, talks of peace and a freezing of North Korea’s nuclear program had been one of the main topics concerning diplomacy in Washington DC. In 1992, both North Korea and South Korea signed the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. This was during a famine which decimated the North. That declaration failed eventually, as North Korea decided to back out of the deal. They briefly reconsidered when the United States and the UN had agreed to send aid and economic benefits if they froze their nuclear development program, but still, they doubled down and backed out. That was the most successful attempt by Washington to negotiate a peace treaty with the Kim family. And that was back in 1994 under President Jimmy Carter.
Every single American President after that had failed to negotiate anything with the fat man in the terrible haircut.
President Bush kind of escalated things by taking a hard stance against the country in 2002 after an Agreed Framework by Bill Clinton in 2000 failed to take root, and from there on out all the way till very recently, North Korea has been testing everybody’s patience and willingness to engage in full-on nuclear war by creating, testing, and sometimes successfully deploying nuclear warheads. Of course, the situation escalated with the newly elected Donald Trump who made a habit of antagonising Kim through nicknames like ‘rocket man’.
So, with the rocky history between the two states, (three if we’re counting South Korea and honestly I really do pity those guys, it’s like a messy fight your parents get into and you’re inevitably in the middle of it); I can’t honestly be the only one to think that this won’t actually last very long, am I?
After all, we are talking about the same man who executed his uncle Jang Song-Thaek for apparently trying to overthrow the government despite being one of the most powerful men in the country. So, until President Moon Jae-In comes out of Kim’s royal palace or whatever fucking house a dictator like him builds himself with an official “I <3 Pyongyang” T-shirt and posing for pictures next to the countless statues of Kim and his father and grandfather, I don’t really expect anything to come out of this meme-worthy photo-op.
Seriously, this is so fucking funny