Friday, April 27, 2018

We Live In Interesting Times

Situated near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in our nation’s capital there stands a memorial dedicated to Korean War Veterans commemorating the sacrifices of the 5.8 million Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Services during the 1950-1953 Korean War.
The United States led a 21-nation Allied Force to help South Korea repel an invasion by Soviet Russian and Communist Chinese-backed troops. For three years the fighting on the Korean Peninsula raged. By the time the Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, 36,574 American military personnel gave their lives in the service of freedom; 103,284 others had been wounded in action; 8,177 were listed as missing in action and 7,747 U.S. military personnel are still unaccounted for. The fighting took its toll on South Korean and Allied Forces as well.
The Trump Administration’s enforcement of maximum sanctions pressure and the emphasis of an unequivocal military threat in August of 2017 when the President declared, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.  They will be met with fire, fury and frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before,” persuaded Kim to agree to end a seven-decades-long war and pursue complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The agreement follows a rapid thaw of tensions on the peninsula after a flurry of North Korean missile tests and a hydrogen bomb detonation last year. Kim plans to meet President Trump; the first summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president.
The stakes remain high, with Kim on the cusp of developing a missile capable of delivering one of his estimated 60 nuclear bombs to any city in the U.S. ─ a step Trump has threatened war to stop.
According to a published report from The Straits Times, in a joint statement issued by North and South Korea at the Peace House in Panmunjom on April 27, 2018 “The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.”
1) The two Koreas will reconnect the blood relations of the people and bring forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans by facilitating comprehensive and groundbreaking advancement in inter-Korean relations.
2) South and North Korea agreed to hold dialogue and negotiations in various fields including at high level, and to take active measures for the implementation of the agreements reached at the summit.
3) South and North Korea agreed to endeavor to swiftly resolve the humanitarian issues that resulted from the division of the nation, and to convene the Inter-Korean Red Cross Meeting to discuss and solve various issues, including the reunion of separated families.
4) South and North Korea agreed to actively implement the projects previously agreed in the 2007 October 4 Declaration, in order to promote balanced economic growth and co-prosperity of the nation.
5) South and North Korea will make joint efforts to alleviate the acute military tension and practically eliminate the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.
6) South and North Korea agreed to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea, that are the source of military tension and conflict.
7) South and North Korea will actively cooperate to establish a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. Bringing an end to the current unnatural state of armistice and establishing a robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is a historical mission that must not be delayed any further.
8) During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States, or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, with a view to declaring an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime.
9) South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The conflict that divided the Korean Peninsula is unquestionably the biggest piece of unfinished business that carried over to this century. 
Are Kim’s words about the start of “a new history” and “an age of peace” just rhetoric meant to get the United States to soften its maximum pressure sanctions in exchange for some meaningless promises?
Peace is fragile. It’s also the ultimate achievement for a leader. Those who attain it are heroes.

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