Korean Peninsula: Positive developments

AFTER months of fiery military threats and personal insults, North Korea and the US appears to be heading for right direction to reduce existing tension and avoid any conflict like situation on the Korean Peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared Saturday that Pyongyang would halt nuclear tests and intercontinental missile launches, five months after its last ICBM launch. The move received wide appreciation with US President Donald Trump terming it ‘big news’ while China believed it will help ameliorate the situation on the peninsula.
Given the shaky history and also unpredictable situation, it is difficult to say how the things move ahead on the peninsula but indeed the North Korean announcement indicates it desires to move forward on the path of regional peace and economic growth. Indeed tough sanctions over the years has crippled the country’s economy and it requires a healing touch to rebuild the lives of its poverty stricken people. The timing of the announcement is also significant in the sense as it has come just days before Kim’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in which will be only the third such meeting between the Koreas since 1950-53 war. Though one may not expect any major breakthrough in these talks but these definitely will serve the purpose of breaking the ice and also help keep up the positive momentum for more substantial discussions between Trump and Kim which are expected somewhere in May or June. Indeed dialogue is the only way forward to address the misunderstandings and develop a broader consensus on contentious issues as opening new fronts and conflicts in every region will not serve any purpose but further make this world unsafe and insecure for our future generations. On the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese side has adopted a practical position that the matter should be resolved through negotiations and finally one expects that all the regional stakeholders will sit together to find an amicable solution for all sides and that indeed will be a great news for the families divided by the Korean War. In order to take forward current positivism, the US will have to soften its stance and announce some confidence building measures such as lifting of sanctions against North in order to achieve the ultimate success on denuclearisation of Peninsula.

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