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South Korea Hints at High-Level Peace Talks with North Korea

As the New Year rang in, some promising news came out of South Korea today.

Yonhap News agency reports:

According to a statement made by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon (image, above), the leadership in Seoul have proposed high-level talks with North Korea at the border village of Panmunjom January 9th.

Cho said officials intend to bring delegations from Seoul and Pyongyang  together in order to focus on bilateral negotiations, as well as possibly bringing a North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics this February.

In his New Year’s speech, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that the North is open to dialogue with South Korea, hinting at its willingness to take part in the Winter Games.

DPRK Grand Marshall Kim Jung Un

Washington’s official position is that a peace treaty between the North and its client state in the South, is only possible if Pyongyang abandons and de-nuclearizes, or as former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in 2011, the United States wants North Korea to “take concrete and irreversible steps toward denuclearization.”  Of course, that’s an impossible demand within the current geopolitical context in which the US wishes to maintain ‘strategy of tension’ in the Pacific, but maybe that’s why the US keeps insisting on it – because it guarantees a stalemate and an eternal arms build up.

Note that this is the same (non)’negotiation’ tactic which Israel has employed for decades in order to preserve its illegal status quo in its occupied territories. In other words, take an impossible position which guarantees no resolution.

It’s no surprise then that every time the North and South begin to seriously pursue peace, the US will interfere, or create a ‘tension event’ which will temporarily kill-off peace talks – long-overdue talks which would ultimately lead to re-unification talks, which is something the US (and perhaps at the moment China as well) is not keen on for the simple reason that this would remove Washington’s only real pretext for militarily occupying South Korea and part of Japan, as well a maintaining an unofficial aggressive posture towards China by maintaining an array of US bases in the region.

Notice also how deep state media outlets like the New York Times will suddenly weigh-in with negative talking points as soon there are positive moves between the North and South. Yesterday, their Orwellian headline read:

“Kim Jong-un’s Overture Could Drive a Wedge Between South Korea and the U.S.”

The cynicism by the Times is incredible, as their writers  attempt to frame any peaceful overtures from the North as some secret underhanded plot by Kim:

“Until now Mr. Kim has largely ignored Mr. Moon, whom the North Korean media has portrayed as a spineless lackey of the United States. But the dramatic shift in tone and policy, toward bilateral talks between the two Koreas, suggests that Mr. Kim sees an opportunity to develop and accentuate the split between Mr. Moon and Mr. Trump, betting that the United States will be unable to mount greater pressure on the North if it does not have South Korean acquiescence.”

For Washington, there are a number of financial incentives for preserving the status quo. The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which is a strip of land that separates the North and the South remains one of the Pentagon’s biggest money-spinners for the last 60 years.

Back in September, former US President Jimmy Carter issued a statement stressing the imperative of a real peace treaty:

“A commitment to peace by the United States and North Korea is crucial. When this confrontational crisis is ended, the United States should be prepared to consummate a permanent treaty to replace the ceasefire of 1953. The United States should make this clear, to North Koreans and to our allies.”

If tensions are to be successfully defused, the situation between the US and North Korea requires a reframing of the current diplomatic crisis – which includes facilitating Korean re-unification talks.

But will the US allow it?

READ MORE NORTH KOREA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire North Korea Files




We are a North American and European-based, grass-roots, independent blog offering geopolitical news and media analysis, working with an array of volunteer contributors who write and help to analyse news and opinion from around the world.


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