Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper

Melting ice in Korean Peninsula !

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Mohammad Amjad Hossain :
There has been interesting development in Korean Peninsula following arrival of South Korean delegation led by Chung Eui-Yong, Director of South Korean National security, as special envoy of South Korean President   to visit Pyongyang of North Korea on 4 March to meet supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong Un in spite of threats and sanctions imposed against North Korean regime a couple days back by President Donald Trump of the United States of America, a close ally of South Korea.
The visit of South Korean delegation to Pyongyang is preceded by the visit of North Korean athletic delegation led by Kim Yo Jong, sister of Supreme leader of North Korea to take part in Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in South Korea. North Korean delegation also included nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam. Sister Kim Yo Jong along with nominal head of state of North Korea attended inaugural ceremony of Winter Olympics and had tete-e-tete with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Presidential palace in Seoul and invited South Korean President to make a historic visit to her brother in Pyongyang. Sister of supreme leader of North Korea was the first member from North Korean dynasty to set foot in South Korea since the end of Korean war in 1953.
The present visit by South Korean delegation to North Korea is in response of offering an olive branch by North Korean supreme leader King Jong Un in his new year message to re-start inter-Korean talks to ease military tensions in the Peninsula. South Korean delegation was cordially received by Supreme Leader of North Korea before talks between South Korea and North Korean delegation has begun. South Korean envoy handed over hand written letter of South Korean President to Supreme Leader of North Korea wherein South Korean President expressed hopes for peace on the peninsula. North Korean delegation is led by General Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of Inter-Korean affairs from North Korean ruling Worker's Party in Pyongyang.   
Talks between two countries appears to be in positive vein as disclosed by special envoy of South Korean President Chung Eui-Yong at a press conference in Seoul on 6 March. Both South and North Koreas have agreed to hold an inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjom at the end of April. Prior to that summit both South and North Koreas decided to hold meetings of working level officials to finalize detailed plan of the summit while two Koreans agreed to set up a hotline between leaders in an effort to ease military tensions in Korean Peninsula. As a matter of fact, this will be third such summit between South Korean and North Korean leaders. The first such summit took place between South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong IL on 13-15 June in 2000 while second such summit was held between South Korean President Roh Mon-Hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong IL on 2-4 October of 2007.
On the other hand, prospect of dialogue between North Korea and United States has brightened following two days of inter-Korean talk in Pyongyang. North Korea has agreed to have talks with United States but Supreme leader wants to be recognized as a serious partner while North Korea agreed to denuclearized the Korean peninsula provided North Korea is assured of its sovereignty.
Having seen the progress in the talks North Korean close neighbor and biggest ally: China welcomed the progress in bilateral talks while President Trump in a tweet said" possible progress being made in the talks with North Korea. For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made." A delegation from South Korea led by Special envoy would brief US policy makers of the talks held in Pyongyang.
The present turn around for normalizing relations with South Korea and the United States by tyrant dictator of North Korea is the effect of tough economic sanctions by the Security Council recently, apart from latest stringent economic sanctions imposed by US on 23 February this year targeting 28 registered ships in China and seven other countries in an effort to cut off North Korea's imports of oil and exports of coal.
As a result, pariah state of North Korea could not survive by hook or by crook which is in bankruptcy and people are starving practically. Ironically, President Donald Trump accepted invitation of North Korea to talk about denuclearization of Korean peninsula who was on record ridicule North Korean Leader.
Therefore, President Trump needs praise for submitting by North Korean tyrant dictator after thirty years of failed diplomacy. Let us hope that Korean peninsula would be denuclearization and people would live peacefully.

(Mohammad Amjad Hossain, retired diplomat from Bangladesh and former President of Nova Toastmaster International club of America, writes from Virginia).

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