Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Full Moon Over Korea

"Moon Jae-in declares victory in South Korea presidential election" by Choe Sang-Hun New York Times  May 09, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea — The vote caps a remarkable national drama in which a corruption scandal, mass protests, and impeachment forced a South Korean president from office for the first time in almost 60 years, leaving the conservative establishment in disarray and its ex-leader in jail.

Moon Jae-in, 64, a son of North Korean refugees [and] a human rights lawyer who favors dialogue with North Korea, faces the challenge of enacting changes to limit the power of big business and address the abuses uncovered in his predecessor’s downfall, while balancing relations with the United States and China and following through on his promise of a new approach to North Korea.

Moon’s victory would scramble the geopolitics of the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. Even as it is urging the world to step up pressure on Pyongyang, the Trump administration now faces the prospect of a key ally — one with the most to lose in any conflict with the North — breaking ranks and adopting a more conciliatory approach.

Moon has argued that Washington’s reliance on sanctions and “maximum pressure” has been ineffective and that it is time to give engagement and dialogue with the North another chance, an approach favored by China. He has also called for a review of the Pentagon’s deployment of an antimissile defense system in South Korea that the Chinese government has denounced. 

All we are saying.... is give peace a chance.

Moon’s position on North Korea is a sharp departure from that of his two immediate predecessors, conservatives who tended to view anything less than strict enforcement of sanctions against the North as ideologically suspect. 

I think Park Geun-hye was moving that way; that is why corruption reared its ugly head and she was impeached.

While he condemned “the ruthless dictatorial regime of North Korea” during his campaign, Moon also argued that South Korea must “embrace the North Korean people to achieve peaceful reunification one day.”

“To do that, we must recognize Kim Jong Un as their ruler and as our dialogue partner,” he said. “The goal of sanctions must be to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.”

China, on the other hand, is likely to welcome Moon’s election, which may make it easier for it to deflect pressure from the United States to get tough on North Korea and strengthen its argument that Washington must address the North’s concerns about security....

Anything that deflects us away from war is a good thing in my mind.



"Sunshine or no, there’s no reason to expect any great changes on that anytime soon...."