South Korea holds on to its responsibility to make North Korean peace successful
Have the Donald Trump administration's ultra-hawks dented the US president's chance to win the Nobel Peace Prize? After North Korea spoke out strongly to protest the continuation of US-led drills on Korean Peninsula saying it was violating the pro-peace ambience and cancelled official-level talks with South Korea scheduled on May 16 and also threatened to scrap the June 12 summit between its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un and Trump in Singapore, South Korea came out with a statement which indirectly pointed to the fact that the excessive remarks from the Trump administration was making thing difficult for the peace initiative and there was an urgent need for a mediator.
South ready to play mediator's role
Seoul on Thursday, May 17, said the government of President Moon Jae-in was ready to play more actively the "role of a mediator" between North Korea, the US and South Korea. It was clear from Seoul's quick response to the emerging crisis that it valued the peace initiative which began taking shape since the beginning of 2018 and culminated in a historic summit between the two Koreas at the border truce village of Punmunjeom on April 27.
Moon had a good talk with Kim and they came out with a joint declaration vowing to end the Korean War which is technically still on and denuclearise the Korean Peninsula. Now, with North Korea issuing fresh threats in retaliation to an aggressive stance from the US has made the Moon government worried over all the possibility of all the hard work going down the drain.
Trump-Moon meeting on May 22
Moon is also set to meet Trump in Washington on May 22 where the two will discuss the June 12 summit. It will be a good opportunity for Moon to tell Trump that his administration was overdoing things in an excitement to tame North Korea.
A South Korean official said that Seoul aimed at properly conveying to the US what they have understood about North Korea's "position and attitude" and also convey Washington's stand to Pyongyang to clear the air and allow the talks to go forward.
"Seeing the announced statements and responses from North Korea and the United States, we see the two parties as having a sincere and serious attitude [to stand in each other's shoes]," the official said.
John Bolton, Nikki Haley have put summit in doubt
Continuous attacks on North Korea by top US officials like UN ambassador Nikki Haley and National Security Adviser John Bolton have enraged Pyongyang and especially the demand of shipping its nuclear weapons to the US on lines of the Libyan model of denuclearisation has upset the Kim regime. Even Trump distanced himself with Bolton over the comparison of the North Korean case with that of Libya.
South cool even in face of North's harsh attack
South Korea is even holding its nerve in the face of North's criticism of it at this time. North Korea's chief negotiator Ri Son Gwon slammed the South for taking part in the air combat drills with the US and also allowing "human scum" (could be defector Thae Yong Ho) to speak at its National Assembly but yet Seoul did not retaliate and presented itself as a "mediator" between Pyongyang and Washington.
Did the Nobel Peace Prize just change its destination from the White House to the Blue House?