Count­down to one Korea

Like Ber­lin, the di­vided penin­sula is des­tined for re­uni­fi­ca­tion

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - By Bucky Fox

That drum­beat you hear is Korea march­ing to­ward uni­fi­ca­tion. No gun­shots. No mis­sile launches. No tanks rumbling over the 38th par­al­lel as in June 1950. No, this is a peo­ple’s push. Just like they erupted in East­ern Europe in 1989 on the way to oblit­er­at­ing the Ber­lin Wall that Novem­ber and uni­fy­ing Ger­many the next year.

No one saw that revo­lu­tion com­ing. Well, al­most no one. Pres­i­dent Rea­gan sure did in 1987 when he ex­horted USSR boss Mikhail Gor­bachev to “tear down this wall.” And plenty of Ger­mans hoped the Soviet would. But hav­ing lived in Ger­many back then, I know the man in the street didn’t think the wall was com­ing down in his life­time.

So it is with Korea. Most peo­ple fig­ure North is red, and South is fed, and never the twain shall meet.

We see on TV that cor­pu­lent com­mie in the North killing rel­a­tives and gen­er­als while starv­ing his cit­i­zens. And we con­clude that the South has no chance of blend­ing its Sam­sungs into the whole penin­sula.

And yet, that was ex­actly Ger­many’s out­look 28 years ago. Rea­gan’s Bran­den­burg Gate or­a­tory not­with­stand­ing, the main feel­ing was: For­get it. The Soviet grip on East Ber­lin and all the coun­tries be­hind the Iron

Cur­tain was too tight. Hun­gary tried to break loose in 1956. Cze­choslo­vakia gave it a shot in 1968. Rusky ar­mor brought both up­ris­ings to a screech­ing halt.

Fi­nally, free­dom reigned. East­ern Euro­peans said enough of the Bear and took over their coun­tries.

Now it’s Korea’s turn. Just like Euro­peans shed com­mu­nism 44 years af­ter the end of World War II, red-drenched Asians are ready to bull­doze to free­dom six decades af­ter the Korean War.

Make that free­dom, food, elec­tric­ity, ed­u­ca­tion, singing, danc­ing and money. The 25 mil­lion North Kore­ans are so des­ti­tute, they make $4 a day, with 70 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion un­der­nour­ished, re­ports the United Na­tions. They prac­ti­cally have to grovel to eat, a con­di­tion that led Yeonmi Park to flee with her fam­ily to China 10 years ago. Now liv­ing in Amer­ica and trav­el­ing the world, the 23-year-old shares her plight via speeches, YouTube, a book and in­ter­views with pa­pers such as Bri­tain’s Ex­press: “There was noth­ing else to eat, no food left. All I knew was that China had lights and we didn’t. I thought the light com­ing from there meant I might be able to find some­thing to eat. I didn’t go to be free. I just wanted some food.”

Then they look to the South, where 51 mil­lion for­mer coun­try­men make $26,000 per year while gen­er­at­ing LG elec­tron­ics and Kia cars.

North Kore­ans want that good life. So how to get it? Uni­fi­ca­tion.

The key to pres­sur­ing the col­lapse of the De­mil­i­ta­rized Zone is China. The com­mu­nist gi­ant ce­mented Korea’s split in 1953 and keeps the North limping along. Don­ald Trump on the cam­paign trail ham­mered that Chi­nese con­nec­tion.

Now as pres­i­dent, Mr. Trump re­cently met with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and fol­lowed by tweet­ing: “North Korea is look­ing for trou­ble. If China de­cides to help, that would be great. I ex­plained to the Pres­i­dent of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far bet­ter for them if they solve the North Korean prob­lem!”

By prob­lem, Mr. Trump means mis­siles. But he knows the best way to fix the shaky half of Korea is unity. Is that pos­si­ble? You bet it is. John Bolton, the for­mer U.N. am­bas­sador, wrote in The Wash­ing­ton Times last month that sim­ply put, “The Korean Penin­sula will be re­uni­fied. Its divi­sion in 1945 was purely ex­pe­di­ent, in­tended to be tem­po­rary, and just as un­nat­u­ral as Ger­many’s con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous par­ti­tion. The only ques­tions are when and how Korean re­uni­fi­ca­tion will oc­cur. … China, through its mas­sive eco­nomic power over North Korea, could it­self quickly re­move any Py­ongyang regime.”

In 1952, Dwight Eisen­hower se­cured his elec­tion with his com­mand­ing “I shall go to Korea.”

A year later, Pres­i­dent Eisen­hower told the Chi­nese he was se­ri­ous about us­ing atomic weapons to end the Korean War. They got the mes­sage, agree­ing to the armistice just six months af­ter Ike took of­fice.

Now for Trump time. Com­pel China to re­make that land across the Yalu River into one Korea. It will be the 45th pres­i­dent’s grand­est deal.

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