In­equal­ity in US-ROK ties makes Wash­ing­ton key to penin­sula is­sue

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 11 Comment Editorial • Opinion -

THE DEMO­CRATIC PEO­PLE’S REPUB­LIC OF KOREA and the Repub­lic of Korea stopped all forms of hos­tile mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions against each other in the air, and on the sea and the land from Nov 1, as re­quired by the Dec­la­ra­tion for Peace, Pros­per­ity and Uni­fi­ca­tion of the Korean Penin­sula that they adopted dur­ing the in­ter-Korean sum­mit in April. Bei­jing Youth Daily com­ments:

In a pol­icy speech to the ROK Na­tional As­sem­bly on Oct 31, ROK Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in called for the op­por­tu­nity for the penin­sula’s peace and pros­per­ity to be cher­ished and he urged the ROK par­lia­ment to sup­port pro-peace ef­forts.

Al­though it is good to see the penin­sula sit­u­a­tion is pro­gress­ing to­ward peace, there is still con­sid­er­able in­ter­nal re­sis­tance in the ROK and the United States to en­gage­ment with the DPRK.

In the ROK, some op­po­si­tion par­ties have never stopped hin­der­ing par­lia­ment from en­dors­ing the con­sen­suses reached by be­tween Moon and Kim dur­ing their meet­ings in Pan­munjom in April and Py­ongyang in Septem­ber. This is an ob­sta­cle that it is not easy for Moon to get around.

In the US, al­though Wash­ing­ton is happy to see the eas­ing of penin­sula ten­sions, it does not want to be just a sup­port­ing player to the two

Koreas on the Korean Penin­sula is­sues, through which it seeks to in­flu­ence the re­gion for its own ends. So the US has never given up its high-pres­sure pos­ture and orig­i­nal hard-line poli­cies to­ward the DPRK.

In other words, even though the US and the ROK are al­lies, there are big dif­fer­ences in their at­ti­tudes to­ward the DPRK, be­cause of their dif­fer­ent ob­jec­tives.

There have even been re­ports that the White House is wor­ried or even an­gry with Moon’s op­ti­mism and proac­tive moves. No won­der, Steve Biegun, US spe­cial en­voy for the DPRK is­sue, called for a US-ROK joint work­ing group to be es­tab­lished dur­ing his visit to Seoul from Oct 28-30 in a bid to hold Moon in play and set the clock for the two sides on the DPRK is­sue.

The un­equal na­ture of the ROK-US re­la­tion­ship means that Wash­ing­ton is the key vari­able that will de­cide the fu­ture of the Korean Penin­sula.

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