President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (south) and almost all the other members of his government are making an all-out effort to woo Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea to join his effort for peace and co-prosperity of both sides on the Korean peninsula.
President Moon is going to great lengths in this effort--even at the expense of his popularity among the people, to speaking nothing of the opposition leaders.
When President Moon decided to have North Korea represented in the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics (Feb. 9-25, 2018) as fully as possible, he all but staked his political popularity among the voters in the South--if not his entire political life. And this has to be seen after the Winter Olympic Games. Much will depend upon what Chairman Kim would do after the Games.
Many people in Seoul wish from the depth of their heart that Chairman Kim will not let down President Moon by doing something during or after the Winter Olympics that will not be understood by the world, including the Russian Federation and China who disapprove nuclear weapons in North Korea.
At this juncture, increasing number of people in the ROK are wondering if Chairman Kim would not give up his nukes if he would be given a joint safety guarantee of his existence with his regime by the ROK, the US, Russia, China and Japan.
President Moon is considered one of the most ‘pro-North Korean’ political leaders in Seoul, that is, a pro-North Korean people and not so much the leadership out there. President Moon has his ancestors in North Korea as his father and mother had fled North Korea during the Korean War (1950-3) to take refuge in the South. Moon’s father, Moon Yong-hyung, is known to have been a very brainy student at Hamhung Agricultural High School on the east coast of North Korea, who, after graduation, worked as a local government official in his home town in North Korea.
Against this backdrop, President Moon would be one of the last persons in the ROK who would want North Korea be bombed with nuclear weapons and be devastated with millions of people turned to asses. Surely, Moon would not want anyone of the descents of his ancestors living in Korea.
Too, millions of North Koreans fled the North during the Hungnam Refuge Evacuation in December 1950, who included the parents of Moon Jae-in (father Moon Young-hyung and mother Kang Han-ok).
Were you Moon, would you want the old home of your own parents and ancestors in North Korea be blown away and erased with nuclear bombs?
This is why, it appears, Moon has been trying to prevent another Korean war at all cost.
However, the problem is Chairman Kim of North Korea. He has repeatedly declared that he would never give up his nuclear weapons no matter what would happen to him or his North Korea. Faithfully following this fixed determination, Chairman Kim has been persistently developing nuclear weapons.
President Moon Jae-in and all the members of his government he has hand-picked want to stop another Korean war at all cost, and to this end, they have been making all possible efforts to keep Chairman Kim JI from making serious military provocations against the South.
President Moon has personal reasons, as well as the official position, to prevent another Korean War.
For one thing, Moon has the siblings of his parents living in Hamhung, North Korea, and it would be last thing he would wish to see them bombed with nuclear weapons.
Moon was born at his home in the Myeongjin-ni Village of Geoje-myeon, Geoje-gun of Gyeongsangnam-do on Jan. 24, 1953 as the first son of father Moon Yong-hyeon and mother Kang Han-ok, who have two sons and three daughters altogether. The parents of President Moon came to South Korea on board a US Navy evacuation ship (SS Meredith Victory) from Hungnam Port of North Korea during the Hungnam Winter Evacuation Operation carried out by the United Nations Forces on Dec. 23, 1950 barely six months after the Korean War started on June 25, 1950.
Moon Yong-hyeon, father of President Moon, had been working at the Hungnam City Government in North Korea as chief of the Agricultural Section. At the Geoje Island North Korean Refuge Camp at the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula Moon Yong-Hyeon was given a job after he had mentioned to the POW authorities that his position in North Korea to the man in charge of the refugee camp on Geoje. However, the income was far from sufficient and so his wife, Mrs. Kang Han-ok, peddled boiled eggs to contribute to the family income.
It was a very, very difficult living for the Moon family on Geoje Island and they moved from Geoje to a house in Yeongseon-dong in Busan.
When Moon Jae-in attended the Namhang Primary School, the livelihood of his family was still very, very hard, and the young Moon used to join a long queue with a small food bucket to receive a food handout from the Sinseon Catholic Church.
The nuns at the church found the young boy (President Moon) very cute and gave him sweets and fruits. Reports say that the young Moon then viewed the nuns as ‘angels’. Moon joined the Catholic Church then and was baptized.
Apart from the story of the boyhood of President Moon, the Korean people, as well as President Moon and his government, is facing a truly tough time.
Moon and his government think that if they treat the North Korean team ‘very warmly’ in the south during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics it might have some influence on Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea and have the effect of melting even an inch of the frozen heart of Chairman Kim of the North. It appears that North Korea is wholly in the hands of one man, Chairman Kim, and Moon has a measure of justification in what he is doing--trying to convey his sincere mind that “we will truly guarantee not only the life of your regime but we can together co-prosper with the wealth and advanced technology of the South substantially supplied to the poverty-stricken North Korea provided the North would give up its nuclear weapons.”
Moon seems to mean it, and he wants to guarantee a peaceful co-existence and co-prosperity between the ROK and NK.
Such proposals of President Moon to Chairman Kim have all fallen on deaf ears. However, this time Moon seems to be thinking that if he treats the North Korean leaders really well from the bottom of his sincere heart, Chairman Kim might somehow change and take an attitude a little different from the past.
In the opinion of wishful people in Korea, Chairman Kim might take a little different attitude from the past as he literally has no way out from the present dire situation where the United States, President Donald Trump in particular, is determined to teach him a lesson no matter what the cost might turn out to be. And probably the President may be banking on this possibility.
The United States has now become bold.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis of the United States said on Jan. 25, 2018 that the US had military options since the armistice in 1953 and shortly before this Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency indicated that US secret operations on North Korea have been being intensified.
Before, they did it in a hush-hush way. Now they give the warning in an open and clear way and they do it day in and day out, which they had never done before.
On the other hand, the US continues to step up its sanctions against the North Korean regime together with the United Nations.
The Korean government, too, has warned that the planned massive military parade of North Korea on the North Korean Armed Forces Day on Feb. 8, would be taken as a great threat to South Korea and the United States and appears to be taking precautions against possible aggravation of relations between North Korea and the world, the US in particular.
The ROK government in the south, however, does not seem to take the North Korean military planning as seriously as the United States and other countries do.
The ROK government says that it is going to try to improve relations between the United States and North Korea after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games are over while the US has declared that it would carry out massive military exercises against North Korea as soon as the Pyeongchang Games are over. If the North Korean regime favorably responds to the peace overtures of the ROK, there would be no better solution.
However, there are strong possibilities that the North Korean regime would say, “Don’t middle in the nuclear affairs but just think of making preparations to reopen the suspended Kaesong Industrial Zone and resume the tour for the South Korean tourists to the Geumgang-san Mountains in North Korea, where the North Korean money in the past made good money, which many South Korean watchers of North Korea think provided money needed for the development of North Korea nuclear weapons and missiles.