Oh Young-jin, chief editorial writer of the Korea Times/Hankook Ilbo, wrote a tribute to President Trump that should shame his critics in the United States. Young-jin understands that far from risking World War III, President Trump has done more to advance the end of the Korean War (now in its 67th year) than any other world leader in the last six decades.
Over his handling of North Korea so far, Korea has three reasons to thank U.S. President Donald Trump.
First, despite some snafu, Trump’s show of force ― the most dramatic being the redirection of the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula ― has obviously forced North Korea to rethink its strategy of pressing ahead with its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests.
Apparently, someone mixed their starboard up with their portside and misplaced which direction the aircraft carrier was headed.
Second, Trump has silenced China. Beijing is suspected of cheating on a series of the United Nations resolutions for sanctions against the North. Beijing and Pyongyang have acted as inseparably as “lips and teeth” ― without the North, China would feel vulnerable, finding itself in direct contact with the U.S.-friendly South.
Then, China shows how fair game Seoul is ― stopping the flow of its tourists, cutting off K-culture exports and its foreign minister shaming his Korean counterpart in official settings. Its mouthpieces cursed that Korea would be vaporized at the center of the battle between China and Russia on one side against the U.S. The bone of contention is Seoul’s decision to deploy U.S. missile interceptors against the North’s missile attacks. No matter what Seoul has done in pleading and cajoling, China has been adamant with its ultimatum ― cancel the deployment or face the wrath of China, Korea’s biggest trading partner and next door neighbor.
In Seoul, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said it out loud ― telling Beijing to stop harassing Seoul for the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system deployment. He, the son of a Korean War veteran, showed his country’s commitment to the defense of the South.
Daddy was here for you. Now Mike is.
I love that detail. It matters.
Third, Trump is an unconventional leader in an unconventional era, the combination of which may not come again for a long time. Trump can do what his predecessors have failed to do by applying an imaginative customized solution to the North Korean challenge.
Also one can’t rule out the possibility that this could be the last time for the U.S. to exert its unilateral power to impose world order. China has been growing and is likely to learn from how it has wobbled under Trump. It’s like an inevitable contest of the one on the throne and a pretender. Sooner or later, there is bound to be a changing of the guard. If it is not China, there will be others.
The Korean problem needs a closer and Trump can be one. A desired end is the North getting disarmed of its nuclear weapons and missiles and heading on the path to become a normal nation.
Korea is a wonderful country. It hosts next year’s winter Olympics. Ending this war would be a good way to kick off that event.
Young-jin ended his piece:
“To solve the North Korean problem means to provide it with a new future that departs from history. So far, Trump is presenting that chance. If Korean modesty prevents us from embracing it with open arms, at least let’s root for it.”
By Don Surber
Don Surber is a retired newspaperman and columnist of forty years experience living in Poca, West Virginia. In July, he published Trump the Press on Amazon, a look at how the experts got the Republican nomination wrong.His bestselling new book, Trump The Establishment is a stirring sequel covering the election.
You can also follow him on Twitter