Both South Korea and Japan, long-time allies of the U.S. have much to lose in a war with North Korea. Seoul, the capital of South Korea is not more than a stone’s throw – only 35 miles – from the border with North Korea. Japan’s main island Honshu is only about an hour’s jetliner flight from the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South Korea. A ballistic missile, the fastest of which reportedly fly at 7 km/sec will reach Japan in about 71 seconds. Slower ICBM’s would only take about 90 seconds.
I’m a history enthusiast and consider myself fairly well informed about world history since the 1st World War. I admit this mainly covers Europe, but as Europe was imperialistic most other parts of the globe were affected by happenings within Europe. Deals between European powers to divvy up the colonies they conquered in the name of spreading ‘Christian Civilization’ were made at regular intervals. Britain and France eventually became the main imperial powers, but The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Portugal and even Italy had imperial ambitions. Germany’s colonies were given over to other powers after WW I. The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal had famous mariners who explored the seven seas as long as 500 and more years ago.
Back to the Trump/Kim summit.
The Korean Peninsula was occupied by Japan at the beginning of the 20th century and its people were subjected to particular cruelty. Only in 1945, with the defeat of the Japanese were the Korean people freed from the tyranny. Like Germany, the Korean Peninsula was occupied by the Russians in the north and the Americans in the south, but eventually both occupiers left. The Korean Peninsula is attached at its northern end to China. When the Communists took over in China after 1949 they wanted to spread their tentacles. The United Nations, led by the US, resisted and between June 1950 and July 1953 the Korean War was fought, resulting in an armistice, not peace. Resentments between Japan and Korea continue to this day.
The North Korean Kim dynasty was founded by Kim Il-sung. The regime was communist and relied heavily on Communist China for support. In the early years North Korea was highly industrialized and South Korea was poor and backward. With time as the North became more repressive their standard of living dropped. With US help the South became a giant of industry with name like Samsung, LG Electronics and Hyundai.
Japan modernised in the early part of the 20th century, borrowing ideas and technology from the US and the Europeans and as an island nation concentrated major resources on building a very modern strong navy.
The communist North Korean regime became a closed secret society, whose leaders built their images as infallible cult icons. Over the years the North Korean leader became more than somewhat paranoid fearing that the US which has troops stationed on the demilitarized zone was seeking the destruction of the North Korean State. As North Korea became more repressive more citizens were imprisoned in gulags and the standard of living dropped. A series of droughts didn’t help. To secure the future of their nepotistic dynasty the North Koreans decided that only nuclear weapons would ensure their continued survival. Even the US with its huge nuclear arsenal would never attack in fear that reprisal by North Korea would annihilate their South Korean and Japanese allies.
The nuclearization of North Korea began under the rule of Kim Jong-il the son of the founder and father of the present leader who inherited the mantle at the young age of 26.
Within hours of Donald Trump announcing his intention to meet with Kim Jong-un the pro-Trump media in the US, mainly Fox News, were hailing him as a hero and an innovator in diplomacy while the anti-Trump media, nearly every other outlet in the US and the wider world including the BBC and other national news organizations such as France 24 calling him naïve, unprepared and ill-informed.
When President Trump’s vice president and other advisors gave media interviews the North Koreans started an anti-Trump campaign. Trump called off the meeting, only, according to reports to have Kim Jong-un beg for the summit to be reinstated.
Since the day Trump was nominated by the Republican Party to be its candidate for president, the media in the US and most countries has been derogatory. Even some of his own party, like John McCain and Mitt Romney have been less than complimentary, perhaps jealous because their own runs for the White House failed miserably.
I’m not an American, but America is still the only super-power, even though Vladimir Putin may disagree with me. China is getting to super-power status, but will never be a true power as long as it continues with its repressive human rights regime. Only free thinking and true capitalism can succeed. Stifling thought and freedom of action and trade limits real progress.
Now that the summit is over the anti-Trump cadre of world media is analysing the results and the four point statement signed by the two leaders, ignoring the fact that even Trump himself is cautious. True he has tweeted optimistic tweets, but then what politician, and he has become a politician, isn’t filled with the sense of his own importance. Trump has always had an enormous ego which has been further inflated by being the most powerful leader in the world.
Only time will tell if the meeting in Singapore bears fruit, but I’m prepared to give peace and Donald Trump a chance and the benefit of the doubt. According to Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State we should know the results by 2020, which is only 18 months away.
If North Korea does as it has apparently promised the world may slowly become a safer place.
As a history lover I’m in the process of writing two historical novels in addition to the two books I already have for sale. My 1st book is ‘Just for Fun’, an eclectic anthology of short stories, and for Valentine’s Day in February I published my novella, ‘Regan – a Love Story’ with the cover illustration by my good friend and well-known South African artist Shirley Israel.
The 1st book with the working title ‘Out of The House of Bondage’ traces the emigration of Shmuel and Tova from their birthplace of Myszyniec, Poland (the town of my own ancestors) to Charleston, South Carolina before the American Civil War. I’m working on the 2nd draft.
The 2nd book, of which I’ve already completed two drafts, is ‘Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother’ is the story of the Kindertransport, the 2nd World war and the Holocaust.
The titles are both taken from the Ten Commandments and I’ve got other books in mind which will follow this theme.
I’m hoping to complete both books within the next year, but as I always try to publish the best book possible, I cannot set myself a deadline.
In contrast to my love of history, my friend Andy Carpenter enjoys writing erotica. If you like erotica go to www.andysirishadventure.weebly.com and get details of how to purchase ‘When Irish Eyes are Smiling’ Andy’s erotic interracial romance.