The two men, Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in met in South Korea. Kim Jong Un is the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea in over 60 years. The two agreed to work towards officially ending the Korean War (which never actually ended, a truce was just signed in the 1950’s), by the end of 2018. The two further agreed to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
American officials will claim that Un wants to settle things because of the current U.S. Administration’s verbal rhetoric and war mongering tone along with amping up sanctions against North Korea. China will claim the move is due to its exertion of pressure on Un. It could also be something that Un had planned all along. Perhaps he kept pushing North Korea’s nuclear program so he could come to the negotiating table in a position of strength.
Whatever the reasons, the potential for a real and lasting peace is present. The momentum for peace and possibility of prosperity are in full effect. The wonderful promise however, will not be realized unless actions accompany the words by all parties concerned. Let’s not allow the euphoria of the moment to cloud our vision or take our eyes off the prize. Peace is a goal worth attaining and where peace goes, prosperity follows. The devil is in the details and the minutia of written contracts but if the commitment for peace is truly there, if the dedication towards success truly exists, then the consistent effort needed to be sustained throughout the difficulties involved in hammering out an agreement will be maintained.
Make no mistake about it, the lofty ideal of peace and the joy that everyone will initially feel will fade into the daily grind of negotiations. The negotiations process will be difficult. It will try the patience of both sides. It will cause a desire to return to the predictable safety of the past, no matter how ugly, to be extremely tempting. I urge both sides to stay the course. Try to work things out., compromise. Achieving a lasting peace will not be easy but nothing lasting ever comes easily. Your people are counting on you to be the leaders your predecessors were not. The world is counting on you to not falter in your pursuit of peace. Achieving peace is never easy but peace is worth it.
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