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Moon Jae-in's Speech at the UN General Assembly

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As it was promised, we are going to take a closer look at the speech presented by South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in front of the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2019. The rationale behind this analysis is the fact that nothing can tell you more about a politician than his public speeches.

It was widely assumed that the South Korean leader would talk about “Seoul’s efforts to ensure common prosperity together with its northern neighbour, by strengthening peace on the Korean Peninsula.” It was believed that a set of propositions would be laid out before those attending the session that could improve cooperation between the two Koreas Such efforts had previously came to a screeching halt a while ago. One could have safely expected Moon Jae-in to call on the international community, urging it to assist drought-stricken North Korea which has been struggling to overcome the natural disaster.

The speech given by South Korea’s President is freely available on the Internet, and there’s a lot for an analyst to consider on top of the customary diplomatic courtesies and compliments. For the sake of this analysis, it will be divided into a number of quotes that will be presented with short commentaries, beginning with:

The Republic of Korea is a country that has benefited immensely from the United Nations. It was liberated from colonial rule in the year of UN’s inception. It was able to overcome the scourge of war with the assistance of the United Nations and the international community. Carrying a sense of responsibility commensurate with the progress it has made, Korea is now working together with the international community to bring about peace and prosperity in East Asia and the whole world.

It’s worth mentioning that the Korean Peninsula was liberated without any form of involvement by the UN, as it was carried out by Soviet troops. As for “overcoming the scourge of war,” it existing in the first place due to the fact that what was essentially a civil war between the South and North was transformed into an international conflict by the United States and its allies, who entered the war under the UN flag. Later on, the establishment of South Korea become possible due to the US referring the Korean question to the United Nations, where it enjoyed a comfortable majority, with numerous states aligning with Washington.

The Olympic Truce resolution adopted in November 2017 by the United Nations gave a big help to Korea once more. In accordance with the resolution, the joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States that had been planned for the spring of 2018 were suspended, which helped create an environment that allowed the North Korean Olympic delegation to come to PyeongChang.

The suspension of the joint exercises was largely connected with new developments taking place in the North, as Kim Jong-un in his New Year’s speech, made an invitation for Seoul to launch a bilateral dialogue. Thus, Moon puts the cart before the horse, as he wants to be diplomatic with the UN crowd, but those who have a deeper insight into the developments on the peninsula would certainly take those words with a grain of salt.

The Pyeong Chang Olympic Winter Games, in spite of initial concerns over security, was transformed into a Peace Olympics. It also served as an invaluable opportunity to resume dialogue between the two Koreas. Inter-Korean talks subsequently led to dialogue between the United States and North Korea.

There was no transformation whatsoever. It’s true that Moon Jae-in, as a clever and watchful politician, was mindful of the fact that a new escalation on the peninsula associated with Peyong’s new launches could potentially jeopardize Seoul’s return on investments from this incredibly costly sports event. And that’s where his political ratings would have come tumbling down.

Decisions made by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un provided the momentum behind the dramatic change in the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Compared to the past in which it took only a few rounds of gunfire to instigate major political unrest, the Korean Peninsula has undergone a distinct change. The negotiating table for peace on the Peninsula still remains accessible. The two Koreas and the United States are setting their sights not only on denuclearization and peace, but also on the economic cooperation that will follow thereafter.

Yes, the tensions were somewhat defused, but any form of actual economic cooperation remains suspended until Peyonyang “surrenders its nuclear arsenal.”

The Republic of Korea intends to create a “peace economy” whereby peace can lead to economic cooperation, which, in turn, will reinforce peace, all working in a virtuous cycle. The examples of how the European Coal and Steel Community and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe had a positive impact on peace and prosperity within Europe present a fine model for us to emulate.

Now, here’s where Moon demonstrates his lack of knowledge of the OSCE’s history along with his poor understanding of the European model that is no way applicable to the Korean peninsula.........

© New Eastern Outlook