South Korea Strategy
The world is awaiting the June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But the Koreas already have moved beyond the summit’s predicted narrow focus on denuclearization. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are starting a rapprochement process that, if successful, would fundamentally transform the geopolitics of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia at large. This process is likely to continue regardless of the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit.
To explain why both Koreas have begun this process, we need to understand what Moon wants to achieve. He sees inter-Korean trade and investment links as the best guarantee for a peaceful and stable Korean Peninsula. His rationale is that this would necessarily change Pyongyang’s strategic calculus as the economies of South and North become intertwined.
June 10th, 2018 11:33am
rapprochement |ˌrapˌrō sh ˈmä n; -ˌrô sh-|
(esp. in international relations) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations : there were signs of a growing rapprochement between the two countries.
ORIGIN French, from rapprocher, from re- (expressing intensive force) + approcher ‘to approach.’
Sounds great. Trump was the catalyst to get this reaction going!
June 10th, 2018 11:41am
Think Taiwan & China
June 10th, 2018 12:26pm
Same rationale as the one behind world trade and the lowering of trade barriers: if countries are intertwined economically then they're less likely to declare war on each other. Result, no massive wars in 70 years and a period of mostly growth. Good on Moon if that's what he's doing and good on Kim for being open to it. I get the impression that Kim does care about his economy and about opportunities for his people. This summit and the next 12 months could be huge.
June 10th, 2018 4:29pm
And maybe, if that's the driver, Trump has seen it and jumped on it. In which case, who says he hasn't learned how to be a politician? Politics 101 is claiming credit.
June 10th, 2018 4:32pm
> I get the impression that Kim does care about his economy and about opportunities for his people.
Any source or just general MSM vibe?
June 10th, 2018 7:33pm
There have been some comments in passing in some of what I've read. It's a picture I've formed without any specific source. Things like who Kim's fired and who he's replaced them with and what their respective beliefs were. Also the fact that he has effectively finished his nuclear project and switched to using that as leverage for economic purposes. There is definitely a different focus compared to what we've seen in recent decades. But there are alternative possible explanations for this. New leader who has a different way of doing things. Young leader who has recently gained the self-confidence to start doing things his way. But neither of those excludes the possibility that he does care. So as I said, the actions of the next 12 months will tell us a lot.
Oh also, there is the SK plan to run several railways through NK to China and Russia. The trade benefits to both SK and NK are obvious, and I think Kim has latched onto that, and that's a more concrete reason for suspecting Kim cares about the economy and consequently opportunities for people, because even a planned economy doesn't run itself, it needs people to be actors in it.
June 10th, 2018 7:54pm