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Cadence Column

Cadence Column: Asia, November 27, 2017


Cadence

Cadence

Korea has on display the essential cultural clash that causes and sustains conflict across the world. North Korea’s leaders won’t communicate. They think non-communication entitles them to get whatever they want. South Korea’s president harbors something against Japan. It would be indefensible to claim his resentment is anything other than pure racism; the WWII Japanese government is gone and most WWII-era Japanese who harmed his country have died. His resentment against Japan can only be against their descendants—the Japanese people themselves, categorically defining him racist.

That’s the leadership in the Koreas. No wonder the country is still in a state of civil war.

This week, the spineless diplomacy of South Korea’s president proved itself so incapable. North Koreans are so desperate to keep people in their country that they tried to kill a defector before he escaped—a stark contrast to the US Military’s verdict on Bergdahl. In their desire to contain and kill their fellow soldier, North Koreans blundered, firing over and crossing the Military Demarcation Line. The violation of the armistice was clearly not malicious, but out of control.

The UNC (South Korea & US) solution to the armistice violation was communication—to request a meeting. North Korea’s solution was to cut the phone lines, dig a ditch, and close the bridge. The UNC responded by blasting messages on megaphones across the border. We don’t see South Korea solving problems by digging ditches or closing bridges nor do we see North Korea solving problems by communicating with a stack of megaphones.

It’s clear who is who, who wants to communicate, and who wants to be a hermit. “Trying to talk” with North Korea is a ridiculous suggestion. Cozying up to China won’t help anything either, regardless of China’s view of the matter. China looks like the adult in the room—canceling airline flights to a self-doomed hermit kingdom and yet remaining open to talks with both North and South Koreas.

In times like these, flimsy leadership methods don’t measure up to the great problems staring straight in the eye—no matter how much racism a flimsy leader uses to think himself wise.

Though the armistice has been tested, though it is still in place, the US will not back down on the request for a meeting to discuss the armistice violation. If North Korea does not answer the call, the US will have all kinds of excuses to badger and approach, and perhaps even invoke certain provisions of the armistice for such times that it is broken.

We could be looking at an avalanche that leads to the end of the North Korean regime, when all the North Koreans had to do to stop it was simply pick up the phone.

That describes almost every conflict, at every level from families to friends to companies to religions to governments, everywhere in the world. It’s just easier to recognize our own problems when they seem unique to the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean Defector

Watch: The moment a North Korean soldier made his daring escape to South Korea | Quartz

South Korea taunts North Korea over defecting soldier by broadcasting news through loudspeakers, report says | Fox News

S. Korea broadcasts latest defection case to N. Korean troops | Yonhap News

Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier’s dash to freedom | Stars and Stripes

Korea – US – China

Air China suspends North Korea flights, deepening isolation | ABC News

‘Zero Hope For Denuclearizing North Korea,’ China Expert Says | Huffington Post

President Trump Has Imposed New Sanctions on North Korea and Chinese Trading Firms | TIME

Trump names North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism | CNN

North Korea’s nuclear tests pose radiation threats | USA Today

Images show North Korea’s ‘submarine ballistic missile programme’ | BBC

People Still Aren’t Buying Tickets to the 2018 Olympics | Fortune

South Korea’s Winter Olympics sets off some jitters with just 100 days to go | WA Post

North Korea denounces US terror listing as a ‘serious provocation’ | CNN

Hawaii reinstates ‘attack warning’ siren to prepare for possible North Korean missile | NBC News

The big layoff in China | Axios

Source: Pacific Daily Times
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About Pacific Daily Times

Pacific journalism. …to help people understand each other daily by delivering periodical journalism that is relevant, usable, and inspiring to countries that touch the Pacific Ocean.

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