People who were worried about President Trump having a military solution to North Korean aggression may be able to settle down a little bit. Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un extended an open hand to South Korea earlier this week, expressing interest in a peaceful solution.
Yes you read that right, in the same speech that Kim Jong-Un said that he had a nuclear button on his desk ready to press, he extended an olive branch to the south. An olive branch that comes after 65 years of a constant state of readiness.
South Korea almost immediately accepted the offer.
Many believe that the outreach was made in an effort to allow a North Korean team to attend the Winter Olympics coming in February of next year. But the reason for the outreach does not matter to the South Koreans, they are just happy to resume talks.
“The (President’s office) has been expressing its intent to talk with North Korea anytime, anywhere and regardless of formality if this is for the normalization of the inter-Korean relations and for the peace of the Korean Peninsula [and] hopes South and North Korea will peacefully resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue while closely cooperating with the international community.”
The formality of the outreach was finalized when at 3:30 pm Seoul time (1:30 am Eastern Time) on Wednesday, the North called the South on a direct hotline that has been unused by the North for almost two years. South Korea has called the North everyday, Monday through Friday, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, for that period but the North had never answered.
This time it was North Korea that scheduled the call and followed through at the scheduled time. However, nothing was really discussed on the call, it was merely to check and make sure the system worked.
This is a groundbreaking step in the Korean Peace process that is probably related to President Trump’s hard-line stance on North Korea. Hopefully, this outreach by North Korea will help start the peace process and avoid a repeat of the Korean War. Something the US is prepared for but dearly hopes never happens.