Tuesday, May 01, 2018

I didn't know if this was real, but apparently, it is

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea apparently said that, given events on the peninsula, Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. This is revolutionary to me, primarily because it's (1) an uncharacteristically effusive acknowledgment (2) from a South Korean politician (3) of America's contribution to something related to Korea. Moon reportedly made the comment in response to a remark by Lee Hee-ho, widow of the late President Kim Dae Jung, who said she felt that Moon deserved a Nobel. Moon humbly passed that sentiment along to Trump, saying the American president "deserves big credit for bringing about the inter-Korean talks. It could be a [result] of the US-led sanctions and pressure."

I've had a dim view of Moon Jae-in since his ascendancy to the presidency. Of the several left-leaning presidents who have held office since the dictatorship era, I hold Kim Young-sam, not Moon, in the highest esteem. Like many others, though, I've been worried that Moon would be willing to give away the store as he trips over himself to kiss the North's ass and bring about Sunshine 2.0. The above utterance, if accurately quoted and translated, represents a surprisingly clear-eyed and modest view of the current geopolitical situation: Moon is recognizing the effectiveness of US policy and pressure. I don't know if Moon's remark is enough for me completely to revise my view of the man, but I do think the utterance shows that Moon just might be more of a pragmatist and a realist than I took him for. I'm used to Korean presidents who don't acknowledge the US's role in East Asia at all when they give their Liberation Day speeches every August; Moon's statement comes as a real surprise.

Still, caution is warranted when it comes to Moon, as Joshua points out in his latest post. There's a lot of unbridled—and in my opinion, unjustified—optimism out there about how negotiations are going to go. Let's wait and see.

ADDENDUM: ha! Maybe Dennis Rodman deserves the Nobel.


King Baeksu said...

Balderdash. Putin deserves the Nobel for swinging the 2016 presidential election Trump's way, as well as Obama, of course, for carefully laying the groundwork to make peace between the two Koreas happen.

Trump is just a puppet and also-ran. He didn't build this. As for Moon's comments, he's merely flattering Orange Hitler to keep him from blowing up the world. All liberal pundits understand this intuitively, as they're never wrong and consistently correct in predicting the course of history.

Indeed, what would we do without them?

Kevin Kim said...

I'm not sure, but I think I'm picking up some sarcasm.