Harvesting Korean Peace Dividends
Vietnamese Lessons for the US and Korean Peninsula

Ever since the era of peace arrived at the Korean Peninsula in 2018, the world has waited patiently with abated breath ready to reap and harvest the expectant abundant windfall of the Korean peace dividends.  Economic growth and trade benefits are the best guarantee for a lasting and sustainable Korean peace.   The US in fact holds the major key to unlock and unleash unto the world the tremendous prosperity from the Korean Peninsula. 

The 2019 DPRK-USA Vietnam Summit will see US President Donald Trump meeting DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam from 27-28 February 2019.  This is their 2nd meeting.

The significance of Vietnam as the venue for the 2nd Trump-Kim Summit has both symbolic and voluminous importance regarding President Trump’s indelible place in history for a major watershed landmark foreign policy achievement within less than 2 years of his Presidency.  

Historically, Vietnam shares much similarity and familiarity with Korea.  From traditional dynastic empires to occupation and involuntary colonisation by foreign powers and followed by a long war with the US over whom they had also prevailed.    

The Indochina Peninsula was forcibly colonised by the French in the mid-19th century after centuries of flourishing imperial dynasties.  Japanese occupation came in 1940 following World War II.  After the Japanese defeat in 1945, Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh declared independence and a 9-years war ensued with the French colonial power that they finally defeated in 1954.  The country was divided into a communist North Vietnam (or Democratic Republic of Vietnam) and South Vietnam supported by the US.  The conflicts (called the “American War” by the Vietnamese and “Vietnam War” by the American) lasted from 1965-1973, ultimately ended decisively with the North Vietnamese victory in 1975.

Within a period of just 30 years from 1945-1975, Vietnam had defeated 2 global superpowers namely, France and the US, in her fight for independence and freedom.  Her aspirations for independence and freedom should be well-understood and appreciated by similar bloody struggles in US history. 

Arguably, Vietnam is the only country ever to defeat the might of the American military through sheer perseverance, courage, strategy and political will.  And as the US retreated in defeat from Vietnam in 1975, it also imposed such crippling sanctions and trade embargoes so as to hinder the legitimate aspirations and efforts of the Vietnamese people in economic growth and national development.

On 3 Feb 1994, President Bill Clinton partially lifted the 19-year-old trade embargo on the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.  He also announced the formal normalization of diplomatic relations between the US and Vietnam on 11 July 1995.

On 23 May 2016, President Obama officially lifted the historical 50-year US trade embargo on Vietnam in a major policy shift in global trade.  This removed all the long-standing US sanctions and trade embargoes imposed on Vietnam in 1975 in the aftermath of her defeat in the Vietnam War.

Quite obviously, the Vietnamese peace dividends, albeit delayed by 20-50 years are simply astounding and staggering.  US-Vietnam bilateral trade grew from just over US$200 million in 1994 to more than US$50 billion in 2019.  In 2018, Vietnam ranked as the 17th US trading partner in total trade value by November 2018 of US$54.3 billion, with US$8.88 billion exports and imports of US$45.42 billion (a deficit of $36.55 billion).

Like Vietnam, the Korean Empire was forcibly annexed by Japan in 1910. Koreans were subjected to a period of brutal suppression and unimaginable atrocities until the Japanese defeat in 1945.  From 1945, Korea was partitioned at the 38th Parallel with the Communist “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea” (DPRK) in the North, supported by China and Russia, and the “Republic of Korea” (ROK) in the South supported by the US and Western European nations.

In 1950, DPRK Leader Kim Il-sung launched the Korean War in an attempt to reunify Korea, meeting fierce and vigorous resistance from the US and Western European nations supporting ROK.  The conflicts ended in a ceasefire “Armistice Treaty” in 1953.  In 1991, DPRK and ROK were accepted into the United Nations.

Both the Korean and Vietnam Wars were fought for the same reasons to secure independence and freedom, albeit under different political systems.  Their respective national leaders refused to accept the division and partition of their countries by foreign powers.

As for DPRK and ROK, DPRK Leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea President Moon Jae-In also signed on 19 September 2018 the Pyongyang Declaration which affirmed their earlier April 2018 Historic Panmunjeom Declaration. Together, they declared to the world to abide thoroughly by and faithfully implement the 2 Agreements, essentially constituting the Korean North-South Peace Treaty, and to take practical measures to transform the Korean Peninsula into a land of permanent peace.  Before 80 million Korean people and the whole world, they solemnly renounced war on the Korean Peninsula to begin an era of peace.

The Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula was adopted between DPRK Leader Kim Jong-un and ROK President Moon Jae-in on 27 April 2018 during the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit on the South Korean side of the Peace House in the Joint Security Area.

According to the declaration, the governments of DPRK and ROK agreed to cooperate on officially ending the Korean War to begin a new era of peace and sharing commitments in ending divisions and confrontation by approaching a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity and improvements to inter-Korean communication and relations.

In a culturally significant symbolic act, they stood with their spouses on Mount Paektu, the spiritual ancestral mountains of the Koreans to pay homage to their common ancestors and to proclaim that the North-South brothers are no longer estranged and divided, and to vow “never again” to war with one another, and to develop mutual relations for national reconciliation and cooperation for real peace and co-prosperity so as to realise the common aspiration and hope of all Koreans for cultural, social and eventual political unity. 

As the sun rose that fine autumn day, the dawn of Korean peace had begun.  I was then in DPRK for a different reason.

The Korean North-South Peace treaty ended the Korean War. The 1853 Armistice signed on 27 July 1953 was designed to "ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved”. The Agreement implementing the Panmunjom Declaration in essence and fact represents that “final peace settlement”.  Following the Peace Treaty, military exercises were cancelled, border posts removed and the number of border guards substantially reduced, among other confidence building measures to enhance peace building efforts.

With their terms and conditions fulfilled, the United Nations Command (UNC) established by UN Security Council Resolutions 83 and 84 are therefore rendered obsolete.  The dissolution of the UNC also has widespread implications and consequences for many countries who benefited from the Korean conflict.  These include up to 7 UNC Bases in Japan, nearly 30,000 US soldiers in ROK as well as other US assets and resources deployed in the Far East.    

In their 1st Singapore Summit last year on 12 June 2018, US President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 

Even as they meet in Hanoi, Vietnam for their 2nd meeting, much focus has been on the DPRK denuclearization process in progress.  The US has yet to unveil its framework proposal for DPRK security guarantees as promised.  US security guarantees for DPRK is the major key to fully unlock Korean denuclearization.  In the meantime, crippling trade and economic sanctions on the DPRK should be eased or lifted to turn on the flow of Korean peace dividends so as to embolden and empower the ongoing North-South peace process.  

As they embarked on their 2nd meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, President Trump and DPRK Leader Kim should be mindful of the advice of President Clinton and President Obama:

The multiplier benefits to the global economy from immediate Korean peace dividends would be even more tremendously enriching when compared to Vietnam.  They must begin to be unlocked and turned on now, today.



Titiana Ann Xavier said...

Vietnam and China fought a border war in 1979. Trump's choice of Vietnam as the venue for his second summit with Kim has political implications. Uncle Sam has been patronising Vietnam and encouraging it to take on China in its dispute over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

Trump wants to wean Kim over to his side. North Korea has been pressured by Uncle Sam to denuclearise. In return, Uncle Sam has promised Kim nothing. Only cosmetic measures like not holding military drills have been carried out. North Korea's attempt to appease Uncle Sam is futile. The latter still wants to be a hegemon.

Titiana Ann Xavier said...

Kim’s need for nuclear weapons has not changed at all. He is not that foolish to give them up. Nuclear weapons have deterred Uncle Sam and its South Korean puppets from attacking the North for years. So nothing is going to change fundamentally. Kim will come out looking more like a statesman and Trump will be made to look like a fool.

Uncle Sam has a history of making agreements which it does not honour and violates from the first day. The Iranians can easily attest to that. North Korea is basically calling Trump's bluff. The world watches as the comedy unfolds.

virgo49 said...

Right Ann, wayanging and wasting everybody's time.

Dotard just wants to show America's Faked Superiorty and made a circus out of everyone.

Wasting time and resources on so many bored human creatures just to play monkeys with them.

Even Sinkieland stupid Papies Leaders who just wanted publicity kena conned by both.Nothing concrete out of their wayang meeting.

U Ass A just simply have Kim traded with everyone with no their self enforced interest sancations and Kim would peacefully be a responsible International Community member and be reunited with the South.

Why should North Korea denulerise when.there are so many also having the same.You think they are peaceful countries???

Nothing will come out of this Summit.Dotard just wants to while away his time till 2020 and then proceed to the Mad.House.

They can always have Video conferences on both sides and no need to have a Face to Face Meeting.This Dotard just seeks attention. He wants to.have the Nobel Shit Award of Peace when he declared should be given.to him as other American Presidents would already have War with North Korea.

This clearly illustrated U Ass A inate Agressions.

Kim, without his Real or Imagery NBombs as can lease from Xi, Dotard would not want to talk.

So,Kim would not be stupid to fully denulerise as what's U Ass A commanders forecasted.

Nothing will come out of this Charade.

Dotard only wants to show his Parkinson Superiorty and Stupidity to the World.

For Donkeys years, MOUs- Memomarium of Understandings been termed by All and Sundry.

This Dotard just wants to change the Name. Just to show he is BOSS. Our Vivi don't dared to tell him off that whatsoever name is still the same.

Balls carriers won't dared to correct him.

Anonymous said...

No need to talk so much because nothing will come out of this meeting.

Firstly, Kim will never give up his nuclear deterrent. Look at Venezuela and Iran now, without any nuclear deterrents. Remember what happened with Saddam and Gaddafi too, for not going nuclear or for wanting to go nuclear and be taken out before they could succeed. If Kim gives up his nuclear arsenal, he will be next. Trump's guarantee that Kim will remain in power is nothing more than just farting from his CB mouth.

Secondly, Trump is not going to last very long in office. Trumps has achieved nothing of note other than creating all the uncertainties at home and abroad. The master of the 'art of the deal' is no more than a con man of the highest order. He is rich all because of his father. not because of his business acumen. He is a bankrupt six times over. He is a tax cheat and a fake billionaire. How can that be so, if he is the so good in making deals?

Thirdly, Kim is just bidding for time to move his nuclear arsenals to different locations, not dismantling them as Trump seems to think. On the contrary, Kim is thought to be working overtime to expand his nuclear ambitions. not scaling down.

But, rest assured, Trump will blow his trumpet after this and again tell the whole world that the nuclear threat is gone and mission accomplished. And he will brag about his accomplishments by adding that no other US President has done more than him in bringing about world peace. America is now one big joke, lead by a sick and mentally de-rained joker.

Trump and Kim can meet another hundred times in every country of the world. Nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

To be trusted, one must be trustworthy and uphold agreements, deals and treaties. Not tearing them or putting them aside as an when one fancies, one sided or not.

What has Trump done with all the treaties and agreements on trade, climate change, resolutions etc?

You want to trust Trump? Kim must be really dumb and naïve. But I think Kim is wise enough to want to talk to the Chinese for advice before meeting that joker.

Anonymous said...

What is it about the US and North Korea to meet to end the Korean War?

Isn't the Korean War fought between North and South Korea and any agreement to end it should rightly be the sole decision of North and South Korea? How come the US is making the decision for the South?

This clearly shows the relationship between the puppet master and all the puppets. Puppets have no right to make decisions. That goes for Europe, Canada and Australia.

Titiana Ann Xavier said...

North Korea and Uncle Sam are miles apart in their talks. Lifting sanctions and denuclearization are the main obstacles. The underlying factor is the lack of trust. Both countries do not trust each other. There are also other players involved. Russia and China. South Korea and Japan. Aĺl of them have vested interests. The talks are going to be protracted. By then Trump may no longer be around. A new POTUS may not be so agreeable to negotiate. Then it is back to square one. Peace is not going to come easy to the Korean Peninsula.

Anonymous said...

Trump has shamelessly asked Shinto Abe of Japan to apply for the Nobel Peace Prize for him. Abe under pressure relented and submitted his recommendation to the highly politically-motivated Nobel Peace Prize Committee recently.

That's why Trump arranged for 2nd meeting with Kim Jong-Un. He had thought his first meeting would qualify him for the Nobel Peace Prize. But the first meeting did not produce anything concrete for the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to justify for the award to Trump. Further more, his cancellation of the Iran Nuclear Deal disqualified him as a peace-keeper.

He is now so desperate for the Peace Prize Award that he will do anything to grab it. That's why he tries very hard to appear to be friendly with Kim Jong-Un.

Moreover, he is also withdrawing troops from Syria and declared that ISIS has been defeated.

He is also talking peace with the Taliban in Afghanistan bypassing the Afghan Government.

Now, temporarily, he iz trying to cool down the Trade War that he has started.

You see how treacherous Trump can be?

Virgo49 said...

Thanks to all Contributors who forcasted that this Charade will come to an end as a FARCE and a laughing comedy to the World.