Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Will Lee Myung bak meet Kim Jong il?

As the lumbersome machinery of setting up a meeting of military leaders representing North and South Korea falls into gear, rumour has it that, in spite of his 'repugnance', South Korea's president may meet North Korea's Kim Jong il.
The forthcoming meeting of military leaders varies in value: some say, it is low keyed, others, of medium importance, and still others put a high level spin to it. We will know what's what when North and South meet.
Last week Admiral Mullen flew to Seoul carrying the news that China is leveraging pressure on Pyongyang. However, what the media conveniently omits is the strong arm of the US on Lee's aggressive policy towards the North which tripped a wire of war in late November 2010.
Washington keeps talking of Kim Jong il's bad behaviour. But what about its own client Lee Myung bak's? Lee has still to account for his determination to 'teach the North a serious lesson' from the first day he assumed the presidency. He has waged a cold war against the North until it turned hot two months ago.
The US publicly stood by his side but in the corridors of power, the message got out to Lee that he better retract his claws of war.
As a result, the man who swore on a stack of bibles he would not truck with Kim Jong il, may in the end eat his words and like Henry V go to his Canossa in Pyongyang.
Will he realise his political error in having scuppered the 'Sunshine Policy" or abrogated the 24 agreements signed by Roh Moo hyun his predecessor and Kim Jong il?
Hardly. Still, it is time for him to 'repent' and deliver on measures will return an uneasy Korean peninsula to stability.

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