South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made a lot of efforts for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit to Seoul. On the plane flying back to Seoul after his recent brief encounter with U.S. President Donald Trump during the G20 summit in Argentina, the South Korean President told reporters that the entire South Korean nation would welcome the North Korean leader in Seoul.
Although the visit is unlikely to occur within this year, conflicts among South Koreans for and against the visit are showing no signs of easing. Conservative groups are staging a rally every weekend to oppose the visit while pro-North Korean groups are waving Korean unification flags for another inter-Korean summit in Seoul within this year.
In the meantime, the ROK-US military alliance is cracking. Their joint military drills have been postponed or canceled. The inter-Korean military agreement that was concluded in September resulted in strong opposition from the United States due to the lack of prior discussions. The agreement mentions nothing about North Korea’s denuclearization despite the fact that it is the most important prerequisite for better US-North Korea and inter-Korean relations. The agreement compromised national security in the West Sea and the DMZ, and nuclear dismantlement has been erased from the South Korean government’s national defense plan. The ROK Marine Corps and Navy raised an objection to flight restriction in the NLL area.
North Korea’s denuclearization has shown no progress since the US-North Korea summit in June, for which the South Korean President played a middleman role. Under the circumstances, he went around the world for easing of sanctions on the North. However, most countries responded with “Complete, Verifiable, Irreversible Dismantlement” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and foreign news outlets dubbed him as a spokesperson for the North. Washington must have been uncomfortable with the situation, losing its trust in Seoul.
Amid the security disarray, ordinary South Koreans’ economic conditions are deteriorating. Nonetheless, President Moon is refusing to face the reality, saying that policy implementation is problematic whereas economic policies and indices are good, and that the government’s minimum wage policy does much more good than harm. Such out-of-body recognitions by the President are driving the nation to a dismal future, too.
An even more serious problem is that the National Union of Media Workers under the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, a leftist group that contributed to the establishment of the Moon Jae-in administration, has taken control of media including major television stations and papers for the past 18 months. During the period, the media have excited the people as if inter-Korean unification is around the corner while concealing the deterioration of national security and economic conditions, contributing to the Moon Jae-in government’s ochlocracy and populist dictatorship.
The Moon Jae-in government is busy following North Korea’s disguised peace propaganda, either because the North is successfully deceiving the South Korean government or in order to deceive Washington and the people of South Korea with fake peace in cooperation with the North. If the latter is the case, the South Korean President as well as the North Korean leader have to be forced to face the challenge of regime change before the North Korean nuclear issue gets worse and South Korea’s economic system changes into a socialistic one. In particular, without a change in the nature of the North Korean regime, the already loosened anti-North economic sanctions are completely ineffective for North Korea’s denuclearization, not to mention the dialogues and negotiations.