Donald Trump takes on the overturn on the warlike rhetoric against Pyongyang. And together with South Korea it chooses to suspend spring military exercises in the divided peninsula that would coincide with the Winter Olympics organized by Seoul in February. A gesture with relaxing contours that could give a chance to the diplomatic rumors on the nuclear crisis that emerged in the last days between the two Koreas and that until now had been apostrophized with extreme skepticism by Washington.
There are rumors that North Korea has accepted the proposal of Seoul high-level dialog to be held Tuesday, January 9 on the participation of North Korean athletes at the Winter Games that will take place in February in South Korea.
Trump yesterday changed the tone: in his tweets he claimed to have contributed himself to the winds of thaw with his aggressive attitude towards Pyongyang and went on to state openly that “the talks are a good thing”.
The announcement of the cancellation or at least postponement of a date of military power test was given by Seoul, after the half-hour phone call between President Moon Jae and president Trump. The White House indicated that the conversation between the two leaders, in the past protagonists of differences, are considered to be “positive”.
Moon, in recent days, had responded by collecting and relaunching initial openings by the dictator of North Korea, Kim Jung Un. The latter, in a New Year’s speech, had proposed to discuss the participation of a delegation of the country at the Winter Olympics. Shortly thereafter, the restart of communication lines between North and South mute since January 2016, with an initial telephone conversation in a border village that lasted about twenty minutes. The next joint military exercises between Seoul and the United States were now considered by Kim as a significant obstacle to be removed in order to proceed with contacts.
The potential breakthrough is all the more significant because in the same days of the new contacts between the two Koreas the US administration had reacted, preferring to trigger a “Button War”. And his UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, said that negotiations were useless if Pyongyang did not give up at all to atomic and missile programs, which in the last year have intensified and have also targeted US territory.
But the new stance also appears to be an attempt to run for cover to avoid the risk of aggravating fractures between allies, which may call into question both the effectiveness of negotiations and the maneuvering of continuous isolation and international pressure against North Korea. Yesterday, Seul asserted close cooperation with the White House: “We will cooperate closely with the United States in any negotiations with North Korea,” he stressed from the President’s palace. And we firmly believe that inter-Korean talks can create a desirable atmosphere for negotiations between the United States and the North aimed at resolving the North Korean nuclear weapons issue. ” Trump added, in the bilateral phone call he would pledge to support Moon “one hundred percent”.
A thaw to defuse the threat of conflict or nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula, warn the observers to be more cautious, if it is still hypothetical and whether the words can be entrusted to. The dynamic between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington and even Beijing, still the closest to Kim’s regime, has so far seemed extremely uncertain. Commitments to talks, however, appear more promising than the dimensions of their nuclear “buttons”.