The historic reconciliation between North and South Korea has become a global event that we Arabs need to perceive and discern its objectives and future outcomes. I believe the meeting of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in is a lesson in contemporary foreign policy, and we need to study its dimensions and who is the actual beneficiary.
We cannot look deeply at the issue of North and South Korea and the history of the two countries without the American role in the past and present. Clearly, the US foreign policy today is not the policy of yesterday and there are no more common lines that everyone expects, especially since recent US positions towards global issues such as climate change and the Iranian nuclear agreement mean a radical change in goals and plans.
But this new change led Korean leaders to a rare opportunity for gathering and talking peace for strength and survival, not only of their authorities, but of the Korean state, its principles, future and peoples, who have suffered greatly from separation.
When the leaders of the two Koreas decided to meet and look forward to the future, the preparations for this grand meeting went easily and smoothly, and in record time the two leaders met at the “Peace Palace” in the border area of Panmunjom between the two Koreas to launch a peace agreement aimed at bringing together the two brotherly nations.
The pictures and statements issued by the North and South leaders show determination to complete this peaceful initiative to protect the homeland and people. Is there a better target than this? I believe that this is the true Korean wisdom that makes me respect and appreciate the recent meeting of the two leaders.
If we think about the matter logically, we find that this is the natural course and results assumed by brothers to get closer, seeking agreement and not differences.
Now, regardless of what has been said about the parties that helped to secure the meeting of the Korean leaders – that it was a result of Chinese advice, I see no harm in governments listening to friends in order to avoid their peoples the agony of differences and wastage of wealth.
When Kuwait was invaded in 1990 by the Iraqi regime, Arab brothers, including Syria at that time, helped and supported Kuwait, except for a few countries. The fact of the matter is that Syria embraced many Kuwaitis until the return of legitimacy to Kuwait, and the Arab League played an important role in spreading the importance of defending Kuwait and regional unity, until the international coalition led by the US liberated Kuwait.
Today we in the Arab region are confronting many challenges as well as sectarian and ethnic strife, and we need concessions, unity and agreement for the sake of all peoples of the region and the future, to live in peace and harmony.
Arab countries need to set new priorities that benefit the interests of their peoples, and the first is combating terrorism and extremism in a real and radical way and upgrading the quality of education.
At the beginning of this article, I wondered who the actual beneficiaries of the Korean détente are. The answer is simple. It is the people of the state and its wealth.
This new convergence may lead in the future to a reunification of Korea and end the division, so the two Koreas will constitute a powerful force that may lead to a significant imposition of a new agenda on global politics. It’s really an important Korean lesson that we should not ignore.
By Muna Al-Fuzai