Dhaka, Bangladesh
Explosion and exposure

Explosion and exposure

Two weeks ago, a loud explosion shook the North Korean border city of Gaeseong. The North's destruction of the inter-Korean liaison office building there dealt an immeasurable blow to President Moon Jae-in's North Korea policy. The damage stretched beyond the structure's construction cost of 17.4 billion won ($14.5 million). It was the death knell for Moon's three-year effort to bring about reconciliation of the two Koreas and reconnect their severed ties. A week after that, a mustachioed U.S. neocon added insult to injury. Exposing behind-the-scenes diplomatic episodes during his service as the national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, John Bolton did not just criticize Moon's inter-Korean policy but disparaged it. The two incidents occurred as the Koreas commemorated the 70th anniversary of their fratricidal war, which started June 25, 1950. Technically, they are still at war because the truce signed July 27, 1953, suspended the conflict, not ending it. These events have made South Koreans ponder this peninsula's past, present and future, and what the two Koreas mean to each other. The North's destruction of the office turned the relationship between Koreas back to 2017 or before the first inter-Korean summit of June 2000. Bolton's exposure provided fodder for hawks here to call for a shift from cooperation to confrontation. I don't know whether or not Bolton is a liar, as his former boss claims. Like most inter-Korean well-wishers, I would love to hate this Cold War-era warrior who professed ? confidently and proudly ? he had tried to thwart any attempts for detente or dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington. If anyone believes Bolton could do it singlehandedly as he bragged, however, they are either incredibly naive or as simpleminded as the author himself. Bolton was just an errand boy of the U.S. right-wingers. More pitiable than them are the conservatives in this country. These rightists lament that President Moon puts up with insults from the North but takes no issue with a foreigner's description of their President as "schizophrenic." — The Korea Times

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