Should the Trump Administration Agree to Attend an Inter-Korean Summit If It is Held In Seoul?

I have been saying for years that the ROK government should only agree to another Inter-Korean Summit if it is held in Seoul.  Mr. William Brown an adjunct professor at Georgetown University shares this assessment:

Will President Moon Jae-in accept North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to Pyongyang?

It must be a very tricky decision for Moon. If he raises the issue of denuclearization, North Korea might revert to its belligerent stance.

But if Moon opts to go to Pyongyang for talks for the sake of talks it could jeopardize the alliance between South Korea and the United States, or other allies.

William Brown, adjunct professor at Georgetown School of Foreign Service, suggests Moon make a counteroffer by inviting Kim to Seoul to avoid the same old mistakes his liberal predecessors have made.

“We have seen far too many VIP trips to Pyongyang over the past decades, and every time, Pyongyang has hoodwinked the visitors into giving it something, even billions of dollars,” Brown said in an interview, citing former President Kim Dae-jung.

“I’m sure Kim Jong-un is well aware of that and in need of big money. So, Kim wants an improvement in inter-Korean ties but only to help him pursue his new ‘unification’ dream.”

He pointed out the North has “engagement” down to a fine art, knowing how to cater to foreign and South Korean egos.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but after the first Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang with ROK President Kim Dae-jung, the then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il promised to visit Seoul at the next Inter-Korean Summit.  During the administration of ROK President Roh Moo-hyun a second Inter-Korean Summit was held in Pyongyang.  Kim Jong-il said that he could not hold the summit in Seoul due to “security concerns”.

This is of course nonsense, the real reason he did not want to come to Seoul is because of the propaganda value it gives to the ROK government.  The Kim regime has long held that the ROK government is an illegitimate puppet regime of the evil American Imperialists™.  Kim Jong-un traveling to Seoul for talks gives legitimacy to the ROK government and eliminates the propaganda value to North Korea of ROK government leaders making kowtowing tribute visits to Pyongyang.

Considering the North Korean sympathizers within the Moon administration it is unlikely they would demand that the next Inter-Korean Summit be held in Seoul.  Instead if the Trump administration says they would participate in a Inter-Korean Summit if it is held in Seoul this may force the ROK government’s hand to ask that the summit be held in Seoul.  This would then put the onus on the Kim regime to see how serious they are about peace.  If Kim Jong-un refuses to attend an Inter-Korean Summit in Seoul it shows he is not serious about peace and instead just looking for another payday.

Korean-Canadian Man Arrested for Attempted Molotov Cocktail Attack on US Embassy in Seoul

Fortunately this guy was extremely incompetent in regards to his attempted attack on the US embassy in Seoul:

A Korean-Canadian man has been arrested for a botched Molotov cocktail attack on the U.S. embassy in Seoul, police said Monday.

The man, in his 30s, reportedly told police the attack was to punish the United States, which “has bullied South Korea and me.” He is known to have a mental disorder.

According to Jongno Police Station, which is in charge of the embassy’s external security, the man lit a handmade Molotov cocktail just outside the barbed wire fence encircling the embassy and was about to throw the fire bomb over the fence at 7 p.m. Sunday.

But he accidently dropped the Molotov cocktail into a bag filled with nine other Molotov cocktails, and set them all alight. He threw away the burning bag and fled, but was caught by police who rushed to the scene.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Kim Yo-jong Says Seoul “Doesn’t Feel Unfamiliar”

Kim Yo-jong was school in Switzerland so she does know what a free city looks and feels like:

This photo, taken on Feb. 10, 2018, shows Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister (L) and Kim Yong-nam, the North’s ceremonial head of state (R), joining a dinner hosted by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon in Gangneung, the sub-host city of the Olympics. (pool photo) (Yonhap)

Kim Yo-jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister, said Seoul felt familiar even though it was her first-ever visit to the South, at an official dinner Saturday, according to a pool report.

“It doesn’t feel unfamiliar,” she replied when Choi Moon-soon, governor of Gangwon Province, asked her how she felt about Seoul.

Wearing a wine-colored jacket and black pants, Kim attended the dinner held at a hotel in Gangneung, the sub-host city of the Olympics. It was hosted by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon for North Korea’s high-level delegation.

North Korea’s ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, Choe Hwi, the chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son-gwon, the head of the North’s state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs, were also in attendance.

Kim Yong-nam celebrated the South’s hosting of the Winter Games.

“As the Olympics were opened successfully with applause from North and South Korea, we believe that the games will pave the way for the two sides’ reconciliation, and stronger inter-Korean ties, and furthermore for Koreans’ unity and unification,” Kim said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but someone should have asked her if the city would have felt more like home if there were forced labor camps and executions?

Seoul Mayor Wants to Ban Cars on Days with Heavy Pollution

Considering that the vast majority of the pollution is coming from China I doubt banning cars will make much of difference while highly inconveniencing the public:

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon announces policies to reduce fine dust at a news conference at Seoul City Hall on Sunday. [YONHAP]

Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon said Sunday that his government would seek the power to ban vehicles based on license plate number during days with bad air pollution to reduce the number of cars running on city roads.The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to request an amendment to the enforcement ordinance of the Clean Air Conservation Act that will allow city mayors and provincial governors to issue a directive that bans cars with even- or odd-numbered license plate numbers from operating on certain days with bad pollution.

The request will be sent to the Ministry of Environment, which has the authority to amend the enforcement ordinance.

“The ban will, in effect, be carried out by the local governments of Seoul and surrounding areas,” said Lee Byung-chul, head of the Seoul government’s air quality policy team. “It cannot be carried out by Seoul alone. We have yet to determine the exact system of how we would enforce the ban, such as having checkpoints to stop odd- or even-numbered license plates from entering the capital area, or whether to utilize police and CCTV cameras to enforce the ban.”  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Protest Against 2015 Comfort Women Agreement

Calling for abolition of 2015 comfort women deal

A group of civic activists in front of the foreign ministry in Seoul on Dec. 27, 2017, calls for the scrapping of an agreement made between the South Korean and Japanese governments in 2015 over issues surrounding the Japanese military’s sexual enslavement of Korean women during World War II. Earlier in the day, a foreign ministry task force announced the outcomes of its five-month review, concluding that the accord lacked efforts to listen to victims, euphemistically called “comfort women,” before reaching the deal. (Yonhap)