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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/16/17

Mr Trump, tear down this (Korean) wall

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From Asia Times

It's time to put away the military hysteria with North Korea and encourage economic connections through diplomacy

South Korean Soldiers at the Joint Security Area (JSA) facing the North Korean side of the border.
South Korean Soldiers at the Joint Security Area (JSA) facing the North Korean side of the border.
(Image by Army Vet)
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The BRICS summit in Xiamen once again showed the real action is concentrated on "RC" -- the Russia-China strategic partnership, which is evolving its own multipolar foreign policy.

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping lead the BRICS and the SCO. Xi leads the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Putin the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). Putin leads the New Middle East -- the "4+1" tested in the Syrian battlefield (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq plus Hezbollah), now with Turkey, with China supporting from behind. Putin is immensely respected by Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Pakistan.

Vladivostok is a little over 300km away from the DPRK's Punggye-ri missile test site. So at the Eastern Economic Forum, just concluded in Vladivostok, Putin naturally led, not only alongside Xi but also Japan's Shinzo Abe and South Korea's Moon Jae-in, all bent on carefully maneuvering the Trump administration into rationality.

The Korean Peninsula high drama is a dense crossover of top level diplomatic warfare and accompanying infowar. The War Party spread out across the Beltway essentially proposes a nuclear exchange and does not rule out, as Trump just said, a military attack ("certainly could happen"), with absolutely horrendous consequences, as in millions of dead Koreans, North and South.

Trump and US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, refuse to talk. Moreover, the War Party is very much aware that if the DPRK is not demonized as a threat, the entire rationale for the industrial-military complex to be present in Japan and South Korea disappears.

In parallel, former director of Los Alamos National Laboratory Siegfried Hecker, who's been to North Korea's nuclear facilities, has stated, unequivocally, that Kim Jong-un "is determined to develop an effective deterrent to keep the United States out." As long as US military bases are surrounding the DPRK there's no way Pyongyang's nuclear program will be frozen. This is an unchangeable fact on the ground.

Instead of a "military attack" or nuclear war, what "RC" proposes are essentially 5+1 talks (North Korea, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea, plus the US) on neutral grounds. That's called diplomacy.

In Vladivostok, Putin went out of his way to emphasize common sense; defuse military hysteria; and warn that stepping beyond sanctions would be an "invitation to the graveyard." Instead, he proposed business deals.

What about a wall of connectivity?

What happened in Vladivostok is really ground breaking; Moscow and Seoul essentially agreed on a trilateral trade platform, involving Pyongyang, to ultimately invest in connectivity between the whole Korean peninsula and the Russian Far East.

Moon proposed to Moscow to build no less than "nine bridges" of cooperation; "Nine bridges mean the bridges of gas, railway, the Northern Sea Route, shipbuilding, the creation of working groups, agriculture and other types of cooperation."

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Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)

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