Situation on Korean Peninsula better if US, ROK stop military exercise

China Military Online
Yao Jianing

President Trump held a press conference after meeting with Kim Jong Un on Tuesday afternoon, revealing more information other than the US-DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Statement.

He vowed to “end war games”, which is generally interpreted that he is to suspend the US-ROK (Republic of Korea) joint military exercise, and this has always been one of the DPRK’s major demands. Trump also said he would like to bring the US troops stationed in the ROK back home although it isn’t a topic for discussion right now.

If the United States stopped joint military exercises with the ROK, it would be a major step toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. Then the Korean Peninsula would basically realize China’s proposal of “double suspension”, which means that the DPRK suspends its nuclear and missile activities, meanwhile the US and the ROK suspend their joint military exercises. It would promote thedual-track approachto denuclearize the Korean Peninsula andestablish apermanentpeaceful mechanism. In this way, the situation on the Korean Peninsula would open a new chapter.

The military activities on the Korean Peninsula would cool down as a whole with the United States reducing its military involvement and eventually withdrawing its troops. Thus the Peninsula would completely walk out of the left shadows of the cold war. If this would become a stable direction of the Korean Peninsula’s political development, the whole region would benefit from it.

Once the DPRK nuclear issue was thoroughly solved, things would naturally go in the above-mentioned direction. If the "threat from the DPRK" no longer existed, why would the US and the ROK continue the large-scale military exercise and why would Washington keep its troops in the ROK? These fundamental issues will soon follow.

Both the public opinions in the United States and the ROK doubt thatthe DPRKwon’t actively implement the agreements, but most of the resistance to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula probably comes from the United States, the ROK, and even Japan.

Soon after the meeting between Trump andKim Jong Un, Western media doubted that Trump had gotten nothing from the meeting while the DPRK had won more. Such public opinions probably continue in the United States, the ROK and other western countries.

The American society has been hostile to the DPRK for a long time. American senates and opinion leaders who oppose Trump can find numerous reasons to object to the Trump administration's interaction with and even some "concession" to the DPRK. These forces will contain Trump and force him to be more cautious when pushing the implementation of the agreement with Kim Jong Un.

Pro-US forces in the ROK have always been regarding the United States Forces Korea (USFK) as the cornerstone of the ROK’s national security and are willing to continue the US-ROK joint military exercise as a link to strengthen the US-ROK relations. As the peninsula situation softens, the US will reduce its military presence and activity in the region, which, however, may not be what those people want to see.

Japan has a mixed feeling towards the ease of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Tokyo hopes to see the US adopting a hard-line policy in northeast Asia because that way, the US has to rely more on Japan, thus enhancing Japan's strategic presence.

Previously, Trump's main rival was Pyongyang, but in the future, objection against him on the DPRK issue may very likely come from within the US.

Having dealt with Pyongyang for some time, the Trump administration has more practical understanding and thoughts, but those forces within the US that take no responsibility are more than happy to stir up trouble. They give much more priority to making a fool of Trump over safeguarding America's long-term interests. When the US-DPRK consultation mechanism begins to operate, they will be Trump's "new enemy" on the DPRK issue.

Trump and Kim Jong Un are faced with the opportunity to “create history”. It will be equally remarkable if the former can achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the latter can make the DPRK prosperous.

However, extraordinary achievement calls for extraordinary efforts, and Trump should be especially familiar with that.

Disclaimer:The article is an editorial of the Global Times and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. If the article carries photographs or images, we do not vouch for their authenticity.


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