By Denis Bright
The historic victory of President Moon Jae-in challenges the hegemony of saber-rattling as the conventional solution to over 60 years of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Despite public utterances in support of President Trump’s hardline on North Korea by the Federal LNP in Australia, a return to the Sunshine Policy as favoured by incoming President Moon is actually Australia’s preferred position.
It is also supported by key regional player powers China and Russia and probably privately by Prime Minister Abe’s government in Japan.
Too much is at stake on the Korean Peninsula to risk another war in defence of an unsatisfactory status-quo from the armistice of 1953.
The might of North Korea’s conventional forces so close to Seoul in South Korea carries the possibility that provoking Kim Jong-un might end in disaster.
Hopefully mainstream leaders on all sides of Australian politics will send a coded signal to President Trump by welcoming the election of President Moon. Whitlamesque responses from Bill Shorten and Senator Penny Wong would be highly appropriate while President Moon’s victory is still a highly topical discussion point.
50 Million People in South Korea do not need to be pawns in a horrible geopolitical game because the economic and military options for their future as favoured by the United States are appalling.
Like Singapore and the Philippines, South Korea is intrinsically a peaceful developmental state which gains no real benefits from its links to the key global military industrial complex.
The conventional wisdom that globalization requires all the social stabilizers to be destroyed to facilitate more favourable private global capital flows makes a mockery of democratic processes. The latest OECD data on the size of private net capital flows shows the ongoing difficulties faced by middle-ranking economies like South Korea and Australia.
The election of President Moon shows that slow recoveries from both the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and the wider Global Financial Crisis (GFC) have not snuffed out the politics of change and commitment to peaceful reunification of Korea on terms negotiated between Koreans on both sides of the DMZ along the 38th Parallel.
Denis Bright (pictured) is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization. Denis will be travelling in Italy and France later this month.