The talks held between the representatives of North and South Korea on January 9th in the demilitarized zone and the agreements reached are, of course, good news. A timid hope for the possibility of de-escalation of the Korean crisis has appeared in the gloomy horizon. The meeting of the delegations of the two countries, initiated by the North Korean leader, was the first since December 2015, and this fact in itself is already an important event. Especially considering today’s explosive situation on the Korean peninsula, the development of which in recent months has been watched with tension and alarm by the entire international community. After all, it is not a secret that the current situation can lead to a nuclear conflict in this region, running the risk of spread all over the planet.
However, according to many experts and analysts, it is unlikely that the current dialogue can cardinally change the situation on the Korean peninsula. The United States are an important participant in this process. Their position will largely influence on how far South Korea’s President Mun Zhe Ying will go with his peace-making intentions. During the election campaign, he announced his plans to normalize relations with North Korea. However under pressure from White House, he could do little.
Moreover, certain analysts believe Trump′s administration intentionally refuses to search for compromise. Instead, Washington accuses North Korea and flexes its muscles escalating tension in the Asian-Pacific region.
Evidently, “nuclear bludgeon” in the hands of odious North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatens international stability. At the same time, as paradoxical as it may sound, Washington’s policy provoked Pyongyang to develop its own nuclear weapon program. The historical record speaks for itself: the American leadership uses military force to topple objectionable regimes in total neglect of international law. In reality, the tragic examples of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya motivated the North Korean ruling elite to resort to the development of nuclear weapons as a unique way of deterrence.
Pasqual Bonifas, Director of the French Institute for International and Strategic Studies is of the above opinion. To the French analyst’s mind, Kim Jong Un is apprehensive of the destiny of Saddam Hussein as well as of that of Muammar Qaddafi.
Certain sober Western politicians point to sensible pragmatism. The call for the necessity of dialogue with Pyongyang comes not just from countries not so friendly to the US but importantly from the camp of very devoted allies of Washington. In particular, Zigmund Gabriel, the German Minister of Foreign Affairs warned President Donald Trump against warlike declarations aimed at North Korea.
“The European experience should not be underestimated. We are like somnambulists entered First World War because the governments of the countries of conflict had refused dialogue. The war began as people neglected diplomacy. At present, war rhetoric is becoming more critical. This is alarming. I am much worried about Trump′s words that the US military is ready to solve the North Korean problem with fire and fury”, Gabriel emphasized.
However that may be, to organize the Olympiad in Pyeong Chang in these conditions can be really dangerous. The Austrian Head of the Olympic Committee and the French Minister of Sport warned that their teams would refuse to take part in the Olympic Games if the host country could not guarantee safety for their delegations. Everyone can understand the West European sport officials: competing in conditions of furious fight of nuclear powers is not such a bright perspective. The International Olympic Committee with its head Thomas Bach looks like a stillborn organization unable to say anything reasonable.
As top leaders fail make decisions consolidating peace in the region, ordinary citizens have been in panic. According to the South Korean Ministry of Sport, no more than half of Olympiad Games’ tickets have been sold so far: the lowest index in the history of the modern Olympic movement. Diplomatic representations of most European nations “recommended insistently” their citizens to refrain from going to Pyeong Chang. South Korean officials are alarmed as the Olympiad budget will not be compensated.
If high rank officials from the International Olympic Committee have no courage to correct their own mistakes, the Olympiad in Pyeong Chang would hit hard the Olympic movement’s reputation. Competing with no spectators is the worst that young sportsmen and sportswomen can expect. Reason calls for the relocation of the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games to another country.
Few years ago, Germany as well as France launched their candidacy to organize the 2018 Winter Olympiad. These two countries could became “reserve field” for the Olympic movement. These European countries’ developed social, sport and transport infrastructure allows for the XXIII Winter Olympic Games to be held on high standards.