UAE Press: Let Moon take the lead in engaging with Kim

ABU DHABI, 20th September, 2018 (WAM) -- It's been a year of surprises on the Korean peninsula. Hopes of denuclearisation and prospects for peace that seemed remote not so long ago, now appear close, an editorial of a local English language newspaper said.

Khaleej Times went on to say that in their third meeting, the leaders of the two Koreas came up with some headline-grabbing results. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to disarm the border, remove landmines, and dismantle missile facilities and launch pads under the supervision of international inspectors.

The Koreas have also announced making a joint bid for Olympics 2032. "Such assurances could help break the stalemate and take peace talks with the US forward," the paper noted, adding, that Washington ultimately holds the cards and would be instrumental in facilitating peace on the peninsula. Be that as it may, this is major win for diplomacy, and crucially for South Korean President Moon Jae-in's mandate for peace.

"Moon should be credited for the progress, or shall we say promises and statements made so far by Kim. For the South Korean leader, this was a leap of faith as he walked the extra mile to build a personal rapport with Kim. Trust matters when you engage an old foe, and no one understood this better than Moon," the paper wrote.

The paper says that scepticism, however, remains as Pyongyang has in the past reneged on agreements. However it added, "It could be different this time, but we wonder why Kim isn't willing to provide an inventory of its nuclear facilities, which is also a key demand of the US. Moreover, expectations of swift moves by the North could be hasty when confronted with realities on the ground."

The demilitarised zone is over 160 miles long and would need years to be cleared of lurking landmines, the paper pointed out, adding that the world, in the meanwhile, cannot simply take Kim's word for granted. Key players like the US should let the wise Moon take the lead.

"To achieve 'eternal and irreversible peace', all the three key players, US, North and South Korea, should be on the same page," the paper concluded.