Shaman Kim Jong Un And His Rise

(MENAFN- Asia Times) This week's summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin was of historic significance. It extended the global tensions that began two years ago with the Ukrainian conflict all the way to the eastern tip of the Eurasian continent, where the Cold War started in 1950. It could have unfathomable consequences.

It also unravels years of patient and painstaking efforts to engage Pyongyang in seeking different solutions to an intractable problem – a paranoid, autocratic, yet nuclear-armed hermit statelet sitting at the doorstep of economic powerhouses like South Korea, Japan, and China.

There is a western twist here. Trying to recover czarist glory in Europe, Putin was obliged to bend the knee to Kim's humiliating extravagances. The irony won't be lost in Russia and might have a long-lasting impact. Russian history underlines the fact that the first Czars emerged by shaking off the Mongol yoke and conquering Asia.

Still, the result unfolding today is a military technology transfer from Russia to North Korea, which could escalate tensions in East Asia with unpredictable global fallouts.

Experts are particularly concerned. Former US Ambassador Joseph DeTrani – whose involvement with North Korea lasted for many years including the period from 2003-2006 when he was George W Bush's special envoy for the Six Party Talks with North Korea and the US representative to the Korea Energy Development Organization (KEDO) – has sounded an alar m that things could spin out of control:

However, diplomacy may still have a chance. In a recently published memoir DeTrani details how he personally experienced North Korea's eagerness to open a dialogue with America on partial nuclear disarmament.


Asia Times

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