Moon is Wise to Feed Trump’s Vanity

Earlier this year Trump told his National Security council to give him a range of plans for evacuation of civilians from South Korea, which would signal an impending US strike on North Korea. The work only stopped when Defense Secretary Mattis found about this craziness.

Now South Korea’s Moon Jae-in is saying Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his “contribution” to peace in Korea:

Moon was responding to a letter from the wife of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung — a leader who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at making peace with North Korea. The letter said Moon deserves a Nobel for his progress this time around with the North, triggering Moon’s mention of Trump.

“It’s President Trump who should receive the Nobel Prize. We only need to take peace,” Moon said, as translated by NPR’s Korean interpreter Se Eun Gong.

Thus Moon refused any credit for himself and passed all of the credit on to Trump. The same Trump who threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea last year and publicly rebuked his Secretary of State for talking to North Koreans at all.

The notion Trump deserves the most credit for the apparent start of unprecedented North-South rapprochement is naturally absurd. In fact the role of Moon and the sunshine liberals he represents has been absolutely critical. With the right-wing in power in Seoul none of this would have been possible. On the other hand, it has been Pyongyang’s strategy since 1994 to pursue missiles and nukes to use as a bargaining chip to barter for peace and normalization of relations. Thus fundamentally the seemingly sudden current breakthrough is something the North has been working towards for decades.

Credit then very much belongs to the Koreans themselves, but Moon is very wise to praise Trump instead.

Albeit Trump hasn’t done much for peace in Korea he has the power to ruin what Moon and Kim have started any time he pleases. He’s also rotten and stupid enough to actually do it. — Except if he believes he may get recognition and praise he so craves out of it. Moon is ensuring Trump has a stake in peace just like the Koreans themselves.

MK Bhadrakumar puts it well:

South Korea is showering all praise on President Trump and giving him credit for what happened today at Panmunjom. It is a wise strategy, since South Korea is essentially creating a positive momentum for Trump’s forthcoming summit with Kim and flattering the US president’s vanities at the same time. Put differently, South Korean president Moon is ensuring that Trump gets the Nobel Prize for Peace this year – and getting Trump to believe he earned it. But the real winner is Moon himself in taking a great leap forward in his life’s mission of inter-Korean reconciliation.

And what a rare quality in a politician Moon demonstrates: humility. He’d rather Trump gets the recognition if he can only do something for his people.


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