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News & Comment
Olympic Breakthrough in Korean Conflict despite American Efforts
According to Reuters:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in for talks in Pyongyang, South Korean officials said on Saturday, setting the stage for the first meeting of Korean leaders in more than 10 years.
Any meeting would represent a diplomatic coup for Moon, who swept to power last year on a policy of engaging more with the reclusive North and has pushed for a diplomatic solution to the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.
The recent detente, anchored by South Korea’s hosting of the Winter Olympic Games that began on Friday, came despite an acceleration in the North’s weapons programs last year and pressure from Seoul’s allies in Washington.
The personal invitation from Kim was delivered verbally by his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, during talks and a lunch Moon hosted at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.
Kim Jong Un wanted to meet Moon “in the near future” and would like for him to visit North Korea “at his earliest convenience”, his sister told Moon, who had said “let’s create the environment for that to be able to happen,” Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a news briefing.
A Blue House official said Moon “practically accepted” the invitation.
These early signs of normalisation of relations between the two Koreas demonstrates the limitations of American power, despite America being the world’s preeminent superpower.
America has been working for decades to antagonise and provoke North Korea in order to create a situation of conflict on China’s eastern border. America uses this conflict to justify its continued military and naval presence in the western Pacific Ocean and particularly centred on Japan and South Korea. The coarse rhetoric of US President Donald Trump is merely in continuation of this long-standing policy, designed to contain China and, principally, deter it from projecting power and influence eastwards into the Pacific Ocean, which America considers to be almost exclusively its own. These latest normalisation efforts are expected to be only a brief setback for America and it is sure to resume efforts to ensure this region is inflicted with turmoil.
But America’s policy is short-sighted. Encirclement, containment and confrontation have only motivated China to consolidate its strength internally and redouble its efforts externally. The resolve of the Chinese leadership was only recently demonstrated last October at the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, in which the key factions of the Communist Party rallied around President Xi Jinping. And externally, the Chinese are dealing with the American challenge with deliberation and maturity. The latest breakthrough between the Koreas is in fact a result of Chinese efforts.
Furthermore, the Western camp itself is divided. A key factor behind the present Korean normalisation is the role of the UK, which has been working diligently to court China. A fortnight ago, British Prime Minister Theresa May visited China to conclude a trade deal, which has become Britain’s key priority after its disastrous referendum on Brexit has put in jeopardy its principal trade links with European countries. The Prime Minister’s visit came shortly after a conference in Vancouver, Canada in mid-January promoting “a peaceful, diplomatic solution” to the crisis. Britain appears to have been working actively behind the scenes to make this conference happen and Theresa May’s visit to China was the reward.
There is much for Muslims to learn from these events. America is not as powerful as it appears. The Western camp is divided. And a country like China can take steps to strengthen itself internally and manage challenges externally.
But more than this, the world is in need of a different superpower. Over the millennium that Islam dominated world affairs, general peace and harmony prevailed. Military engagement was limited. Arms races were almost non-existent. Government military budgets were at a minimum. China and Europe were focussed on economic development, aided by Islam’s open trade policies and secured by Islamic strategic power that, for example, enabled the very existence of the Silk Route between east and west. It was the Capitalist West - discarding its Christianity and adopting in its place the secular liberal ideology - that raised armies for imperial exploitation, first plundering the resources of the American continent and then turning its sights to the Muslim world and the east.
The United States was built on the genocide by Europeans of the native peoples of America; it will not rest until it has ruthlessly dominated and exploited the resources of the entire world. It is time for Muslim Ummah to re-establish the Islamic superpower, the righteous Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw), implementing Islam within and carrying its light to the entire world. It is time for the Muslim Ummah to resume its role as guardian of humankind:
﴿كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ﴾
“You are the best nation produced for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” [Surah Ale-Imran 3:110]
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by