By Akeel Rashid
The surprising concord between United States President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un beckons a new dawn of the ‘breakthrough diplomacy’ – incorporation of trade-offs, compromise, compliancy and concessions – which had become unfashionable in world politics. The South Korean president Moon Jae-in has played a crucial role in bringing to the world this awe-inspiring announcement by conducting ‘shuttle diplomacy’ between the two sides. According to a report published in the New York Times on 8th of March: Trump has accepted the invitation of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un and would meet him by May this year.
The standoff between the North Korea and United States was all set to jeopardize the lives of millions of people in both the countries; in case, ‘coercive diplomacy’ would have escalated into an all-out war, over and above, the whole world would have certainly felt the unforeseen repercussions of this deadly conflict.
I am reproducing some excerpts from an article written by Shalom Lipner, published by the foreignpolicy.com, that highlights the role of diplomats and thereby leaving the pellucid impression about the importance of ‘effective diplomacy’ in international Relations: “Diplomats aspire to make the world a better place; they dream of turning swords into ploughshares. Playing referee between intractable enemies and keeping things simmering at a low boil is an inglorious business indeed”.
The famous quote of Adolf Hitler, “When diplomacy ends, War begins” is staring us in the face against the backdrop of perilous wars that are going on in the Middle East. What if the International community would have pitched for the ‘use of diplomacy’ instead of watching in silence the ‘offensive involvement’ of United States in the country that led to a grisly war and resulted in the death of millions of people? The collapse of the Iraq contributed to the domino effect in the Mideast, thus sinking most parts of the region into a civil war. It is only the people of the war-torn states who can relate to the importance of peaceful negotiations.
Although diplomacy has not lost its relevance in the world but it has definitely lost its general application due to the diplomatic silence of the International community. Given the deplorable conditions in war-torn Syria and Yemen, it becomes clear that diplomacy in the present times turns out to be the last resort or necessity and is no more considered an option or the first resort in the International Relations.
As Kim Jong Un’s regime expresses its willingness to talk to the United States about abandoning its nuclear weapons, and if the parleys between the two states yield positive results then the people across the world can heave a sigh of relief for the world gets saved from a possible nuclear war. Also, the concord between Trump and Kim would make it a major breakthrough in the history of International Relations succeeding the Cuban Missile Crisis, which had brought the world to the brink of nuclear war but it was the back-door diplomacy between US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Union’s Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, rather than brinkmanship that defused the crisis.
A few days ago, David Usborne wrote in, The Independent , suggesting that it might be the time to contemplate a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for President Trump. I won’t endorse this opinion, and would suggest that on the successful completion of Kim-Trump agreement, the world should consider nomination of Moon Jae-in for the Nobel Peace Prize because it is due to his mindfulness that the nuclear crisis between the United States and North Korea is going to end soon. Touch wood!
—The Author is a Student of International Relations at IUST, Awantipora. He can be reached at: [email protected]