Heidi M. Pascual*
Publisher & Editor
* 2006 Journalist of the Year for the State
of Wisconsin (U.S.-SBA)
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On the Recent Historic Korean Summit
I would be lying if I say I don’t trust North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when he went to South Korea, met with President Moon Jae-in and
pledged to work for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The truth is, I was extremely happy when I read the news today,
April 27, 2018, courtesy of Reuters via yahoo.com, because this historic meeting of Korean leaders reflected a clear hope for an era of
peace and cooperation between the two warring countries and the possibility of erasing people’s fear for a nuclear war which would
definitely involve the greatest powers in the world and of course, the resulting near-annihilation of mankind.

The real problem has been our exposure to purely Western media, which consistently pictured North Korean President Kim Jong Un as evil
in disguise, though openly testing the waters for a future nuclear/missile attack of the United States of America and possibly its allies in
Asia. My home country’s (Philippines) proximity to Korea and Japan has, in recent times, created fear among her people, including myself
and my family, due to negative reactions — and rightfully so — of Southeast Asian countries, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S., resulting
from North Korea’s missile tests. During all these tests, we heard no explanation from North Korea, simply because we had no access to
its media outlets. Even China, which we consider as North Korea’s closest ally, had issued no explanation at all to appease our people and
governments, probably to distance itself from North Korea’s actions. Though with this historic meeting of Korean presidents, I think China
played a big role because it would be disadvantageous for this super power to lose its world market and political friends should North
Korea engage in a nuclear war against the US and Japan. As we all know, many, if not most, countries owe China their economic existence
or subsistence; thus, a nuclear war would be China’s biggest loss and downfall, perhaps together with the rest of us.

I’m aware that Kim is also scheduled to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump soon. To me, that’s another historic milestone to eagerly
watch for. Indeed, no peace can be achieved without talking face to face and agreeing on big issues that matter most t o both countries.
While their own interests dictate hard and fixed positions most times, diplomacy requires deep understanding of each other’s needs and
the willingness to compromise for the sake of world peace and security.

I just hope President Trump doesn’t make comments that would worsen present U.S.-North Korea relations. Trump must act as president
of the greatest country in the world who’s going to negotiate for peace and cooperation, not one who’s out to condemn an “enemy’s actions.”
My unsolicited advice: Trump must start afresh and look forward; be tactful like an experienced diplomat; keep his mouth shut if he doesn’t
need to open it; and show body language that expresses genuineness and respect. Trump must understand that Kim Jong Un is also a
president like him. North Korea might be small, but as we all know, even a small insect can infect and kill many. (Just look at the present
death toll in the Philippines because of Dengue Fever, a disease from a mosquito bite!) Hopefully, this would really be a fruitful historic
So, let me reiterate my happiness,
and even gratitude to all concerned
who worked in the background to
make this meeting of Korean
leaders and their pledge for peace
a reality. To the sceptics who think
this meeting would fail just like
previous ones in 2000 and 2007
(which didn’t stop North Korea’s
nuclearization), I am convinced that
this time, North Korea’s Kim Jong
Un would create history. I think he
isn’t that hard-headed and evil after
all, for he listens to reason and is
also willing to negotiate to achieve
lasting peace and make new
“friends” in the process. I hope that
the Western media would also give
this man a space where he could
express himself openly and answer
questions which many of us may
want to ask.