Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Trump for Nobel Peace Prize?

Yes. Why not?

A quite extraordinary series of foreign policy triumphs by POTUS Trump especially on North Korea.

Even with the last-minute nerves of the Singapore Summit off then on again, in just over 6 months we’ve had more movement on North Korea because of POTUS Trump than in the previous 6 decades.

From the pre-Xmas insults of Little Rocket Man and Dotard and missiles aimed at Japan and Guam and Hawaii we have the biggest breakthrough on the Korean peninsula since Inchon.

A united Korea sports team at the Winter Olympics and Kim JongUn's sister's rare travel to South Korea.

The North Korea and South Korea presidents meeting at Panmunjon DMZ and each travelling over the DMZ line.

A peace treaty to end the war of 1953 being drafted – UK too as a participant in the 1953 war with countries such as Thailand and even Cuba on the allied side for the first UN police action.

South Korean propaganda loudspeakers aimed at North Korea turned off.

Discussions on a rail link and air bridge between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Consideration of USA troop withdrawals.

Ending nuclear tests, albeit with the test site already damaged, and now blown up in front of the world’s media.

President Xi of China's support for detente. Missiles and leaky nuclear plants just a few miles from Shanghai or Beijing must be something of a concern. And a dampener on OBOR extension through Korea and across to EU and even Vancouver and California over the Bering Strait.

The Singapore Summit surely laying the groundwork for a wider EU-style East Asian Group for peace and prosperity: China, Mongolia, Koreas, Japan and even Russia and Taiwan. The latter as with Hong Kong and Macau likely to reunite as the political and economic systems dovetail between the mainland and inner islands.

Even settlement of the post 1945 Cold War deep freeze of the Kuriles and Sendaku. And Paracels and Spratlys that annoy Chinas ASEAN neighbours for little purpose.

While 38,000 American troops likely to be largely withdrawn to Okinawa and Japan or a Pivot South to Australia and even mainland USA as the Koreas reunite.
North Korean clocks adjusted half an hour to synchronise with South Korea - a tweak well known here in East Kent with Ramsgate 5 minutes 41 seconds ahead of London before GMT unified Britain’s timezones.

New State Dept head Mike Pompeo returning from North Korea with 3 released American prisoners.

Any one of the above would be extraordinary for Korean relations but all of them surely worth the peace prize for POTUS Trump and a successful Singapore Summit.

All of them earth-shattering and even a crescendo of a Glastonbury music festival at the DMZ. Landmines aside one of the world’s largest nature reserves due to the frozen conflict.

While the desolate border along the Yalu dividing China and North Korea - as with Myanmar and Bangladesh crying out for development and connectivity for OBOR. Even a Japan-Korea undersea tunnel as here in East Kent with the Channel Tunnel and HS1 hispeed rail?

And it may be a little early for the first Trump Tower plans for downtown Pyongyang although certainly needed with extra trade and tourism. Even a Checkpoint Donald through the DMZ as with the Checkpoint Charlie of Berlin and eventual German reunification?

Presumably various Trump Davos 15Friends will be spearheading investment lead by Nestle and its vitamins and food supplements and baby milk powder and bottled water. Kim JongUn probably not averse to Nestle’s KitKat chocolate from his Swiss boarding school days.

North Korea’s troops probably also keen to have a break from sitting in their trenches and instead being redeployed in work battalions to bring in the harvest, or at least unload those Nestle trucks or USAid and DFID and JICA and AusAid trucks and ships. Volvo opening a new car and lorry factory around Pyongyang?

While Nokia and SAP and ABB and Siemens would be crucial in ripping and replacing the 1950’s telecoms and transport infrastructure. Sheffield’s Boeing HQ keen to replace every plane in the AirKoryo fleet, still banned from EU. Even airlift and SAR helicopters for the more mountainous regions of North Korea.

And Statoil (sorry, Equinor) and Total active on solar and wind power to help light up North Korea’s towns and cities.

A Nobel Peace Prize almost guaranteed as an astonishing Nixon in China moment. And surely DRC Congo and Libya and Syria next?

But against the backdrop of the North Korean successes already by POTUS Trump is UK missing the bus in terms of trade with both North and South Korea?

USA doesn’t even have an ambassador yet in South Korea yet is wiping the floor with UK in terms of trade already with South Korea one of the world’s most advanced digital nations literally emerging from the rubble of the total devastation of the 1945 and 1953 wars.

Why doesn’t UK have 5G hispeed fibre broadband already? Even free wifi from BT given it’s already in place now. Finland now specifying internet access as a right – crucial for any 21st century economy.

And Estonia forging ahead with world-leading e-governance. Why isn’t UK issuing free emails and phone numbers for government information on Pandemics given it’s the number one UK strategic threat? Yet more ebola outbreaks in Congo even without a flu or bird flu outbreak or TB increase.

And the biochem threat of polonium or novichuk - the latter chemsite in Russia now demolished as North Korea's nukes site.

Even free Raspberry Pi and Kindles and 3D printers in schools and universities: just 11M under 16’s and 2M university students will hardly break the Bank of England in regearing the nation as a digital nation. With or without the rampant LIBOR frauds and taxpayer bailing out RBS or BHS or Carillion.

East Kent fortunate in improving its broadband speeds from the hitech Discovery Park and Pfizer science labs, and 4 nearby universities and 3 main hospitals.

Thailand shifting rapidly back to full democracy with its Thailand 4.0 governance and a Team Thailand of Durian Diplomacy with OTOP and Doitung and specific market sectors for growth UK only late last year producing its first Industrial Plan ever. Anyone know what’s in it or how it will be achieved?

And surely the Trump Davos15 Friends a key UK strategic interest too given they are some of Europe’s largest businesses. Siemens and Krupp already expanding their investments in UK. HBSC moving beyond talk too?

But shades of Who Lost China again with Germany with far more trade than UK in the Middle Kingdom and without any of the benefits of Hong Kong or Commonwealth relationships.

Let’s hope the North Korea changes are reflected in a Singapore Summit beyond more talks about talks and prosperity for UK too.

Time for Change

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