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Distrust and Verify

As readers of my book, "The Golden Years...The Florida Legislature, '70's and '80's," are aware, I served as an officer in Uijongbu, South Korea in 1969-70. Uijongbu is 30 minutes immediately south of the De-Militarized Zone ("DMZ") between North and South Korea. Although we did not stare down nuclear weapons from North Korea like today, we did have a near catastrophic incident with the U. S. "Pueblo" Destroyer being captured by the North Koreans in international waters. Our US naval personnel were beaten and it almost drove us to a second war, along with Vietnam. It was a scary time, just like it is today.

So I admit, I am following the upcoming conference between Presidents Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump with great interest. Specifically, I am tempted to applaud all parties as the Presidents of the North and South have met in person and promised to end the Korean War. I believe that without the new more draconian sanctions on North Korea and President Trump's saber rattling, that we might not have this opportunity for historic peace on the critical Peninsula. Pressure from China and the timing of the Olympics probably contributed as well.

But for readers of my age (73), this is not the first time North Korea has sounded reasonable and the South bit on their trick. In 2000 and 2007, similar break throughs were framed only to be followed by the North resuming its' nuclear program and attacking South Korean vessels killing 56 South Korean sailors. It is understood that South Korea would do almost anything to have the nuclear threat go away and enjoy the fruits of a unified country....finally. Trump is not known for his attention to details, and is prone to do almost anything for being given credit for his work. My guess is that Trump's good friends in Russia and maybe China are helping train Kim Jong Un on playing to Trump's massive ego. Like spreading an internet rumor that Trump will get the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on a settlement. As Trump would say, we'll see.

In the meantime, this veteran of service in Korea strongly suggests, Distrust and Verify.


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