By M.A. Saki

Time ripe for Korean breakthrough

February 9, 2018 - 21:56

TEHRAN - A unique opportunity has been created for deescalating tension on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang on Friday sent a delegation - led by North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam - to Pyeongchang to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Kim and his entourage including Kim Yo-Jong, the sister of North Korean leader, were welcomed by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyun at Incheon International Airport.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is also going to have lunch with the pair - Kim Yong Nam and Kim Yo-Jong - on Saturday.

Now there are positive signs for a breakthrough in the turbulent relationship between Pyongyang and Seoul.

Anyone whose heart beats for peace on the peninsula extremely expects North and South Korea use this opportunity to set the stage for a rapprochement and hopefully a final reunification.

The Korean peninsula is a divided family and millions of people on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are wishing a reunification of this family.

The statue of two brothers in the war memorial in Seoul – a young boy from North Korea and a military officer from South Korea – who have hugged each other when they face each other during the 1950-53 Korean War speaks volumes about the injured feelings of hundreds of thousands of families.

Also, the photos of certain divided families from North and South Korea who were given an opportunity in the past years to meet each other will never be omitted from the memory of history.

Washington seems to be unhappy about the Pyongyang-Seoul engagement. The rhetoric by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who had attended the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics were in fact disruptive.

But President Moon has resisted pressure from the Trump administration by sending overtures to Pyongyang. Mr. Moon is well aware that in the event of a bloody conflict it is the Koreans who will suffer the most and not the United States which is very far away from the Korean peninsula.

Now it is extremely expected that the North Korean leader respond positively to the goodwill gesture of the South Korean president by starting the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and rob the opportunity from the United States who wishes to use the conflict in the region as a pretext to sell its weapons and maintain a military presence in East Asia.