Kim Jong Un, the tyrant threatening to bomb Washington is now a memory of the past – meet the new Kim, the international statesman
This Friday, the ruler of North Korea and the man widely predicted 7 years ago of not being capable to keep control of the most authoritarian state, will gently walk across the line that has divided the Korean Peninsula ever since 1953.
This Friday will mark the beginning of inter-Korean talks and camaraderie, events that have been hard to imagine until this very moment. Kim Jong Un is going to be welcomed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as well as by a military honor guard in traditional Korean costume playing the heart-rending song, Arirang.
This is quite a turnaround for a man such as Kim, who was bragging a few months ago about having a nuclear button on his desk, as well as powerful nuclear weapons that had the entire United States within range.
“He’s the master of the bold gesture,” said Gary Samore, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at Harvard’s Kennedy School
“We’ve almost forgotten the fact that he had his half-brother killed with a chemical weapon just last year and that he had his uncle ripped apart with antiaircraft guns.”
Indeed, Kim is far from having a clean image, and the image of him presented by the South Korean government has been far from being positive. We can’t help but wonder, is this a real change in the president’s behavior, or a secret plan in a detrimental direction? Perhaps we will understand more on Friday.