Good Cop/Bad Cop
Moon Offers Pyongyang Peace Talks

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has extended an offer to his counterparts in Pyongyang for a meeting at Panmunjom, the site where the armistice was signed between the two countries, to try to de-escalate the crisis. The Wall Street Journal reports the Chinese are all thumbs-up about the initiative:

Beijing, an ally of Pyongyang’s, voiced support for Seoul’s proposal. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the effort is a step toward improving relations between the Koreas and easing regional tensions.

“We hope the two sides will move in a positive direction to create the conditions to break the stalemate and relaunch dialogue and negotiations,” the spokesman, Lu Kang, said at a media briefing in Beijing.

No word from the Norks yet as to whether they will consent—previous overtures by Moon have gone nowhere—but given China’s enthusiasm, maybe something comes of it this time. The Journal notes that President Trump OK’d the effort during Moon’s visit last month, and notes the stark contrast between Moon’s conciliatory rhetoric the vague threats (“some pretty extreme things”) coming out of the White House. Maybe the tired old routine works?

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