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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Espoir et doute

Hope and Doubt

Translated Thursday 14 June 2018, by Patrick Apel-Muller

Hope and Doubt

Patrick Apel-Muller’s editorial.

The world is still hesitant to believe it. The Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un could put an end to a war that killed nearly three million people in three years and is still smouldering under the ashes.

The world is still hesitant to believe it. The Singapore meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un could put an end to a war that killed nearly three million people in three years and is still smouldering under the ashes. The most recent episodes have taken place around the buttons that trigger an atomic war, but for the past sixty-five years the tension has been maintained, imposing American order on the South and locking the North into withdrawal. In Seoul, the election of a new president, concerned about peace, changed the situation. Pyongyang seems ready to weigh its nuclear programme against the loosening of the vise that is plaguing its economy. Washington could no longer risk escalation and a unilateral strike. Donald Trump tries a bet to turn the situation around: appear as the first American president capable of breaking the deadlock.

Whatever the outcome in Singapore, the road ahead will be long. The denuclearization of the peninsula will be long, marked by steps and processes of verification. The temptation to raise bids will remain. It is to be welcomed that China, in the first place, and Russia, in the second place, are more than spectators of this play. These two great powers are already limiting each other’s clashes. Tomorrow, they are likely to accompany North Korea towards another development. Peace can therefore emerge victorious in the process that is under way and demonstration would have universal value in a world where the use of force has too much replaced diplomacy and the treatment of tensions at their roots.

Yet even before the historic handshake, doubt is reborn. Will a vindictive tweet hurt the Korean hope for peace? The recent episode of the G7, which signals the failure of Emmanuel Macron’s "papouille diplomacy", fuels concern.

Patrick Apel-Muller
Editorial Director of l’Humanité


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