Monday, April 30, 2018

Korean Agreement

As many of you know by now, last Friday it was in the news that the leader of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, and the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, met and agreed to officially end the Korean war. They also agreed to work for complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

This is a agreement of intent. The actual end of the Korean war and the full details of the agreement are yet to be worked out. But the leaders of North and South Korea agreed to work out an agreement to end the Korean war and denuclearize the Korean peninsula by the end of this year.

The Korean war started in 1950. In 1953 an armistice was signed and the fighting stopped, but that was not a peace treaty, and technically North Korea and South Korea have been at war ever since.

So this agreement is an agreement to negotiate a formal end to the war.

North Korea has agreed to negotiate a denuclearization of both Koreas. On the surface, this may seem to indicate that North Korea is willing to give up its nuclear weapons. But North Korea in the past has insisted that South Korea give up its alliance with the United States. Since the United States is committed to the defense of South Korea, and the United States is a nuclear power, it may be that North Korea will insist that the alliance between the United States and South Korea be ended before it gives up its nuclear weapons. I think this is unlikely.

Nevertheless, this agreement seems to be a step forward in lessening tensions between North Korea and its neighbors, including Japan and the United States.

In evaluating the chances that this will lead to real peace between North and South Korea and the removal of nuclear weapons from North Korea, it is important to have a balance. There are difficulties ahead, and an agreement to reach an agreement isn't the same as a final agreement. But we should not go to the opposite ditch and assume this has no value at all. I think there is a real chance for North Korea to reach an agreement with South Korea and the United States to give up its nuclear weapons in return for an end to economic sanctions and a pledge by South Korea and the United States not to attack North Korea.

South Korea credits President Trump with helping to bring about this meeting. Trump also plans to personally meet with the leader of North Korea at a later time.

If there is one thing Donald Trump is skilled at, it is negotiation. He is not likely to be deceived and taken advantage of during the course of future negotiations for the removal of nuclear weapons from North Korea and an official end to the Korean war. He has spent his life making business deals, and he can be a tough negotiator, but also a successful one.

Time will tell how this will work out.

This can have a political effect in the United States that affects how long the Church will have an open door for preaching the gospel.

If the American public views this as a positive development, and if they credit President Trump with a positive accomplishment, this can help his approval ratings and popularity.

The news media loves to criticize President Trump because he does not share the media's liberal agenda. But their focus almost always seems to be on his rhetoric - what he says - not what he does. But his decisions and actions are more important than his words, and he has made some good decisions. The Korean meeting and agreement is an example of what he can accomplish.

If this helps to boost his popularity and the popularity of the Republican party - or at least reduce his unpopularity - that can affect future elections, including the congressional elections coming up later this year.

In short, this can be a blow against the liberals who want to destroy religious freedom and freedom of speech in this country - freedoms we need to preach the gospel to the public. The fewer liberals elected to Congress, the less chance there is that Congress will pass laws restricting our freedom to live as Christians and preach the gospel any time soon. If President Trump is re-elected to the presidency in 2020, that also will help us continue to have the open door of freedom of religion, speech, and the press.

So this can be a good development for the Church of God and for our mission of preaching the gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel.

It may mean we will have more time to finish our mission. Eventually, the door will close and there will be a famine of the word, but that time has not come yet.

We need to take advantage of the freedom we have while we have it. We need to be zealous, diligent, and active in preaching the true gospel to the world and the Ezekiel warning to Israel of the coming tribulation to fall up the nations of Israel as punishment for their sins if Israel doesn't repent.

The Church of God has an open door, if we are willing to go through it.