Já vimos este filme antes: foi uma partida de tênis de mesa que abriu as portas da República Popular da China para os Estados Unidos, nos idos de ’71. Kissinger, no seu livro “On China”/”Sobre a China”, lembrou que num dia de abril de 1971, os jovens atletas americanos que participavam do time de tênis de mesa, se encontraram diante do Chanceler chinês Zhou Enlai, no Grande Palácio do Povo, e escutaram dele a frase: “vocês abriram um novo capítulo nas relações entre os povos chinês e norte-americano”. Foi o começo de tudo…
Estaria a História nos ensinando hoje a mesma lição com as Olimpíadas de Inverno em Pyeongchang, na Coreia do Sul?
Vamos aos fatos: o Presidente Moon Jae-in tem um longo compromisso em favor da reaproximação entre as duas Coreias; desde os tempos em que foi assessor direto do Presidente Roo Moo hyun (2003/8), que apoiava com fervor a reaproximação entre as duas vizinhas, e foi um grande defensor da que foi a tentativa mais arrojada de reconciliação entre as duas nações irmãs: a “Sunshine Policy”. Lançada em 1998, por seu antecessor – e amigo-, o Presidente Kim Dae-jong, juntamente com o líder norte-coreano Kim Jong-il, ela perdurou, aos “trancos e barrancos”, up until 2008. Por sua “ousadia”, Kim Dae-jung foi, by the way, recompensado com o Prêmio Nobel da Paz, in 2000.
Os tempos mudaram, e chegamos ao ano de 2006, quando, num belo dia – mais precisamente, à 01h30 da manhã do dia 09 of October -, Kim Jong-il autorizou a realização do primeiro teste nuclear norte-coreano. Por quê? Segundo matéria do alemão “Der Spiegel”, naquele momento: “…the logic of the regime in Pyongyang? Only the bomb can protect the country from the Americans, who have never before in history attacked a nuclear power…”
Iniciava-se mais um ciclo de distanciamento entre as Coreias, e a historia continuou de forma ainda mais ameaçadora com o filho e herdeiro político de Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, conforme temos acompanhado quase que quotidianamente pelo noticiário internacional.
Eleito Presidente da Coreia do Sul no ano passado, na esteira do impedimento de sua predecessora, Park Geun-hye, Moon reencontrou a possibilidade de reescrever a história entre as duas irmãs. However, diante da realidade geopolítica e política vigente na região atualmente, ele se sente compelido, ao que parece, a “acender uma vela para Deus e outra para o Diabo”. That is, ainda que convencido da viabilidade desta reaproximação, ele é refém, mais do que nunca do “guarda-chuva” protetor dos EUA e dos ânimos revoltosos em Washington. Like this, ele não teria, numa primeira leitura, a liberdade de se engajar num processo de conciliação sem as “bênçãos” do protetor.
It will be???
Interessa a todos os seus poderosos vizinhos regionais, sobretudo à “madrinha” China uma composição que evite o pior. A Rússia, also, às voltas com a “questão síria”, no seu flanco sul, não teria (?) “fôlego” para lidar simultaneamente com os confrontos a seu leste. Like this, seriam as duas as primeiras a “abençoar” a distensão que se está esboçando na região; os japoneses, also, alvos mais próximos de um exercício – ou mesmo ataque – nuclear. E o mundo, generally, of course.
Os norte-coreanos já deram um sinal positivo eloquente: liderará a delegação oficial de Pyongyang ninguém menos que Kim Yo-jong, a irmã preferida – e principal conselheira – de Kim Jong-un. E as equipes dos dois países atuarão juntas! O esperado encontro dela com o Presidente Mon já é considerado histórico pelos analistas. Segundo se soube, ela deverá entregar uma carta de seu irmão ao anfitrião, que segundo alguns, sinalizaria a sua intenção de se reaproximar de seu vizinho. Tratando-se de quem se trata, é sempre necessário muita prudência, of course. Tudo é possível. Mas também surge espaço para a esperança. Tanto que o governo japonês anunciou que o Primeiro-Ministro Shinzo Abe deverá comparecer à cerimônia de inauguração!!! Sinal dos tempos…
E a pergunta que não quer se calar: e agora, D.T.?
A matéria do “The Guardian” trata de tudo isto:
Winter Olympics bring peace to Korean peninsula – for now
Pyeongchang’s underground evacuation centres symbolise fears for the worst, but Kim Jong-un has cooled his rhetoric
Dotted among the ski slopes, ice rinks and bobsled tracks of the Winter Olympic venues in Pyeongchang are huge underground evacuation centres. The exact locations are a secret, but they symbolise the fear felt by South Korean officials as they worked on the site of the Games, just 50 miles (80km) from the North Korean border.
Since the turn of the year, however, there has been an extraordinary rapprochement between the North and South. This week, a cruise ship carrying North Korean musicians, singers and dancers docked in South Korea, part of a 500-strong delegation sent by Pyongyang for the Games, which start on 9 February.
The performers follow officials and athletes who have already crossed the most militarised border in the world. The delegation attending the opening ceremony includes Kim Yong-nam, a 90-year-old political veteran and speaker of the North’s parliament, who is the highest-ranking official to visit the South since 2014.
A surprise announcement during North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s address set the stage for a significant cooling of tensions, and now the focus has shifted from potential doom to maintaining the first signs of dialogue in years.
“North Korea is trying to break out of the increasing international hostility they face, the isolation and the sanctions. The Olympics is a chance to present a different face to the world,” says James Hoare, a former British diplomat who previously served as the UK representative in Pyongyang.
“There’s also an element where they want to try to drive a wedge between the Americans and the South Koreans, and they saw an opportunity to accomplish that with [South Korean president] Moon Jae-in.”
Donald Trump has been noncommittal on continuing to support dialogue after the Games, and last month reportedly rejected a candidate for US ambassador to South Korea over his refusal to support military strikes against Pyongyang.
Mike Pence, the vice-president, will lead a US delegation, and the White House has said his presence is aimed at diminishing the propaganda value for the North.
“Moon hopes he can turn the inter-Korea talks he’s establishing with the Olympics into direct talks between North Korea and the United States,” says Jo Dong-joon, a politics professor at Seoul National University. “But there’s little hope of long-term progress, since there is so little common ground between the US and North Korea.”
“Unfortunately, once the Paralympics is over, military exercises in South Korea with the US will resume, and we’ll likely go back to the old cycle of tensions rising and falling.”
The Paralympics end on 18 March and the first series of joint combat exercises scheduled for this year will reportedly begin in late April.
South Korea’s openness to the North has also exposed officials to criticism at home, and Moon’s popularity has dropped to 67%, according to a Gallup Korea poll, his second-lowest ever. Younger South Koreans dismiss North Korean athletes as having been born with a nuclear spoon in their mouth, securing preferential treatment due to Kim’s weapons programme.
Another common refrain, typically heard among the older generation, is that hatred of the Kim regime should not extend to the athletes, who are themselves trapped.
“Many people in South Korea, especially the younger generation, are angry that North Korean athletes get to join at the last minute and see it as very unfair,” says Youngmi Kim, an expert on Korean politics at the University of Edinburgh. “The South’s government knows they can’t change the North Korean regime, but with a policy of engagement, they hope they can at least open the eyes of a few in the North to the wider world.”
A particularly thorny issue has been women’s ice hockey, where the North and South will field a combined team at the expense of some South Korean athletes who had to give up their spots.
The team has also exposed a few fundamental differences between the two peoples, who have been divided for over 70 years. Players from the North and South use different words for terms like “pass” and “shoot”, Kim says, with South Koreans using English terms and North Koreans deploying pure Korean words.
And while the North’s participation in the Games has soothed most fears over security, it has also created new ones. When North Korean officials arrived in Seoul last month, far-right protesters burned images of Kim Jong-un and some fear South Korean extremists may try to attack North Korean athletes or performers.
As many as 60,000 security personnel and soldiers will be out in force each day during the Games, twice as many as in Rio de Janeiro, a far more dangerous city when it comes to violent crime.
North Korean agents bombed a Korean Air flight, killing all 115 people on board, before the last Olympics in Seoul in 1988 in an effort to scare international teams. But 30 years later, the North’s participation means there is little chance of outright aggression.
“If the North Koreans did anything against the Games themselves, it would be seen as an attack on the international community, and would hurt their relations with China and Russia, which have been very supportive of late,” says Euan Graham, director of the international security programme at the Lowy Institute in Australia.
“They could provoke in other ways: the North Koreans could probably get away with a satellite test launch, maybe a ballistic missile test, but I don’t think they would go further than that.
“The North has a huge propaganda opportunity here – any provocations would ultimately be raining on their own parade,” he said.