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North Korea nuclear crisis

How Korea’s Moon Jae-in could teach Hong Kong politicians a thing or two about diplomacy

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 9:33am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 May, 2018, 9:33am

The image of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in crossing the demilitarised zone (DMZ) is an indelible one in the minds of many.

When Moon made his election promise to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, many were unconvinced he would succeed. But the South Korean president not only made a US-North Korea summit seem possible, he may have also defused the Pyongyang nuclear crisis, as he wove between Korea, the US and Japan, employing diplomatic tact to its fullest. 

Watch: North and South Korean leaders meet for historic peace summit

Now, let’s look at two recent Hong Kong political events. The first was Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheung Yuet-ngor’s contribution of HK$30,000 to the Democratic Party, which provoked mixed reactions. If seen as less than a smart move, at least it was a well-intentioned one. It could be the first step to thawing the relationship with the Democratic Party, thus facilitating cooperation and minimising future political strife.

Carrie Lam still has a mountain to climb despite pledges

The next event, which came as a shock, was Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung snatching a Security Bureau employee’s phone. His antics earned harsh criticism from both within and outside his political party. He is now facing Legislative Council censure and maybe even the loss of his seat. His quick temper has put him in harm’s way. 

Hui should know that we need to play hardball at times, but at others, we need to take a softer approach and try reconciliation, as Lam did. Either way, we must use our diplomatic skills wisely, as Moon has shown. 

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan