According to a recent poll, 88 percent of the South Korean public viewed the recent peace summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a success. In addition, 65 percent of South Koreans trust Kim Jong-un on his pledge to denuclearize, and Moon Jae-in’s approval ratings have shot up to 86 percent. Broadly speaking, recent developments between North and South Korea have been met with widespread optimism and praise from the South Korean public.
Reading US media, one would hardly know any of this. As journalist Tim Shorrock noted last week in The Nation (5/2/18), the response in US media was the polar opposite to how these peace efforts are being received in South Korea. US pundits met the summit with faux-savvy skepticism, a combination of “nothing to see here” cynicism and suspicions that Trump was getting “played.” As Shorrock wrote:
“’Yada, yada, yada,’ the perennial hawk Max Boot wrote disparagingly in the Washington Post about the ‘Korea summit hype,’ adding that ‘there is very little of substance here.’ Similar hot takes were offered by Nicholas Kristof and Nicholas Eberstadt in the New York Times, Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, Robin Wright in the New Yorker, and Michael O’Hanlon in The Hill. Their doubts were repeated and amplified as gospel by the usual critics on cable TV.