By Hugh Finlay
Although the press is avidly reporting the confrontation between the US and North Korea, there is another side to the story which is not reported. Behind the scenes both countries are taking measures to come to some agreement that will settle the conflict. In the US, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said "We continue to be interested in trying to find a way to get to dialogue, but that is up to him (Kim, the North Korean leader)." North Korea has not decided whether or not, to launch missiles in the direction of Guam, the big US base in the Pacific. The North Korean leader, Kim, is implying that a conflict between North Korea and the US can be avoided if the US does not go ahead with its "extremely dangerous reckless actions."
Moon, the South Korean leader wants a peaceful solution to the conflict, and is hoping that North Korea will discuss reducing its nuclear arsenal. He said " our government will put everything on the line to prevent another war in the Korean peninsula. Regardless of whatever twist and turns we could experience, the North Korean nuclear program should be absolutely be solved peacefully, and the (South Korean) government and the US government don't have a different position on this."
General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, visiting South Korea, sought to ease tensions about the situation, and there are unofficial reports of secret meetings between US and North Korean diplomats.
Meanwhile life goes on much as before, with tourists from China visiting North Korea every day. As one middle aged Chinese tourist said " I just want the sense of nostalgia, to see a country that is poor, like (China was) when I was young." In 2016, 8 million Chinese tourists visited North Korea. It is much less in 2017, but there is still a steady flow of tourists. As one tour guide put it "There have been quite a few tourists in my groups who say they want to see North Korea in its reclusive state while they can. It won't be the same if the regime collapses."
Since Kim's decision to hesitate firing the missiles, to see what the US will do, the Asian stock market has improved its share prices, a sign that people are feeling less alarmed. The value of the dollar has also risen. China is also keen to calm down the situation, with Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, saying that North Korea and the US need to "put the brakes" on exchanging challenging words.
"I'm reading between the lines that I don't see an imminent threat" said Ray Tenorio, the Guam Lieutenant Governor speaking at a press conference.