The American policy is dictated by two traumatic events. The first was the failure to win the Korean war(1950-53) and the second the loss of South Vietnam to communist North after the US withdrew from there.The Americans maintain a significant military presence in Korea and 30,000 troops. They also conduct a regular military drill with South Korea troops. The scale of the exercise can be gauged from the fact that nearly 200,000 troops of the DRK take part.

The military exercise had been postponed in view of the winter Olympics.president Moon, however, was non-plussed when the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un extended a personal invitation to him to visit the North.

It was a masterstroke as Moon cannot accept the invitation without approval from the Trump and the USA. Despite the invitation, Newsweek has reported that the military drills will be held after the end of the Olympics.

Military drills

The announcement of the military drills has irked the North. It regards the military exercises as a rehearsal for an invasion of the North. The official Korean News agency the KCNA has condemned the move to have the exercise and warned that it is an act of trampling the " small sprout of peace" planted by Kim Yong- Un.

Moon hostage to US policy

South Korea and president Moon are hostages to US policy on the Korean peninsula. The Americans after a defeat in Vietnam do not trust the North and Kim. They also fear that the North will swallow the South in case they withdraw.

Thus a psychosis of fear is created, and Moon has practically little independence.The invitation by Kim to him to visit Pyongyang has surprised him as he never expected it. He also cannot accept it as policy in Korea is dictated by the USA. All his talk during the election campaign that he would go the extra mile and even visit North Korea for peace has been proved hollow.

Donald Trump had earlier said that under the right circumstances he was not averse to meeting Kim. This was a bold statement, and he probably expected that in case an invitation was to come it should have been extended to him. Probably he is miffed by this invitation to Moon because Kim Jong has studiously ignored him.

Future

The North considers the military drills as a provocation, but on US instigation the drills will be held even as the US Navy patrols the Korean waters with a view to intimidating Kim.The North Korean leader has shown to the world he is a deft diplomat and he is a reasonable man. The ball is effectively in the American, and South Korean court and president Moon will be wondering what to do. Probably he is in a quandary like Hamlet, wondering what to do.