Korea summit: Are Kim’s words sincere, or part of a ruse?

In another corner of the world it has continued.

On the Korean peninsula, it has festered on, dividing a nation and condemning millions to untold horror.

The man whose beaming smiles have cheered up our day with hopes of peace presides over one of the nastiest, most brutal repressive regimes ever to rule on Earth.

His family have condemned his people to labour camps in their millions, mass executions, brain washing on an industrial scale, and famines that have wiped out entire swathes of its impoverished population.

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The real significance of today’s inter-Korean summit is not that it could be the prelude to a meeting that may or may not happen between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

It’s more important than that, especially for the millions on the peninsula for whom it could be the beginning of the end of their conflict, that last relic of the Cold War.

For that to happen, Kim Jong Un must prove he is sincere.

The reason North Korea remained in a fossilised time warp while the rest of the world moved on is simply put.

The Kims did not want to give up power.

To do so they have perpetrated and perpetuated a terrible fraud on an entire nation.

Life in their country, North Koreans have been told for generations, is so much better that in the capitalist outside world – and that world is out to destroy them.

They have used that myth to enslave their people.

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In the 1990s South Korean soap operas started filtering into the North on VHS cassettes.

North Koreans could see for themselves that life was in fact better.

When the authorities found out what was going on they used a simple method to flush out the problem.

They turned the power off in entire villages, then went door to door to inspect VHS players looking for the banned video cassettes trapped inside.

The guilty were hauled off to labour camps.

The ruling Kim dynasty has used the mythical threat of an American attack to justify a nuclear programme their poor nation could not afford.

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The cost to its people has been truly horrendous.

In famines millions have starved.

Anyone who has questioned the regime’s monumental lies has been carted off to labour camps, most never to return, often along with their entire families.

Sir David Warren, former British ambassador to Japan, told Sky News it is important to remember what kind of regime we are dealing with in North Korea:

“The Kim family have sacrificed the interests, the security the prosperity of their people,” he said.

“They have starved their people in pursuit of military and political gains. They have assassinated South Koreans and North Korean politicians and family members both at home and abroad. They have the most disgusting human rights record imaginable.

“And we must not forget that.”

But that can all change if this Kim really is different.

If he wants, he can open up his country, reform its economy, stop spending money it does not have on a dangerous nuclear weapons programme, and ultimately relinquish his evil dynasty’s grip on power.

He may be sincere in his words, or they may be part of a ruse.

The fear is Kim Jong Un’s real intention is to divide and rule.

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His nuclear brinkmanship has prompted neighbours and great powers to impose crippling sanctions.

He may feel he needs to fracture that coalition to survive.

If he is not forced to give up his nuclear weapons and do so verifiably, he can resort to the same dangerous tactics in future again.

In his meeting with the enigmatic young dictator, Donald Trump will need to be convinced he is not being taken for a ride.

Is this Kim sincere in his commitment to end the conflict and can he be confident his regime can survive the peace?

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