This week, news agencies featured many photos of two brothers who have been apart due to impassable barriers since the 1950s. The photos featured South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the first South Korean President to cross the border in 11 years, embrace the North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
A year ago, no one would believe that the leaders of the two countries would appear before cameras, side by side, given the presence of thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea and North Korea's defiance to U.S. President Donald Trump. The Trump factor is crucial at this point. As we can remember, President Trump posed in front of cameras with Kim Jong Un soon after he escalated tensions with North Korea to the point of declaring a war.
Although a desired agreement could not be achieved between the U.S. and North Korea, this initiative by the U.S. president seems to have encouraged South Korea to step up and seek a solution. However, it is certain that strong U.S. presence in South Korea will be questioned during meetings on the issue of nuclear weapons in North Korea. It can be contended that Washington is the only losing party of this rapprochement in diplomatic terms.
The Korean peninsula is not the only front Trump has lost during his term in office. The U.S. has also lost an important NATO ally, with whom it fought arm in arm against communism in the peninsula some 60 years ago. After the U.S. aided the terror groups Turkey has been fighting against, namely the PKK and its Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), and the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) who orchestrated the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, Ankara has leaned toward Moscow by questioning alliance relations with the U.S.
Turkey and Russia were on the brink of a great dispute only two years ago with the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov and the crisis of the downed Russian jet. These incidents and their transatlantic ties are still under scrutiny. Despite this, the two countries are currently arm in arm. Meeting several days ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin came to an agreement on the Idlib issue and expanded their zones of influence in northern Syria to the detriment of the U.S. Thus, the U.S., who did not attend the Astana process, are stuck east of the Euphrates with YPG militants in the Syrian field.
These developments are surely discrediting U.S. foreign policy.
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