Time Is of the Essence as Storm Clouds Gather over the Korean Peninsula

Apr 17 2017 - In his observations of life cycles under the heavens, King Solomon of ancient Israel noted 14 dichotomies from birth and death to war and peace. His point was to show the world that God has a plan for everyone and that each cycle is an opportunity to realize that without Him it is impossible to discover lasting solutions to the problems of life and living on earth.

Here is how Solomon, regarded by bible scholars as the wisest man who ever lived, described the cycles of life (Tyndale Life Application Study Bible, New International Version):

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven:

“a time to be born and a time to die,
“a time to plant and a time to uproot,
“a time to kill and a time to heal,
“a time to tear down and a time to build,
“a time to weep and a time to laugh,
“a time to mourn and a time to dance,
“a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
“a time embrace and a time to refrain,”
“a time to search and a time to give up,
“a time to keep and a time to throw away,
“a time to tear and a time to mend,
“a time to be silence and a time to speak,
“a time to love and a time to hate,
“a time for war and a time for peace.”

Judging by the latest US military actions, Washington seems to have set the tone for belligerent days ahead, reflecting the confrontational stance of President Donald J. Trump, the elected leader of the most powerful nation in the world in terms of its economy and military might.

China’s foreign affairs ministry has noted the tit for tat between Pyongyang and Washington, labelling it a gathering of storm clouds over the stand-off between North Korea and the US, warning of how volatile the situation is, a situation that may soon precipitate an armed conflict between a belligerent Trump and an equally truculent North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

With the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group sailing towards the Korean Peninsula, China is scrambling to resolve the situation diplomatically, especially after Kim displayed his armaments in Pyongyang to mark the 105th anniversary of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the founding President of North Korea on Saturday. Apparently, Beijing, the backer of Pyongyang, does not want war raging in its own backyard. Especially since Trump’s mettle in dealing with provocations from recalcitrant states has been tested in the last two weeks after Washington unleashed 59 Tomahawk missiles in Syria and dropped a 21,000-lb non-nuclear bomb over Afghanistan.

South Korea will definitely be involved. A staunch ally of the US, the South hosts some 28,500 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed in 15 military bases. Japan’s National Security Council is now brainstorming how to evacuate some 57,000 Japanese citizens in the South, and deal with a new wave of boat people from North Korea washing up along its western coast should war break out.

Around 63,000 Filipinos live and work in South Korea. The Philippine government must start formulating strategies on how to evacuate its citizens from Seoul and other cities, so that when the time comes it will not be a time to mourn but a time for celebration for a country that takes care of its people, whoever and wherever they are in the world. Time is of the essence.

This story was originally published by The Manila Times, Philippines

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