Nobody, least of all the American press, attributes Kim Jong-un - the ruler of North Korea - with any intellectual abilities. He is consistently painted as a reckless young man who does not know the nuances of power. In the east, however, many are unsure and, instead, feel that Kim may be young but that he knows the ropes.

He has now surprised the world and South Korea by extending an invitation to the South Korean president Moon Jae-in to visit the North. The invitation was hand delivered by his sister who is heading the North Korean delegation at the winter Olympics.

CNN has also reported that the invitation was extended by the sister of Kim at a meeting with president Moon in the presidential palace at Seoul.

The invitation

The invitation shows that Kim is a shrewd man and has an intelligent set of advisors. The invitation has taken the wind out of the sails of the US-South Korea propaganda campaign hell-bent on showing the North as a state determined to defy the UN and wanting to provoke a war. The invitation has put president Moon in a quandary as there is no denying the fact that the USA hold all the trump cards; he cannot accept this invitation without agreement from "Uncle Sam".

Moon had earlier talked about going to North Korea at any time for a peace settlement, but now he has given a muted response and hinted that North Korea should talk to the USA.

Obviously, the USA will not let Moon go to Pyongyang, for the simple reason that all the rhetoric built up by Trump and his advisors against Kim will collapse like a pack of cards. So much for the oft-repeated statement that South Korea is a "free" nation.

Wedge between the allies

The BBC has reported that this invitation is an attempt by Kim Jong to drive a wedge between the USA and South Korea.

Whilst this is probably true, credit must go to Kim for taking the bull by the horns. The Americans, particularly Donald Trump would have liked the invitation to be extended to him and not to Moon which would have given Trump brownie points in his battle against North Korea. It must be said however, that Moon will not dare to go to Pyongyang until the visit is cleared by the USA for the simple reason that the South has become a hostage to US policy in Eastern Asia.

Stark reality

The invitation by Kim is also an attempt by him to show the world that he is a reasonable man and that he considers the North to be a nuclear power. Despite all attempts by the USA, Kim has been successful in entering the nuclear powers' club which he feels is a deterrent against an American invasion. One cannot fault him for this, as one has seen that Saddam was overthrown and Syria attacked because they had no means of retaliation against the USA. What if Saddam had an A-Bomb up his sleeve? Would the USA have invaded Iraq?