PSPD in English Peace/Disarmament 2012-07-26   2036

The 27 July Peace Declaration on the 59th year of the armistice agreement

The Choice of 2012 – Peace!
The 27 July Peace Declaration on the 59th year of the armistice agreement
It has been already passed 59 years since 27 July 1953 when the Korean War was ceased after leaving numberless deaths and inestimable property damages. Since then, the war was not officially terminated for more than half century in the Korean Peninsula. Due to mistrust and conflict between North and South Korea, many people were killed and wounded while material and psychological damage was also huge.
Most of all, military tension and conflict in and around the Korean Peninsula has reached its peak in the last few years. Rather than seeking peace and cooperation, North and South Korea are heading towards further conflict and dispute. The Korean Peninsula is becoming a battlefield where militarism and separation under the cliché cold war ideology. Dream to reconcile and cooperate is being vanished under the extreme military conflict. Instead of having a hope to make peacefully co-existing Northeast Asia, a nightmare of arms races and conflicts is emerging. 
Divided Korean society under the 59 years of ceasefire is gloomy and bleak. As financial crisis and socio-economic inequalities have become worse, most people, except few privileged groups, are living in misery. Under this circumstance, establishing a social safety net and social welfare system is the most crucial and urgent matter to be solved for national security.
Now, we must replace political, military hostilities and arms races to peaceful cooperation. We must use our resources, which has been consumed under the name of national security, to recover from financial crisis, restore economic democracy and secure a secure social safety net. We must cut military spending and use the money for social welfare. The State should not be negligent towards people’s safety and survival under unjustifiable reason for threats from outside. Cooperating North and South Korea will regenerate economic development. Establishing peace and cooperation among North and South Korea, and other countries in Northeast Asia is a way to solve financial crisis and survival strategy. 
Still, there are concerns that cooperation with North Korea will not work out or North Korea will never change its position. Some people believe that there is no need to have a serious conversation with North Korean government that is not able to extricate from difficulties. There are also many leftover problems from the cold war era that should be solved. 
However, what have we achieved in the last five years by containing and pressing North Korea with a confrontational position and act as if we are superior to North Korea? Hostility and military tensions have grown while opportunities to cooperate have vanished. The Korean Peninsula has become more unstable. Both North Korea that has been contained and South Korea that has taken a containment policy are suffering. Moreover, conflicts in the Korean Peninsula promote military tension in Northeast Asia, which will result negative impacts to the future of the region. 
Now, we should seriously reconsider the Korean Peninsula peace cooperation project which has not been attempted in the last 10 years since the June 15 Mutual Declaration between two Korea. By the 2012 Presidential election, and while commemorating 60 years of the ceasefire in 2013, we should open an era of peace and cooperation in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. We should not let the situation regress back to the old Cold War era, unlimited conflicts and military confrontation. 
Let’s make the Year 2013, the 60th year of ceasefire, a year to walk towards peace system. By the latest 27 July 2013, North and South Korea, and other related states should start discussion on ending the war and establish a permanent peace system. Therefore, the Korean Peninsula peace agreement should be realised and implemented during the next administration. 
The May 24 sanction should be lifted and exchange and cooperation between North and South Korea should be restarted. Peace unification should be promoted by restoring confidence-building and cooperation plan as stipulated in the June 15 Mutual Declaration between two Korea and the October 4 Declaration on the Advancement of South-North Korean Relations, Peace and Prosperity.
Nuclear weapon and military threats should be removed from the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia to establish peace. The Six-party talk should reopen immediately and the South Korean government should play a leading role in resolving nuclear problems and establishing peace system in Northeast Asia as agreed at the Six-party talk. 
Confrontation will bring another confrontation. The South Korean government should take a more mature and active position to refrain from provocation and conducting aggressive military drills. Dividing countries in the region by conducting Korea-Japan military cooperation or Korea-US-Japan military cooperation, which were not tried even in the Cold War era, should not be made without having full consent from its people. 
We appeal to people. Peace and cooperation is a surviving strategy and a way to open new Northeast Asia era by resolving vicious circle of conflict. We should move towards a democratic social welfare state and peace cooperation system. The Korean Peninsula is no more the area of conflict and dispute, but the area of peace cooperation where all countries in Northeast Asia, including North and South Korea, take lead on realising a vision of co-existence. 
By using the opportunity of the 2012 Presidential Election, let’s discuss and agree on this new state vision. Let’s choose the way to peace in addition to democracy and social welfare.
26 July 2012
The Choice of 2012 – Peace 
Participants to the 27 July Peace Declaration on the 59th year of the armistice agreement

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