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PSPD  l  People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Peace/Disarmament
  • 2018.04.16
  • 660

Propose four principles in respect to South-North Korean summit for spring of the peace in Korean Peninsula


16 April 2018


“Here comes the spring”. Expectation is very high on the peace of Korean Peninsula which used to be called a tinderbox in East Asia. Passing through a long tunnel of confrontations and anxieties, South and North Korean leaders will meet on 27 April.


Moon Jae-in government has advanced towards the peace in Korean Peninsula since it started sailing. As Inter-Korean and North Korea-US summit are realized after various endeavors, new imagination and bold approach are required to make this opportunity to resolve armistice system and nuclear threat, to improve South-North relation and for a true start of the peace in East Asia.


Fundamental frame of comprehensive mutual agreement was prepared in the joint statement made on 19 September 2005 in regard to armistice system in Korean Peninsula, nuclear dispute and enhancing the peace cooperation in East Asia. However, it is necessary to take more proactive and comprehensive approach which both parties can trust because there were distrust and dispute regarding implementation and accordingly conflict on nuclear missile and military instability got worsened.


Therefore, civil and social organizations hereby politely propose Moon administration to adhere to stance and principles in inter-Korean summit and Korean Peninsula diplomacy as follows.  


First, find a comprehensive solution to connect converting armistice into peace system and normalizing NK -US relation with North Korea’s giving up on nuclear weapons. 

To essentially approach to resolution measures, it is necessary to understand nuclear dispute in Korean Peninsula is a part of unstable armistice system. As it is known widely, nuclear problem in Korean Peninsula is related to confrontation persisted for more than decades and it is a part of arms race so that problems have been accelerated while North Korea has tried to overcome inferior conventional military capability and pursed ‘Strategy to form Asymmetry Deterrence’. Hence, it is important to understand and take an approach that making Korea a nuclear-free is closely related with trust-building in terms of military, resolving armistice system, establishing peace system and normalizing the relations. Agenda on nuclear-free Korean Peninsula is not a prerequisite to signing on peace treaty but must be discussed at the same time. In this context, negotiations of concerned states in order to conclude peace treaty and to normalize North-US and North-Japan relations must take place spontaneously with or prior to bilateral or multilateral talks for resolving nuclear problem in Korean Peninsula. 


Second, discussions on nuclear-free Korea must have a vision to make Korean Peninsula or Northeast Asia a nuclear-free-zone.

Nuclear crisis in Korean Peninsula can’t be resolved fundamentally solely by denuclearization of North Korea. Nuclear missile conflict in Korea is a part of nuclear missile conflict in East Asia being deeply connected with Non-Proliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament in the world. Therefore, talks must seek fundamental and comprehensive solution for North Korea to abandon nuclear program and to eliminate all kinds of nuclear threats on Korea. The most effective measure to remove nuclear threat is to construct nuclear-free-zone starting in Korean Peninsula and spreading out to Northeast Asia encouraging global talks on nuclear disarmament towards nuclear free world. Hence, issue of nuclear umbrella over Korea and Japan should be included in negotiation agenda to eventually resolve nuclear conflict. Furthermore, the measure to have South and North Korea, US, China and Japan jointly sign on TPNW (UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons) should be reviewed positively. 


Third, establish a system to expand dialogue and cooperation of South and North Korea such as holding regular summit and set up an ordinary consultative organization to secure various civil exchange and cooperation.

Peace in Korean Peninsula can be accomplished by excluding one-sided unification which one absorbs the other, respecting each other’s system, building the trust on military, signing mutual non-aggression, and promoting reconciliation and cooperation. The basic solutions are to make summit a regular event and to adopt a stable system in which South and North Korea can cooperate in terms of military, economy and civil exchange. In this process, role of civilian is very important as much as government. Civil exchange and cooperation must be activated and civilians have to participate actively as an interested party in policy making for the peace of Korean Peninsula and its implementation. 5.24 sanction should be removed and humanitarian aid needs to be resumed. Multi-dimensional interactions and business cooperation must be renewed including family reunion, Gaesung industrial park and Keumkang mountain tour.  As agreed in 10.4 declaration in 2007 and at the first talk of prime ministers of both sides, ‘Committee to promote social and cultural cooperation of South and North Korea’ should be established as soon as possible. By setting up a joint secretariat office, general consultation path should be prepared for civil interactions. Furthermore, the government must include civil society in the process of inter-Korean and foreign policy making and it is also urgent to build a stable system to achieve social consensus.  


Last, the most basic measure will be for South, North Korea and the US to stop all the military actions aiming at each other while talks are in progress. 

North Korea made a promise at the inter-Korean agreement on 5 March that it would not resume strategic provocative actions such as additional nuclear test and testing bullet missile as long as talks take place and conventional weapons would not be used against South Korea either. Key Resolve / Foal Eagle, a joint military drill of South and US forces in Korea has started for this year but North Korea said to have no intention to make an issue out of it. Nevertheless, aggressive exercise such as simulation of occupying the North can provide an excuse to military conflict and tension any time. Not only for upcoming summit but also for continuing the engine to dialogue and negotiate, South, North Korea and US have to respect each other and build a trust. While talks are in progress, it will be the most basic thing to do to stop all kinds of military action. Therefore, South and US governments have to consider halting Ulchi Freedom Guardian military drill scheduled in the latter half of this year.


It would not be the paved road to dialogue and negotiate since ties had been severed for long. Therefore, it is very important to make a comprehensive agreement at upcoming inter-Korean and North-US summit for the peace of Korean Peninsula. Proposal on principles are made with such aspiration and anticipations that we hope they are positively taken into consideration.


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번역: 함승연 (참여연대 평화군축센터 자원활동가)

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