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평화군축센터    한반도 평화를 위해 비핵군축운동을 합니다

  • English
  • 2004.09.10
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KOREA COMMITTEE FOR 2005 UN CONFERENCE ON

THE PREVENTION OF ARMED CONFLICT

4F, 38-84 Jangchoong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea

Tel: 82-2-2275-4860, Fax: 82-2-2275-4861

E-mail: cp-steer@cp.or.kr, Website: http://www.cp.or.kr

September 10, 2004

The Honorable Senator Richard G. Lugar

United States Senate

Washington, DC

Dear Senator Lugar,

We, member organizations and individuals of the South Korean process of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), would like to express our deep concern about the US House Resolution 4011 known as the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004. We are concerned about the resolution as it is directly related to the collective security and stability of the Korean peninsula. We have already witnessed its negative effect on South-North relations and the involvement of South Korean NGOs in humanitarian assistance to North Korea. We ask for your sincere consideration of our concerns as we point them out. We hope that the following points help you to make the decision to oppose the Act.

1. Six-party talks of the US, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, and Russia have been taking place to discuss nuclear issues in North Korea. The nuclear issue is a critical security concern to the Korean peninsula and neighboring countries as well as to the United States and its citizens. But the US House of Representatives did not consider the negative impact of the Act on the current six-party talks and passed it without debate. The Act will only damage US efforts to deal with nuclear issues in the setting of the talks and will prompt questions of consistency in the US foreign policy.

2. The US Congress did not consult with countries at stake such as China and South Korea, two countries that have been struggling to deal with issues of displaced North Koreans in China. China has been playing an important role in the talks and is opposed to refugee processing of North Koreans. South Korea has longstanding policies to resettle displaced North Koreans in South Korea but has been very careful in dealing with the issue, because of political sensitivity and the potential impact on the process of engaging North Korea. The Act is ignorant of South Korea’s efforts and the careful approach it has taken to the issue. We deeply regret that the US government, by passing the act, is again showing unilateralist tendencies and ignorance of other countries’ important and sensitive political issues.

3. The Act describes its purposes in Sec. 4. These purposes are the ultimate goals we have all been pursuing through diverse engagement activities. But we are sure that these purposes cannot be achieved without dialogue and cooperation with North Korea. The Act cannot, and will not, be helpful to secure North Korea’s cooperation. The Act advocates a confrontational approach in dealing with issues of displaced North Koreans. We know that the confrontational approach has been neither productive nor effective in dealing with politically sensitive issues in North Korea.

4. We strongly believe that the human rights situation in North Korea can be improved through the constant engagement of outside NGOs and government organizations. Since North Korea opened its country to the world community in 1995, there have been significant changes. This is in part thanks to the constant engagement and assistance of many countries and NGOs including the South Korean government and South Korean NGOs. Many visitors to North Korea have the change in people’s attitudes towards outsiders and even witness traces of a market economy in some places. It shows that engagement brings change and must be continued. The Act does not recognize this change; instead it advocates aggressive approaches to North Korean issues. It will cause significant damage to the engagement activities of many government and non-government organizations, and will eventually hamper change in North Korea.

According to our own experience in South Korea, unless there is involvement from insiders, outsiders cannot improve human rights. In addition, we believe that the most important, effective way to improve human rights in North Korea is to guarantee people’s right “not to be hungry.” We hope the US continues to show concern on human rights in North Korea and support humanitarian activities so that the general situation in North Korea is improved. We also hope that through these activities North Koreans will be empowered to deal with their own human rights issues with the support of the world community.

As mentioned above, we disagree with the Act in several places. Therefore, we strongly urge you to oppose this legislation.

Sincerely yours,

Korea Committee for 2005 UN Conference

for the Prevention of Armed Conflict



Participating organizations

Christian Institute for the Study of Justice and Development (한국기독교사회문제연구원)

Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice (경제정의실천시민연합 )

Civilian Movement for Correcting Japan-distorted Textbook (일본교과서바로잡기운동본부)

Korea Anabaptist Center (한국아나뱁티스트센터)

Korea Peace Forum (평화포럼)

Asia Peace and History Education Network (아시아평화와역사교육연대)

World Christian Frontiers (개척자들)

Peace Project Network (평화시민연대)

Korea Reunification Academy (통일교육문화원)

Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

(한국정신대문제대책협의회)

Korean Sharing Movement (우리민족서로돕기운동)

Lawyers for a Democratic Society (민주사회를 위한 변호사 모임)

Nonviolent Peacewave Korea (비폭력평화물결)

Northeast Asia Peace Movement (동북아평화연대)

Peacemaking Korea (평화만들기)

People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (참여연대)

Presbyterian Church of Korea Young Dung Po Urban Industrial Mission (영등포산업선교회)

Women Making Peace (평화를만드는여성회)

Participating individuals

CHUNG, Ju-Jin

KIM, Seung-Gook

PARK, Hyung-Joong

PARK, Sung-Yong
GPPAC
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