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평화군축센터    한반도 평화를 위해 비핵군축운동을 합니다

  • English
  • 2003.12.30
  • 445
The Bush administration didn't suggest any tangible solutions to resolve the nuclear tension with North Korea, but repeatedly urged North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program unconditionally. Washington failed to narrow the gap regarding the issue of who must act first, thus the hope for a second round of six-party talks within the year has vanished.

The Bush administration should be blamed for its insincere negotiations and for ignoring North Korea's urging that both should act upon agreements simultaneously. The administration continued to insist that the North dismantle all nuclear facilities. Last week Pyongyang called for corresponding actions to the dismantlement of nuclear weapons program, but Washington refused to respond and showed no progress since the first round of six-party talks. Seoul and Beijing previously strove to organize to a meeting this year and prepared a joint proposal that contained (i) peaceful resolution of North Korea's nuclear crisis, (ii) abandonment of hostile attitudes of both North Korea and the US, (iii) North Korea's willingness to freeze its nuclear weapons program, (iv) neighboring countries' willingness to document the guarantee of North Korea's security, and (v) agreement on regular talks. However, the Bush administration continues to take a hard-line attitude on the issue of who must act first.

This makes us suspicious on Washington's will to resolve nuclear crisis. As the Bush administration continuously demands North Korea's dismantlement of all nuclear facilities before actual negotiation, this leaves us to see it as an apparent intent to delay the talks. Though the United States still remains committed to six-party talks, it hasn't suggested any single initiatives to resolve the dispute with North Korea. Suspicion is high in Korea that the Bush administration holds the talk merely as an excuse to cover its hostility toward North Korea.

It is unfortunate that the sustained cooperation between Seoul and Washington regarding the scrapping of all nuclear facilities has only resulted in intensifying Bush's pressure on North Korea. In order to keep sustainable cooperation, the Korean government should persuade the Bush administration to back down its demand on North Korea and offer viable options. Doubts are constantly raised towards the effectiveness of President Roh's diplomacy in bringing any success in this regard. There is a growing skepticism towards the validity of Seoul's uncritical loyalty to the ROK-US alliance when one side, the US, keeps on heightening military tension in the region against the interest the other side, South Korea. The fact that last week's preparatory negotiations of the six-party talks, aimed at crafting a joint statement, stalled surely illustrates the limit of ROK-US alliance.

The Roh government should act based on broader perspective of peace building. First, let the Bush administration know their approach doesn't help resolve the issue. The US needs to cooperate more actively with participating countries. To resume the six-party talks, North Korea's abandonment of nuclear facilities and Washington's guarantee of North Korea's security should be declared simultaneously. The South Korean government should ask North Korea to freeze its nuclear facilities and missile experiment and, in the mean time, show our willingness to compensate the lost electric power as an expense for peaceful reunification. At the same time the South Korean government should ask the United States to relieve its economic sanctions against North Korea as well.

The government must not stick to the idea that the settlement of the nuclear crisis will settle every problem. Nuclear issue should not be used as a barrier to the progress of reconciliation between South and North. The government should focus both resolution of nuclear crisis and reconciliation of two Koreas, just as Roh himself claimed at his presidential election.
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