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평화군축센터    한반도 평화를 위해 비핵군축운동을 합니다

A Joint Letter
of the representatives of the civil society organizations in South Korea
to the U.S. Secretary of State Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton

February 18, 2009


We, the representatives of the civil society in South Korea,
congratulate Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton on assuming the post of Secretary of State,
welcome her first official visit to Korea
and take this opportunity to present our policy concerns and suggestions
on the matters of U.S. policy orientation towards North Korea,
the development of the Korea-U.S. alliance,
and aspirations for peace in the Korean Peninsula.


1. As we extend our support to the position of the U.S. Administration to pursue a complete and verifiable resolution of the North Korean nuclear issues through tough and direct diplomacy, we propose adoption of a comprehensive approach towards a package settlement aimed at the North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons program, the normalization of bilateral relations between the U.S. and North Korea, and the institution of a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula.

2. On the basis of our conviction that the Korea-U.S. alliance need to evolve into a “peace-maker” from the long-held role of “peace-keeper”, we call for the phase-out of the traditional focus on military exercise and arms build-up in the Korean Peninsula, and in its stead, the adoption of a new policy emphasis on military confidence building and arms control.

3. We look to the U.S. to exert efforts for the effective resolution of humanitarian concerns in North Korea, such as human rights issues and food shortage. At the same time, we suggest that all efforts need to be directed at enabling North Korea to develop the capacity to address these challenges by herself. This could be propelled forward by improvements in the relations between the U.S. and North Korea.
Dear Madam Secretary,

We would like first to congratulate you on assuming the helm of the Department of State as its 67th Secretary. We, who represent the civil society in South Korea committed to achieving peace and reconciliation in the Korean Peninsula and the world, are confident that your work as the U.S. Secretary of State would contribute greatly to realizing world peace and international cooperation. We also welcome wholeheartedly your visit to Korea in your first official tour since assuming your office.

The civil society of South Korea holds high expectation of the vision of “a world without nuclear weapons” elucidated by the Obama Administration and its willingness to “resolve conflicts through diplomatic efforts”. The policy orientation set forward by the new U.S. Administration, we are certain, augurs well for the realization of a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. We would also like to express our wholehearted support for the bold and flexible posture set out by President Obama and yourself to pave the path toward peace through dialogue with all parties concerned, including leaders of hostile states. On the basis of our confidence that the new U.S. policy toward Korean Peninsula will guide the course towards resolution of the “North Korean nuclear issues” and the establishment of peace in the Korean Peninsula, we would like to share with you a number of policy considerations.

First, we extend our support for the position of the U.S. Administration to pursue a “complete and verifiable resolution” of the North Korean nuclear issues through “tough and direct diplomacy” under the guidance of your leadership. North Korea and the U.S. have, since adopting the historic Agreed Framework (1994) and US-DPRK Joint Communiqué (2000), mislaid the opportunity to achieve a resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and normalization of relations. Recent statements and actions of North Korea, which give rise to concern, may, however, be taken as a clear expression on its part, mindful of the new Administration in the U.S., of the intention to engage in active and expedited negotiations, not to allow the historic opportunity slip away once again.

In view of the motivations of North Korea in embarking on a nuclear development program and the complexity of the course towards a complete denuclearization, a conclusive resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue involves more than the dismantling of the nuclear weapons program, but also, more importantly, security guarantees for North Korea and confidence building between North Korea and the U.S. We extend our fullest support for your statement (at the Asia Society before embarking on your inaugural foreign trip) of the Obama Administration’s willingness regarding North Korea’s complete and verifiable elimination of the nuclear weapons program, for the normalization of bilateral relations between the U.S. and North Korea, and the replacement of the armistice agreement with a permanent peace treaty in the Korean peninsula. We note with welcome that your statement corresponds to the third step process of the denuclearization efforts, indicating an active and flexible diplomatic approach appropriately adopted by the new Administration. We believe strongly that a comprehensive approach towards a package settlement aimed at the North Korea’s abandonment of its nuclear weapons program, the normalization of bilateral relations between North Korea and the U.S. and the establishment of a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula would prove to be the most effective course for the achievement of denuclearization on Korean Peninsula.

We also agree fully with you on the usefulness of the Six-Party Talks, and we look forward to creative bilateral encounters to pave the way towards a comprehensive approach. The Six-Party Talks would need to evolve beyond North Korean nuclear issues, as a vehicle for the normalization of bilateral relations between North Korea and the U.S. and between North Korea and Japan, the establishment of peace in the Korean Peninsula, and the framework for new regional cooperation in Northeast Asia.

Second, the Korea-U.S. alliance now faces the challenge of evolving beyond the role of peace-keeper towards becoming a peace-maker. The ROK-U.S. alliance has been intent on a stable management of the armistice regime based on a military capacity that was overly sufficient to deter North Korea. The maintenance of the alliance mainly as a military instrument focused on military security with North Korea as its main target, however, is now becoming anachronistic. The Korea-U.S. alliance could turn into a positive force for regional stability and the mutual concerns of the peoples of the both countries if it were made into a vehicle for military confidence building and arms control, abandoning the traditional preoccupation with military exercise and arms buildup.

Korea and the U.S. share a common commitment to achieve a peaceful world order where terrorism would not find a footing. The war against terrorism pursued by the previous U.S. Administration was so intent on retaliating against terrorist acts without a firm grounding in legitimate international law and a wide-ranging support of the international community, that it left not too few damaging side-effects. The civil society of South Korea calls for well-rounded peaceful approach to eradicate terrorism based on the consent of the authoritative international organizations, such as, the United Nations, international law, and cooperation of the concerned countries.

Third, we would like to call you, Madam Secretary, to turn attention to the effective resolution of the humanitarian concerns in North Korea, such as human rights issues and food shortage. The most effective and long-lasting way to achieve improvements in human rights and food shortage in North Korea, we believe, lies in enabling North Korea to be capable of addressing these concerns. Opportunity for this could be found in facilitating North Korea to engage fully with the international community and learn the norms and practices on the basis of normalizations of relations between North Korea and the international community, including the U.S. Sustained humanitarian support in the course of working with North Korea could, we are certain, promote positive change in North Korea’s outlook. Given the importance of humanitarian support for the improvement of the survival conditions of North Korean people and in building confidence between North Korean and the international community, it is vital that all existing restriction on humanitarian aid to North Korea is lifted immediately. We believe, also, that the conclusive resolution of North Korean nuclear issue through a comprehensive package settlement would also institute a favorable environment for significant improvement in human rights in North Korea.

Finally, we would like to reiterate the importance of South-North Korea cooperation in the course towards achieving a conclusive resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of a “peace regime” in the Korean Peninsula. Herein lies the reason for our belief in the importance of respecting and implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration (2000) and the October 4 Summit Accord (2007) adopted by South and North Korea.

We sincerely wish all the best for you in your relentless efforts to end conflicts and to bring freedom and justice to flower all over the world. You can rely on us to do our part and to help you in this effort. We look forward, also, to work with you as you undertake comprehensive and astute diplomatic efforts, garnering constructive international cooperation, to bring about a conclusive resolution of North Korean nuclear issue and the establishment of peace in the Korean peninsula.

We wish you all the best.


Submitted by the following,


AHN Jae Woong     Executive Director, Work Together Foundation,
BAIK Seung Hun     President, MINBYUN-Lawyers for a Democratic Society
CHEON Jun Ho      Co-representative, KYC
CHO Hee-Yeon      Dean of United Graduate School, Sungkonghoe University
CHO Young-hee        Representative, Women Making Peace
CHOI Seung Kook     Secretary General, Green Korea United
CHUNG Dae-hwa     Professor, Sangji University 
CHUNG Hyunback     Professor, SungKyunKwan University
CHUNG Sang Mo     Chairman, The Cultural Institute for The Peaceful Nationalism
CHUNG Wook-sik     Representative, Peace Network
David Kwang-sun Suh  Professor emeritus of Theology, Ewha Womans University
HA Seung Chang  Chairman of Steering Committee, Civil Society Organizations Network in Korea
Fr. HAM Sei-ung    President, Korea Democracy Foundation
HONG Seongtae     Professor, Sangji University
HWANG Insung     Board member, Tongilmazi, People Building One-Corea
JOO Jang-Hwan     Professor, Hanshin University
KIM Je Nam      Director of Policy Committee, Green Korea United
KIM Min-young  General Secretary, PSPD (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
KIM Sangkeun  Chair of the South Korean, All-Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15 Joint Declaration
KOO Kab-woo      Professor, Kyungnam University
LEE Hack Young     General Secretary, National Council of YMCA Korea
LEE Nam Ju      President, Segyo Institute
LEE Jae Jung           Former Minister of Unification
LEE Samuel  Former Secretary General, Korean National Commission for UNESCO
LEE Seung Hwan  Chairman of Policy Committee, Tongilmazi, People Building One-Corea
LEE Suk-tae       Co-Representative, Citizen's Peace Forum
LIM Jong-dae  Representative, PSPD(People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
LIM Wonhyuk          Director, Office for Development Cooperation, KDI
MIN Man-gi            General Secretary, Networks for Green Transport
MOON Chung-in       Professor, Yonsei University
NAM-YUN In Soon      Co-Representative, Korean Women's Association United
OH Jae Shik       Director, Asia Institute
OH Kwan-young      General Secretary, Citizens' Action Network
PAIK Haksoon  Chairman of Policy Committee, Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC)
PAIK Nak-chung      Professor Emeritus, Seoul National University
PARK Sang Jung Former Representative of PSPD (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
PARK Sun Song      Professor, Dongguk University
PARK Won Chul President, The Headquarters of Korean Unification Movement of Young Korean Academy (Heung Sa Dhan)
SUh Bohyuk,            Research Fellow, Ewha Institute of Unification Studies
YOON Joon-ha          Former Representative, Korean Federation for Environmental Movement

Clinton_Letter_Final.doc


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