“Joint Vision for the Alliance of South Korea and the US” is retrograde absenting a future vision
‘Joint Vision for the Alliance of South Korea and the US’ was published on June 16, 2009. The Join Vision is rather retrograde, failing to deliver a future vision. It seemed to reiterate the theoretical standpoint, but actually it includes the aspects deteriorating the conflicting and confronting situation of the Korean Peninsula and the adjacent areas.
The Joint Vision says that ‘through our Alliance we aim to build a better future for all people on the Korean Peninsula, establishing a durable peace on the Peninsula and leading to peaceful reunification on the principles of free democracy and a market economy.’ This statement is not differentiated from those words from the South Korean governments during the confrontation era of South Korea and North Korea.
Previously, South and North Korea reached an agreement that South and North Korea pursue reconciliation and cooperation by respecting reciprocally the corresponding regime, as can be seen from the 7.4 Joint Statement(1972), Inter-Korean Basic Agreement(1991), 6.15 Joint Declaration(2000) and 10.4 Joint Declaration(2007).
The Joint Vision is directly contradictory to the previous agreements. It is enough to interpret as it intends a assimilated unification of Korea leading by South Korea. It should be noted that the North Korean government has been repulsed by similar statements. The Joint Vision of the US and South Korea, neglecting the previous agreement of the inter-Korea, has set back the inter-Korean relationship toward the Cold War era.
“The continuing commitment of extended deterrence including the US nuclear umbrella” as stated in the Join Vision also brings controversies. ‘Extended deterrence’ was assured in the statement of SCM(ROK-US Security Consultative Meeting) in 2006 at the incident of the nuclear test of North Korea. President Lee Myungbak does not need to blow his own trumpet while he is not the only person to deserve all the blame. In 2006, the former President Roh Moohyun asserted that ‘extended deterrence’ was more strengthened concept than ‘nuclear umbrella’ whilst the US did not really appreciate on expression of ‘extended deterrence’.
The significant aspect is that neither nuclear umbrella nor extended deterrence would contribute to deterrence of possessing nuclear of North Korea or denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. It does not make sense that the Obama government has declared to pursue the nuclear weapon free world whilst reinforcing nuclear deterrence in the Korean Peninsula. The Joint Vision assuring extended deterrence would result in that South Korea and the US rather lead in deactivating the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Vision would also provide excuses of nuclear weapon arming with North Korea.
The Summits from the South Korea and the US merely reiterate no allowance of nuclear weapon for North Korea and cooperation between South Korea and the US, but they fail to deliver a resolution for current crisis of the North Korean nuclear-arming. While neglecting so called the crisis of democracy within the Korean Society, it also looks awkward that the Summits tediously emphasize promotion of democracy and human rights in the region.
The Summit of South Korea and the US reveals that deeper conflict and confrontation are coming whilst failing to suggest a wise resolution to overcome the crisis of the Korean Peninsula including the nuclear issue of North Korea and inter-Korean relationship. Although the crisis is getting deteriorated, Lee Myungbak government is not playing a proper role with own strategies for resolving the crisis, but it apparently reveals that it is manipulating the crisis for changing the hostile public opinion against him, which means that the Lee government is pushing the Korean society moving backward to misfortunate past of confrontation.