BY HAROLD HAKWON SUNOO:
Chairman Kim Jong Il of North Korea expects to be secured in power the next few decades. Whether one likes it or not, Kim is firmly entrenched and here to stay. His economy is not doing as well as he desires, but it is in no danger of collapsing as some outsiders speculate. He faces no organized internal opposition and is unlikely to face any in the foreseeable future. His security forces are massive, effective and unconditionally loyal to him.
What chance is there then to reconcile between South and North Korea? Is he the same revolutionary as his father, Kim Il Sung, five decades ago? The answer is clearly no. Kim Il Sung advocated armed revolution and vowed to help any revolutionary activities in South Korea until the end of 1960′s, but today such a policy toward South Korea has been completely reversed with the declaration of the July 4th North-South Joint Communique in 1972.
Kim Jong Il has established normal relations with more than 100 non-communist countries including 13 out of 15 belonging to the European Union; He wants to normalize North Korea’s relationship with the United States.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government has ignored North Korea until the last year of former President Bill Clinton’s administration. The Bush administration maintained that nothing has changed in North Korea. Such inflexibililty makes no sense in view of the changing situation in Korea.
Late President Kim Il Sung proposed a reduction of armed forces on July 23, 1987, in an effort to open up a decisive phase in easing the tension on the Korean Peninsula. He declared that they would reduce 100,000 soldiers by the end of 1987 “to open up a practical breakthrough for the military cut down on the Korean Peninsula.”
He also proposed to hold a multinational disarmament negotiation in Geneva in March 1988 with the participation of the both Koreas and the United States to discuss the practical aspects of the serious issues. The statement said that the U.S. should withdraw all its forces, including nuclear weapons and dismantle its military bases in South Korea “when the military forces of the north and south are reduced to 100,000.”
To confirm the military cut down in the north and south and the withdrawal of U. S. troops, it called for phased inspection by a neutral nation. If North Korea is willing to discuss a peaceful settlement in Korea and reduction of her troops, how does it serve the interests and objectives of the United States to refuse? Yet the U.S. refuses, for reasons that have not clearly been explained to the public.
The United States policy toward North Korea could be more rational, productive and peaceful rather than emotional and destructive as the situation exists today. Chairman Kim is willing and anxious to deal with South Korea and the U.S. as shown during the Clinton administration and the meeting with Kim Dae Jung of South Korea in Pyongyang in 1990.
Agreeing to terms on the issues would not be easy, but the differences are by no means insurmountable. Any policy would be better than America`s current policy which is archaic, sterile and fails to produce any peaceful results in northeast Asia.
The ministry of Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea declared often a nuclear-free peace zone on the Korean Peninsula. The government suggested that the U.S. government should take practical steps to commit themselves to stop the introduction of new nuclear weapons and means of their delivery into South Korea.
The North Korea regime expressed hope that all countries will take effective steps to ensure and guarantee the nuclear-free peace portion of the Korean peninsula in order to prevent the conversion of the peninsula into nuclear war site and embroilment of Asia and rest of the world in a nuclear holocaust. The American government must implement the 1994 Geneva Agreed Framework between the U.S. and North Korea. The agreement includes that the U.S. will not use violent forces against North Korea, will support the unification of North and South Korea, and build two light water reactor power plants for peace purposes.
Instead, the new Obama administration-which is reaching out to the Muslim world and elsewhere with peace-loving intentions-is pursuing a dangerous course of war no different than his predecessor in Korea. Peace-loving Americans ought to stop such war oriented policies and establish peace in Korea, the last remaining divided nation on earth.
August 7, 2009
The author is distinguished professor emeritus of Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri. He has published 25 Books that have been published in English, French, Japanese and Korean.