Independence, Peaceful Reunification and Grand National Unity – the Fundamental Principles of Korean Reunification
It has been long past half a century since Korea, a homogenous nation with a 5,000 year-long history, was divided into two by foreign forces.
Even the name of the country, Korea, that was admired as “the land of morning calm” is now being addressed as “north Korea” and “south Korea” for the past 70 years.
The tearful scenes of long-awaited reunion and heartbreaking farewell of separated families from the north and the south can be seen nowhere else in the world.
National reunification has become the most burning desire for the Koreans who have lived with painful sorrow for such a long time.
It is not only the Koreans but also peace-loving people over the world who desire early reunification of Korea that will open up a new era of peace and prosperity on the peninsular and in the region.
In his New Year Address this year, His Excellency Mr. KIM JONG UN, has put forward the idea of independence in inter-Korean relations and the reunification issues in line with the nation’s desire and demand; the idea of safeguarding peace and security by eliminating the dangers of war on the Korean peninsula; and the idea of adding value to the north-south joint declarations and implementing them. These ideas are the great banner for early realization of the nation’s long-cherished desire and the world aspiration for peace.
1. Independence- the Fundamental Guarantee for Korean Reunification
1. Independence- the Fundamental Guarantee for Korean Reunification
At present there are two contradicting ideas and modes of reunification pursued by the north and the south.
The north quests independent reunification through concerted efforts of the Korean nation itself whereas the south insists on “system unification” backed by alliance with foreign forces.
Independent reunification by concerted efforts of the North and the South
The DPRK’s stand is to realize reunification independently through concerted efforts of the north and the south with mutually agreed mode of reunification and to proceed in that direction.
Independence means reunification. It serves as a very core principle and guarantee for reunification.
Territorial partition and national division have been neither the will nor the choice of the Korean people.
It was due to the foreign forces that Korea was divided in the mid 20th century and it is due to the US and its followers that Korea still remains divided even in the 21st century.
The foreign forces accountable for national division will not and cannot bring reunification of Korea. It is clear axiom that the power to relieve the nation from division lies only in the hands of the Korean nation.
Inter-Korean relations and the reunification issues should, by all means, be resolved by efforts of the Korean nation itself in accordance with the independent will and demand of the nation true to the principles of By Our Nation Itself. This is the core idea of independent reunification clarified by His Excellency
Mr. KIM JONG UN in his 2016 New Year Address.
“System Unification” based on Cooperation with Foreign Forces
On the contrary, the current south Korean authorities are pursuing “system unification” which is, in essence, an idea to cooperate with foreign forces to eliminate the north’s system and to impose its own ideology and system on the north.
German-style reunification mode is what the current south Korean authorities are most fascinated by and trying to copy.
The capitalist West Germany had degenerated the former socialist East Germany and enforced its idea and system over the latter. Likewise, the south Korean authorities aim to change the color of the DPRK by luring it to “reform” and “opening” and ultimately conquer the latter.
In September 2014, the south Korean authorities, together with Germany, established a governmental consultative body and are engaged in a full-scale study on the experiences of German reunification.
Given the fact that no one would be willing to surrender or compromise its own system, “system unification” will only invite distrust and confrontation between the north and the south.
South Korea’s “system unification” ultimately aims at creating a pro-US “unified state” that submits to the US strategy for domination over northeast Asia by extending influence of the US onto the whole Korean peninsula.
Reunification and Nuclear
Such “system unification” presupposes permanent station of the US troops, the very culprit of national division, on the Korean peninsula and provision of its nuclear umbrella.
Recently, there have been assertions by the US conservative security experts that a reunified Korean peninsula should continue to be under the US nuclear umbrella and contain the surrounding countries with dependence on the US. These assertions prove that this topic is under discussion between the US and south Korea.
The south Korean authorities are trying to compromise the strategic interests of the US and the regional countries by “promising the moon” that the US forces would not move forward above the 38th parallel even after “unification” backed by the US with its nuclear umbrella as the main pillar. In this way, the south is sticking to the “unification diplomacy” to obtain support for the south-led “unification”.
However, the US, the master of south Korea, is seeking to bind south Korea to US-Japan-south Korea trilateral military alliance and based on this, stifle the DPRK and further contain the surrounding countries who are its strategic rivals.
All in all, unification pursued by both the US and south Korea is aimed at stretching the nuclear umbrella of the US over the whole Korean peninsula and realizing US dominance over the northeast Asia.
In respect of the security balance in the northeast Asia, this will remove the buffer zone that prevents a physical collision between the US and the regional countries and eventually turn the Korean peninsula into a direct nuclear frontline of the big powers.
The US deceived the world when it had promised that the NATO would not be expanded further east if the former Soviet Union supported German reunification. The strategic deception is being replayed by the US in the northeast Asia.
It is natural that the regional countries are vigilant about the “unification diplomacy” of south Korea for its instrumental role of the US strategy.
The DPRK’s idea of independent reunification is to establish a just reunified state that checks the US aggressive strategy to dominate Asia and that ensures the strategic interests of the regional countries in a balanced way with its self-defensive nuclear deterrent.
The self-defensive nuclear deterrent of the DPRK serves as a solid guarantee for ensuring security balance in the region. It frustrates south Korea’s wild attempt for “system unification” backed by the US nuclear umbrella and thus assures peaceful reunification of the peninsula based on the co-existence of the two systems.
2. Conclusion of Peace Treaty – a Shortcut to Korean Reunification
The fundamental condition for Korean reunification is to prevent danger of war and ensure peace and security on the peninsula.
Today, the Korean peninsula is under the situation of neither war nor peace. It is now at the crossroad of life or death which leads either to durable and lasting peace through peace treaty or to crucial war.
It is self-evident that reunification cannot be achieved under the existing armistice.
Formula of reunification will decide war or peace on the Korean peninsula.
If the formula of reunification is set for a peaceful reunification based on co-existence of two systems in the north and the south, peace treaty is the answer. However, if the formula of reunification is set for “system unification” by one side, it comes to a conclusion that a war is inevitable.
Reunification based on Peace Treaty
The DPRK’s reunification proposal is to eliminate the danger of war and safeguard peace and security on the Korean peninsula by concluding a peace treaty so as to achieve peaceful reunification.
In 1972, the north and the south jointly declared the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and grand national unity. In 1974, the DPRK government proposed to conclude a peace treaty with the US and made strenuous efforts for its realization in 1980s and 1990s which continued to the new century.
At the same time, the DPRK devoted great efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and promote reunification.
The DPRK which was non-nuclear state in 1970s has today risen up to a dignified nuclear state. This brought a change in the position of the parties concerned in the peace treaty from a non-nuclear state versus a nuclear state to a nuclear state versus a nuclear state.
What remains unchanged is the invariable stand of the DPRK to terminate the armistice and ensure an environment essential for peaceful reunification of Korea.
To create favorable environment and conditions for peace treaty, in January 2015, the DPRK proposed a moratorium on nuclear test in return for US suspension of joint military exercises. Later in August last year, still for the favorable environment for independent reunification, the DPRK straightened out the dangerous touch-and-go situation and proposed, once again, the conclusion of peace treaty.
However, the US responded to these proposals with enforcement of joint military exercises and commitment of aircraft carrier flotilla into the waters of the Korean peninsula.
War Plan Dependent on Foreign Military Forces
At the same time, the south Korean authorities are trying to secure its military predominance over the DPRK backed by the US military and thus pursue the south-led “unification”.
Recently the south Korean authorities and the US have endorsed the 4D operation plan for preemptive strike against the DPRK and attempt to translate it into action from coming February.
The DPRK was left with no other choice but to strengthen its nuclear deterrent both in quality and quantity to cope with the US ever-growing maneuvers hostile towards the DPRK.
The DPRK succeeded in the test of its first hydrogen bomb early this year. It serves as a righteous act that lay evermore powerful guarantee to eliminate dangers of war on the peninsula, realize independent national reunification and ensure peace and security in the northeast Asia.
If aggressors dare to provoke the DPRK, even to a slight degree, the latter will never tolerate it but respond resolutely with a merciless sacred war of justice, a great war for national reunification. This is a firm and invariable stand of the DPRK.
These days, the US and its followers are taking issues with the DPRK’s just and legitimate test of defensive hydrogen bomb and are committing strategic nuclear arms into south Korea, thus aggravating tension.
The DPRK is fully prepared to make nuclear strikes against the US-headed anti-DPRK forces at any time in any space according to the order of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea if they encroach upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and make threatening provocations
Once a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, it will not be restricted to the peninsula but will surely bring a series of crisis in other regions of East Asia and will lead to an earlier strategic defeat of the US.
After all, south Korea’s “unification plan” thoroughly backed by the US military muscle is nothing but a dangerous war plan that will drive the whole Korean peninsula into a melting pot of a full-scale war.
There is a consensus view by the overall international community that conclusion of a peace treaty between the DPRK and the US is the only way to address the current crisis and to safeguard peace and security on the Korean peninsula.
3. North-South Agreements and the Role of Surrounding Countries
The DPRK highly values joint agreements such as the three principles for national reunification and the north-south declarations and desires to open up a broad avenue to improved bilateral relations in conformity with these agreements.
Reunification Mutually Agreed by the North and the South
The three principles for national reunification, June 15 joint declaration and October 4 declaration constitute the great reunification charter of the nation, which crystallize the general will of the nation and whose validity have been proved in practice.
It is the consistent stand of the DPRK that the south is its main counterpart for national reunification. The DPRK holds that reunification should be promoted by respecting the different ideologies and systems existing in the north and the south based on the principle of co-existence and co-prosperity.
Nevertheless, the south Korean authorities, instead of seeking mutually-agreeable formula of reunification, totally deny the past historical inter-Korean agreements and tour foreign countries to solicit their support for the reunification issue, the internal affairs of the Korean nation.
This is a dangerous war-inviting act that attempts to extend their system over the other side while designating the main counterpart for reunification as an enemy.
It has been over 70 years since the Korean peninsula was liberated from the Japanese colonial rule. Yet, south Korea remains under the control of US military forces, which restricts them from any right to command its own military forces and to make decisions between war and peace.
On the contrary, the DPRK has risen up to a politico-ideological power and a nuclear power with defensive H-bomb and is capable of producing and launching satellites on its own. The DPRK is fully exercising its sovereignty with no worries to read others’ expression.
Still, the DPRK has no intention and has never intended to force its system on the south at all.
It is the very intention of the DPRK to accelerate national reunification in conformity with the three principles for national reunification which were agreed upon by the north and the south at the very beginning of inter-Korean reunification dialogues and the historical June 15 and October 4 declarations agreed upon at the summit level.
The agreement and declarations have enjoyed unanimous appraisal and welcome from the international community including the UN as well as the entire Korean nation.
Therefore, respecting the joint agreements and realizing reunification based on them is the very convincing and proper reunification formula that can be accepted by both sides and welcomed by the world.
The main actors for national reunification are the north and the south. They are the ones that have the most direct interests in reunification and the ones that have the right to decide the mode of reunification.
The south Korean authorities, ignoring the clear-cut fact, are trying to implicate foreign forces in the reunification process, the nation’s internal issue. This is nothing but a disgraceful betrayal of the nation and the country that fans inter-Korean distrust and confrontation.
Role of Surrounding Countries
Today, with regards to Korean reunification issue, the surrounding countries maintain clear position that they support independent reunification of Korea and the formula of reunification agreed upon by both the north and the south.
Those countries maintain such position since Korean reunification based on mutual agreements ensures solid guarantee for peaceful cooperation in the region while not disrupting the status quo on the Korean peninsula and thus fully meets the strategic interests of the surrounding countries.
The surrounding countries are kindly advised to know what roles they should play for Korean reunification and regional peace.
Advocating one-sided unification would only result in escalated inter-Korean confrontation and, in the long run, seriously damage their own strategic interests by inevitably embroiling themselves into the crisis.
The best alternative to ensure the strategic interests of the surrounding countries as well as the entire Korean nation is the reunification idea that His Excellency Mr. KIM JONG UN has clarified in his 2016 New Year Address.
I believe that policy research institutes and security think-tankers, based on the in-depth analysis of the current geo-political position of Korea and the strategic balance in the northeast Asia surrounding the peninsula, would extend active support and encouragement to the independent reunification of Korea.
Choe Un Ju, Research Fellow, Institute for Disarmament and Peace
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPR Korea
21 January, Juche 105(2016)