The Situation in Korean Peninsula

Korean peninsula remains the last bastion of the cold war relict Korea was divided into two states after the Second World War when the U.S. forces occupied the southern half of the territory.

After the bitterly fought Korean war between the North Korean and South Korean armies, the war ended in a stalemate remaining the division as before. Only the armistice agreement remained and there was no peace treaty to end the war. Although the southern Korean forces along with the U.S fought under the U.N. flag to dispel the Northern army, with the Chinese volunteers entering in support of the North the nature of the war changed under cold war politics.

In 1953 the war ended with continuing partition at the 38th parallel to form two independent states. Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea with Pyongyang as its capital in the North and the Republic of Korea with Seoul as its capital in the South. At the time of the partition, the economy of north was stronger than the south. But with massive capital flow from the U.S. Japan and other developed countries South Korean economy surpassed not only North but many of the developing countries. Meentime North Korea as a result of heavy bombardment by the U.S. during the 1950-1953 war were fully occupied with rebuilding their devastated country before embarking on industrial development under the leadership of Kim Il Sung  trying to expound the concept of  Juche Idea“ (self reliance) with militarization of the state. Secondly they were not getting massive assistance like south for rapid economic growth.

Today the two states are members of the United Nations but there is no normalization between the U.S. and North Korea which is the bone of contention. But the policy of isolation which North Korea was compelled to pursue, coupled with U.S. and sometimes UN imposed sanctions has put its economy into strangulation. Moreover Juche Idea provided a unified action for the North to rebuild their country but did not go far enough and not amenable to the normal rules of the international relations. The sunshine policy of late president Kim Dae Jung of South Korea attempted a opening by visiting North Korea and signing series of agreements for joint economic development, with step by step normalization between the two Koreas. The most important of this is the joint industrial zone in Kaesong, the border city of North Korea near the south, which has assisted the economy of the North.

What has been achieved under the sun shine policy was a big step forward for North-South joint ventures. Carrying forward this policy would improve the economy of North Korea like employing over 53,000 North Korean labour force in the Kaesong industrial zone. Saner opinion should prevail to protect these positive achievements  of North – South relation without breaking them in the tense situation.

Both China and Russia have expressed concern on the action of the North Korea. Above all China is the only state which assist North Korea for its survival. As friends of North Korea we appeal them to accept the normal, peaceful policy in international relation and rejoin the community of nations, war is not a solution to the Korean crisis. On the other hand “nuclear deterrence alone” will not keep the peace on the Peninsula. The only way out is continuity of the peace process.

The continuing joint military exercises by the South Korea and the U.S. are counter productive. The North Korea consider this escalation of pressure as a threat to their country. The members of the six party need to convene a meeting to discuss and initiate a dialogue to calm down the atmosphere. Even at this stage it is not late for such a meeting to be convened. The neighboring countries too should tone down their rhetoric and assist to find amicable an approach.

At the plenary meeting of C.C WPK., Kim Jung Un declared that “we, a responsible nuclear possessor, will strive for peace and security of Asia and other parts of the world and honestly carry out our duty of non-nuclear proliferation we assume before the world community and this contribute to creating a nuclear free world”. World public opinion expect that these words transform into action.

AAPSO calls on all parties concerned to excert their utmost tolerance and flexibility to achieve peace and security in the Korean Peninsula.