Korean Peninsula Peace Strategy – The Unified Korea

November 29, 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The recent skirmishes in the Korean Peninsula evolved into a deadly attack on the South Korean port Yeonpyeong.

According to the news reports – South Korea suffered casualties with two civilians and two marines killed in the North Korean firing forcing many residents to leave for the mainland.

Further the U.S and international news agencies also reported that prior to the attack, the North Korean authority and their ally China warned the United States to refrain from conducting military exercises with South Korea on the Yellow sea, the disputed territory between North and South Korea.

The joint naval drill on the economic route was characterized as ‘provocative’ by China and its key trading partner North Korea.

North Korean subsequent artillery response revived emotions among South Korean citizens affecting the latest diplomacy between the once unified nations.

Regardless of the military operation on the West sea of Korea, the North Korean action resulting in fatalities is reprehensible. The real victims in the avoidable quagmire are the South and North Korean population.

Simultaneously, it is important to highlight the missed opportunity following the former President Jimmy Carter visit to North Korea in September 2010.

The North Korean leadership’s unprecedented peace message through President Jimmy Carter requesting Washington to hold peace talks and Pyongyang eagerness to commit to de-nuclearization including permanent peace treaty with the United States and South Korea was not pursued leading to the status quo.

The urgency to move forward with the initiative was elaborated in the article titled:

‘Special Acknowledgment – President Jimmy Carter North Korea Visit’ published on this site on 09/20/10 under International Politics.

Had United States given North Korea the benefit of the doubt then it would have clarified Pyongyang’s sincerity or the lack there of considering the protocol through U.S. ex-President that emphasized serious and the highest possible communiqué even if it was not representative of the current administration.

It’s regrettable that invitation for peaceful dialogue is ignored fomenting military option as the preferred reaction to the twentieth century cold war generated political standoff.

When diplomacy is not the priority for the primary negotiator, it promotes belligerence accompanied by tragic loss of life as witnessed in the present discord.

Any attempts to salvage the situation in the aftermath appear disingenuous jeopardizing the trust factor among the participants expected to resolve the contentious issue.

After the Korean War (1950-1953) – the communist North Korea is a nuclear state with reportedly 8 to 12 nuclear arsenals in possession and preparing to strengthen its nuclear capability.

In April 2010, there were allegations against North Korea on the South Korean warship, the Cheonan drowning that claimed 46 sailors’ lives.

North Korea has exhibited missile stunts causing tensions in the Peninsula and now this time around the attack is detrimental to the humanitarian developments comprising South Korean food aid to North Korea notwithstanding tourism and trade relations benefiting both nations.

Similarly, South Korea and U.S. military activities foster hostility even though the defined purpose is stated as – restrain North Korea and remind its dependable partner China to intervene in the conflict to deter North Korean aggression.

China’s reluctance to comply with US demand is perceived as an act intended to protect national interests using North Korea to challenge United States in the multilateral entreaty.

It is clear from the existing situation that adversarial approach exacerbates the crisis with undesirable results such as deaths and destruction. There is tremendous display of power politics and self-interest contributing to the escalating turmoil in the region.

Evidently procrastination serves none except allowing North Korea to enhance nuclear armament leaving vast majority in abject poverty and isolation while South Korean citizens remain fearful and frustrated from the confrontation.

North Korea is extremely vulnerable despite the indicated nuclear proliferation and constant harassment of South Korea – the neighbor and trading partner. The impending power transition is yet another uncertainty in the political domain.

Therefore, North Korea could thrive from renouncing violence against the people of South Korea otherwise their relatives across the border. In all these years, the saber rattling is proved counterproductive and withheld economic progress.

Although both nations rely heavily on the external powers – i.e. Communist North Korea seeking China’s assistance and Capitalist South Korea dependent on the United States, they fail to recognize the fact that they could end the conflict today on their volition through bilateral peace treaty.

South Korea as a sovereign nation is at liberty to establish peace accord with North Korea irrespective of the international effort. The peaceful strategy would insure the democratic government pledge to improve security and reunite the families split across the border.

Hence, the reconciliation between the two nations could be aimed at the unification process with South Korean economy and North Korean defense power enabling a strong and prosperous Korea as one nation.

The achievement would be analogous to Germany – When the Berlin wall demolition facilitated the East and West Germany merger with significant advantage prevalent in the EU member.

Upon reunion with North Korea, South Korea could stimulate the domestic economy through local growth and consumption like China. The people in North Korea would at last be emancipated and become a valuable resource for the South Korean market economy.

North Korean military personnel would adequately address the national security concerns for the united Korea. It would be a phenomenal success for the people in terms of political stability, economic prosperity and social equality.

Tranquility in Korean peninsula would permeate to other parts of Asia and guarantee peace for all other nations in the continent.

North Korean commitment to nuclear disarmament could come to fruition in the course of constructive and meaningful engagement by the Korean leaderships.

In this context, the independent South Africa exemplified the smooth nuclear dismantling setting precedence for other nuclear powers to adopt ‘non-nuclear’ concept.

South Africa deserves praise for the monumental decision favoring humanity.

The nuclear free zone is the only effective policy for global peace and security.

North Korea peace offer could be directly presented to the people of South Korea and the deal finalized in good faith to demonstrate the leadership’s affirmation for solidarity yielding a unified Korea.

Sincere condolences to the South Korean families grieving for their deceased members and,

Best Wishes to North and South Korea for peaceful existence as one nation.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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