[2017.08.15] 8. 15 Declaration in Pursuit of Peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large
8. 15 Declaration in Pursuit of Peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia at large
In marking the 72nd anniversary of Korean independence, which was imperfect and incomplete as it was followed by a division, the members of Christian Network for Peace and Unification, by facing up to the current state of the Korean peninsula involved with another violent collision of militaristic imperialism, asks the governments of two Koreas, international community and civic societies both at home and abroad to reform the current divided structure of the Korean peninsula, the remains of Cold War. Now two Koreas have reached the highest point of confrontation on the Korean peninsula; peace on the Korean peninsula means world peace. North Korea developed nuclear weapons and ICBMs; and the US which has skirted around signing a peace treaty with North Korea now stands on the diverged road so as to come to decide whether to go to war or to sign a peace treaty. President Trump so easily mentions the possibility of going to war against North Korea without regard to security of South Korea, one of its allies, as if he would not take into consideration Korean citizens’ right to life and peace.
1. We should stop the revival of militaristic imperialism for warless Korean peninsula and peaceful Northeast Asia.
North Korea’s nuclear issue should be settled by signing of a peace treaty between two Koreas and normalization of relations between North Korea and the US. It is the most rational solution to the problem; also, the US took the same into account, when having issued the US-North Korea Joint Communique in 2000. Fears lurk deep in our society that signing of a peace treaty would immediately lead to a withdrawal of US troops from the Korean peninsula. We agree that the US should keep its presence on the Korean peninsula as a peace corp even after signing of the peace treaty, until the imbalance of power created by the US withdrawal is brought into balance. North Korea also indicated, in its talks with the US in 1992 and 2000 that it would take the same stance on the issue. Two Koreas need to seek for cooperation upon rational interpretation of the current state of military confrontation in Northeast Asia; the US deployment of THAAD on the Korean peninsula and China’s economic retaliation in response are not the fundamental solution to North Korea’s nuclear issue but only hinders the development of a regional economic cooperation regime in Northeast Asia.
2. The tangled threads found in inter-Korean relations and international relations should be disentangled first of all for the well-being of Korean citizens.
Two Koreas and the international community should use force by considering the security of Korean citizens to be the highest priority. Above all, the international community should give its full support to the improvement of inter-Korean relations and come to cooperation. Even though having once failed to handle the Korean issue with a sense of responsibility, when the Cold War that had started from the Korean War took a dramatic turn, it is still not too late for the international community to help two Koreas come to reconciliation and seek for their path to co-existence. In particular, the US, as an advanced country in pursuit of human rights and democracy, should respect Korean citizen’s right to peace beyond their right to life and freedom.
3. Both the ruling and opposition parties should remember the desire of the civil society which inaugurated a new government and come to cooperation.
The members of both the ruling and opposition parties should remember the desire of Korean citizens who left their bread and butter behind and came out with candles in order to redirect the nation to the right path. It is strongly advised that they should put their best efforts into resuming inter-Korean business projects that have gone crumbled to dust in a blink of an eye. The politicians’ efforts to put an end to the Korean division cannot be pursued separately from those made by the civil society. The politicians should put the settlement of the Korean division as the most important item on their agenda beyond their political interests in a spirit of the greatest national solidarity that once started the March First Independence Movement. It is the time when their cooperation with non-governmental organizations is urgently needed; the inter-Korean relations, apart from the nuclear issue, should be restored through private interchanges.
4. The Moon Administration should play a more active role in improving inter-Korean relations beyond the merely strengthened alliance with the US.
President Moon sent special envoys to neighboring countries at the beginning of his presidency but failed to show efforts to open talks with North Korea. Instead, the Moon Administration called for international cooperation to impose sanctions against North Korea upon a series of its missile tests. There is nothing much different from what the previous administration did in its policies of confrontation against North Korea. If South Korea strengthened its alliance with the US to curry favor rather than to take that as its diplomatic leverage against North Korea and China, our national interest would be only laid aside. President Moon should not hesitate but go ahead and send a special envoy to North Korea! Please proceed and restore inter-Korean relations and exercise Korean sovereignty over peace on the Korean peninsula.
5. North Korea should stop further nuclear tests and come to a negotiating table with South Korea.
North Korea has turned its face away from the Moon Administration that attempted to talk but instead sought for negotiation with the US. However, the US would not start talks with North Korea as long as it is not preceded by an improvement of inter-Korean relations. Without efforts by the South Korean government, several agreements including the US-North Korea Agreed Framework of 1994, 9.19 Joint Declaration of 2005, and February 13 Agreement of 2007 might not have been signed. North Korea should cordially accept President Moon’s proposal to high-level military talks, talks for participation in Pyeongchang Olympics and other non-military talks. The inter-Korean talks should come first so as to freeze the nuclear program, to sign a peace treaty and to normalize relations between North Korea and the US.
We, the members of Christian Network for Peace and Unification, claim as follows:
- Two Koreas, the US and China should sign a peace treaty for the Korean peninsula without placing the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea as a pre-condition in order to secure collective security and peace in Northeast Asia.
- North Korea should freeze its nuclear program and accept private interchanges without condition and President Moon should send a special envoy to North Korea.
- The civic society should ask the politicians and the international community to establish peace on the Korean peninsula by signing a peace treaty.
August 15, 2017
Christian Network for Peace and Unification
Chairman of the Board Jong-hwa Park
Board Directors Yeong-hun Lee, Yi-wu Choi, Seong-jin Jeong, Myeong-jin Go, Hyeong-eun Ji, and Jong-hun Jeong
Permanent Steering Committee Gyeong-min Gang, Geun-bok Lee, Eun-sang Choi, and Seong-won Kim
Secretary-general Eun-ju Yun
Assistant Secretary-general Tae-hun Kim
Advisors Myeong-hyeok Kim, Yong-bok Kim, Oh-seong Gwon, Gyeong-jo Park, Gwang-seon Seo, Il-wung Seo, Dal-ik Son, In-wung Son, Gyeong-ha Shin, Jae-wung Ahn, Dae-won Oh, Gyeong-jae Yu, Gwan-ji Yu, Won-gyu Yu, Dong-seong Eum, Gyu-hak Lee, Gwang-seon Lee, Man-yeol Lee, Seung-jang Lee, Jong-bok Lee, Jong-yun Lee, Hae-hak Lee, Myeong-jin In, Dong-won Yim, Seong-gi Cho, Seong-hyeon Hong, and Jeong-gil Hong
Members of Steering Committee Seong-yeol Gang, Ryong Gang, Hyeong-won Go, Gyo-hyeong Gu, Jin-hwan Gwon, Hyeok-shin Gwon, Gyeong-sam Kim, Geun-sik Kim, Dong-seok Kim, Myeong-hyeon Kim, Byeong-ro Kim, Seong-ryong Kim, Eun-hye Kim, Yu-jun Kim, Yeong-sik Kim, Jeong-hun Kim, Han-na Kim, Hong-seop Kim, Hoe-gwon Kim, Ye-jin Na, Haek-jip Na, Go-eop Nam, Chi-jun No, Sam-jong Park, Yeong-hwan Park, Jong-su Park, Yeong-sik Bang, In-seong Bang, Chang-bae Byeon, Gi-chan Bae, Gyeong-im Bae, Hyeon-ju Bae, Gyeong-cheon Baek, Jong-guk Baek, Bo-hyeok Seo, Jeong-hyeon Shin, Yeong-seop Song, Yeong-wuk Shin, Ha-won Ahn, Seung-taek Oh, Teresa Oh, Jin-hee Won, Shi-gyeong Yu, Jin Yu, Chang-hyeon Yun, Pan-jung Yun, Gwang-wu Lee, Da-seul Lee, Mun-sik Lee, Min-hyeok Lee, Byeong-cheol Lee, Su-bong Lee, Seong-ho Lee, Seung-ryeol Lee, Yeon-bae Lee, Jang-han Lee, Jeong-bae Lee, Jong-cheol Lee, Jung-sam Lee, Gwang-bin Yim, Sang-pil Yim, Ji-hun Yim, Hui-mo Yim, Deok-hu Jang, Yun-jae Jang, Guk-jin Jeong, Dae-jin Jeong, Ji-wung Jeong, Hyeon-su Jeong, Yong-hun Cho, Jeong-in Choi, Bu-ok Choi, Yeong-il Han, Mi-mi Han, Won-bae Heo, Ho-ik Heo, Sang-tae Hong, Yeong-ik Hwang and Pil-gyu Hwang