Possibilities for peace in the two Koreas

There is a clear focused movement in inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korean talks, prior to formal difficult negotiations among the heads of government, that hopefully could lead to eventual peace in the Korean Peninsula, long awaited by Asia and the global community.

The news in the last few days is that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who will soon assume the post of U.S. Secretary of State uponSenate confirmation, quietly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Unin the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, signalling the upcoming meeting between President Donald Trump in May or June, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who initiated the fast-moving diplomacy, will meet perhaps as early as next week with the North Korean leader.

We believe the objective is to achieve North Korean denuclearization, which is not easily achievable considering that it will mean that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons, atomic and hydrogen bombs, and delivery systems,aftergreat North Korean expense and sacrifice in their development.

But the fact that North Korean Kim has agreed to the convening of the talks with President Trump and his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae-In says a lot.

We believe that over and above the giving up of its nuclear weapons, it would be realpolitik to expect that North Korea would hope for an iron-clad Omnibus Agreement leading to a Permanent Peace Treaty, with the South and the U.S. that could likely include the following:

North Korea (The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK) and South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK), as separate independent Republics, but perhaps connected together by a looseConfederation, until at some point in the near or distant future, they can consider uniting like the two Vietnams or the two Germanys;

Withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea;

Withdrawal of large North Korean and South Korean troops from the areas of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the 38th Parallel to make the DMZ really demilitarized;

Development of a concrete formula for South-North Confederation where the two Koreas will be separate and independent but develop common inter-dependent synergies until they can set-up a Union or what the Greeks call “Enosis” in 15 to 25 years or earlier;

Develop inter-Korea commercial flights, highways, and a common railway system for the two Koreas from Pusan at the end of the Korean South facing Japan to North Korea’s Yalu border with China, which, it is hoped, will interlinkwith the Trans-Siberian Railway to Russia and to Europe;

Develop close political and economic relations between North and South and with China, Japan, the U.S., Russia, and ASEAN and work with the U.N. system and the global community;

Develop and industrialize the North Korean economy and agriculture, put an end to the recurring causes of famine, expand the education system, and immediately open the region toactive tourism;

North Korea or DPRK to immediately join ASEAN Plus 3 (Japan, China, South Korea) to become ASEAN Plus 4;

Immediately organize an adequate Development Fund for compensating North Korea for terminating its nuclear weapons and delivery system, which Fund shall be used for the North’s economic and social development and augmentation of the national budget;

Consider a state of Neutrality for the two independent Koreas which shall actively interact with the regional and global economy so that the North, with itshydrocarbons potential, mining, and hydro-electric resources, etc. can join the South, which has already developed much earlier into a credible major economic power.

We had pointed out before that the successful dynamics of North Korea’s nuclear development could be channeled to economic mobilization.

We added that the “long-suspended Six-Nation Talks could have a business-focused auxiliary to develop economic joint ventures for deployment in the Korean north.”

We believe that the potential of the two Koreas in cooperating together or united in peace could eventually lead to a prosperous second- or first-world nation in the third decade of the 21st Century.

Since our last 1990 visit to Pyongyang where we conferred with North Korea’s founding President Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of today’s young leader Kim Jong-un, which immediately led to the establishment of Philippine-North Korean (DPRK) diplomatic relations, supported then by the late President Corazon Aquino and late Foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus, we hoped that at some point the long crisis and twilight struggle in the Korean peninsula will come to an end.

We are meeting in London for the second conference of the Asian and European political parties on May 17-20 and then in Moscow in October, of the Asian political parties of the left, center, and right, and hopefully we can make even a small contribution to the long struggle for peace in the Korean peninsula. 

Hon. Former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia Jr.

Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr. served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2008, and is Founding Chairman, International Conference of Asian Political Parties. During his distinguished career, Hon. De Venecia was instrumental in successfully securing a peace agreement with the secessionist Moro National Liberation Front in southern Philippines and in forging a ceasefire and a peace pact with the rebellious Armed Forces group, RAM-YOU. He also revived the imperiled and long-stalled peace process with the communist National Democratic Front-New People’s Army, and progressed peace talks with the residual fundamentalist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao. Hon. DeVenecia is a member of GPF’s Global Leadership Council.

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