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  • Sparkle of Zen philosophy addicted on the Corean Peninsula
  • 민족일보
    2015.03.19 05:32:33
  • Sparkle of Zen philosophy addicted on the Corean Peninsula 


    The current growth of tensions shows that sanctions alone (1), as strong as they keep going, are not a successful way to resolve the crisis in the Corean peninsula. Certainly, it seems that the only way to prevent the situation from declining to the point of out of control is to build confidence between the parties concerned and to emerge between them a compromise that the dispute can be set on only by a return to dialogue, to the negotiating table. It is in this spirit that will take place in Paris, on Saturday, March 14, 2015 the 4th International Conference on Corea to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the independence of the Democratic People's Republic of Corea (DPRC) (2) and the division of the Corean Peninsula. It would be suitable to encourage the sparkle of Zen philosophy addicted on the Corean Peninsula and to see how the international community, the media and peace-loving intellectuals participating in the 4th International Conference of Paris, would impact on the countries concerned. Indeed, historically the countries involved in the conflict are mainly China and the United States. 
    Moreover, the role of the Triangle formed by the United States, Japan, South Korea and the possible creation of an Asian NATO were recently discussed in Paris on 03/07/2015, University Paris 1 Pantheon- Sorbonne by Stephen Cho.

    Nonetheless, we notice the following fundamentals:

    For China 
    She is the only country to maintain close relations with the two Coreas in the context of a divided Corean peninsula. China's policy vis-à-vis the peninsula includes three trends: reduction of tensions on the North Corean nuclear issue, maintaining traditional ties and economic relations with North Corea and economic cooperation with South Corea. The main concern in China is actually to preserve stability and avoid further potential conflict on the Corean peninsula which historically represents for her a real "geopolitical lock" and is now a complex issue, punctuated uncertainties which are not without limits. The context of the Corean division and hypothetical future reunification requires China to anticipate various scenarios that sometimes make her policy enigmatic towards the Corean Peninsula (3).

    Denuclearisation
    All agreements signed with the DPRC since the 1990s on the denuclearisation of the region have been scuttled. In 2006, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a common position. On one hand, the United States, Japan and South Corea requested a clear and firm reply saying that Pyongyang has violated Resolution 1718 prohibiting it from ballistic missile tests. On the other, Russia and China. In support of the first displayed Mexico and France in particular. Agreeing with the second, Vietnam, Libya and Uganda.

    Regarding North Corea, the United States and nuclear non-proliferation

    Historically, in 1985, North Corea ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a non-holder of nuclear weapons. Under the terms of the NPT, it was forbidden to North Corea to manufacture or acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, and she had to accept safeguards set out in an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to prevent misuse of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in favor of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. North Corea has spent a safeguards agreement in 1992. The inspections carried out later by the IAEA have suggested that North Corea had not made a full statement of the fuel rods containing plutonium that had been removed from reactor moderated by graphite. In the early 1990s, North Corea has completed the construction of a new reprocessing chain able to separate plutonium, thereby increasing the concerns of the IAEA. The total amount removed from the reactor in the late 1980s out of guarantees may contain enough plutonium for one or two atomic bombs, but to date, no information to confirm (a) if the plutonium was separated (b) if the amount of separated plutonium is enough to make a nuclear weapon, and (c) if one or more nuclear weapons were actually produced. In 1993, North Korea has refused permission for the IAEA to inspect its nuclear facilities, and in March 1993 announced its withdrawal from the NPT. The United States and North Corea began negotiations at the highest level and reached a preliminary agreement in June 1993. North Corea has suspended its withdrawal and inspections resumed. A new break occurred in 1994, when North Corea refused to allow inspectors to investigate certain nuclear facilities. Talks with the United States have continued and eventually led in 1994 to a Framework Agreement. The recent turn of events raised the question of what the US can do to ensure that North Corea complies with its obligations. The issue of compliance by the United States of its obligations is as important, both as regards the specific aspects of the Corean situation and the continued applicability of the NPT (4). But since the 1990s, North Corea has had the normalisation challenge of its relations with Washington. President Bill Clinton has accepted the principle that Pyongyang gives up its nuclear program and its missiles in exchange for a new relationship with the United States and an economic and energy aid. A few years later, President Bush rejected the agreement. North Corea responded by withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 

    South Korean side 
    Is the crisis being considered relaxing and can the political class and the population quietly continue to dream of reunification? Without preventing what it will look like, what it will cost and what it will mean in terms of social and economic change for the North, but also for the South? 
    In the previous Paris international Corean conference in 2012 (See THE FRONT 07, 2012)  it was established  that despite a strong dynamism relayed by public authorities and an image of power looking forward automatically highlighted at major international forums, South Corean economic growth was already in big trouble. Today the crisis unfolds and results in layoffs, uncertainty and a sense of unease in the population. South Corean people would not be happy and that evil is not linked to relationships disturbed with the North, but social hardship, low wages and living conditions for the vast majority of the population and insecurity employment, held responsible by international organisations but also personal insecurity on political repression created by the National Security Law (installed since 1948).

    Appeal against political repression in South Corea against the prohibition of United Progressive Party. February 2015

    In December 2014, the Constitutional Court of South Corea has banned the United Progressive Party (UPP). In itself such a measure is extremely serious because it is involved in one of the key areas of freedom of association. It can only be exceptional and in compliance with all the essential democratic guarantees as proclaimed by the international texts expressing the universal consciousness. According to our information, this is far from the case here. The same conditions in which this measure was taken, without being preceded by a debate ensuring the full realisation of the rights of defense constitutes a serious infringement of the fundamental right to a fair trial, proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Covenant of 16 December 1966 on Civil and Political Rights.
    The amount of the decision, 347 pages, is as contrary to all the requirements of democracy, in that it does not lend itself to a wide distribution that allows the public to ensure their legitimacy. But even more serious are the reasons for that decision. Indeed, it is critical of the PPU, much less proven, no concrete tort, but only to develop socialist tendency hypothesis, which therefore would be proof of obedience to the Democratic People's Republic of Corea (North Corea). First, basing the decision on the thesis that is charged to the PPU characterises the crime of opinion, contrary to the fundamental rights to freedom of conscience and expression proclaimed by the international texts above recalled.
    It is significant that these measures can be taken only under a law called National Security Law, dating from 1948 and inherited a dictatorial period that should have rendered obsolete today. And it may even less admit that the development of socialist tendency thesis would in itself proof of obedience to North Corea because it would then consider not only that North Corea would be the inspiration of all the zealots socialist currents of the world, but it would have already inspired socialist theories developed since the 19th century. Moreover, democratic principles universally enshrined in the UN Charter, as the right of peoples to self-determination implies the right and utility of democratic debate on the forms in which can and must be exercised this free disposal.
    It is this fundamental right that violates the prohibition of a party on the grounds that it would be the bearer of certain terms of the debate. Finally, the claim of obedience to North Corea for the unique reason of this thesis is all the more surprising and inadmissible at the same time when the South Corean authorities are in favor of a dialogue between the governments of the two Coreas, as it responds to the right of the  Corean  people as a whole to dispose of themselves, and that Article IV of the cease-fire of July 27, 1953 recommended to the two Corean governments to hold within three months a conference at the highest level to resolve the Corean question. All these reasons command to argue with South Corean  authorities how the prohibition of United Progressive Party, and more all the political crackdown that are the sequence may damage the democratic image which they claim, and bring back the PPU and its members in all their rights and freedoms (5).

    In perspectives
    After developing the different points above may we reminder that it remains in the international geostrategic interest to cool tensions on the Corean peninsula in support of peace in the region. It is interesting to underline the message of the Angolan Head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, to the authorities of the Democratic People's Republic of  Corea, on the occasion of the commemoration of the Day of Corean independence, celebrated on 9 September 2014. In his letter, José Eduardo dos Santos encouraged the First President of the Committee of National Defense of the Democratic People's Republic of Corea, Kim Jong Un, to continue the dialogue for mutual understanding, peace and stability on the Corean peninsula, indispensable conditions for development. "I take this opportunity to present to Your Excellency and to the Corean people, the success in achieving this goal," wrote the President of Angolan state in his message addressed to Kim Jong Un (6).
    In the basics and behavior of solving the Corean question, the participants of the conference will argue the current reality of the South Corean democracy on progress toward peace and reunification of the Corean peninsula very Zen * with specific issues at the same time both governments and peoples have to face the years of the economic and geostrategic situation of globalisation to come (7).

    Nguyen  Dac Nhu-Mai


    Notes

    * Zen is a much stripped form of Buddhism that tends to give the man a perfect control of his mind and body by a quietist detachment.
    (1) The draft resolution of the UN Security Council in October 2006 imposed an embargo on the delivery of heavy weapons, all transfers of technology or materials related to ballistic missiles and nuclear programs.  It banned the sale of luxury goods to North Corea and encouraged the inspection of North Corean cargo ships. It is not just to impose punitive sanctions "but to the greatest possible obstacles to the development of their program, including blocking the means they use to finance," said a diplomat close to the negotiations. On the inspection of North Corean cargo ships, China and Russia have shown ticklish to the idea of checks carried out on their coasts, the text has reminded Member States of their obligation to take "cooperative action" verify the implementation of the resolution, including inspections of North Corean cargo in their internal waters.  In http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2006/10/14/01003-20061014ARTWWW90009-coree_sanctions_mesurees_de_l_onu.php

    (2) The Democratic People's Republic of Corea became independent on September 9, 1945, after World War II. Her capital is Pyongyang. The Corean Demilitarised Zone serves as the division of land between South Corea and North Corea, two permanent military tension States 

    (3) Sébastien Colin : Peninsula and Korean uncertainties: what geopolitical issues for China? Herodotus in 2011/2 No. 141
     (Péninsule et incertitudes coréennes : quels enjeux géopolitiques pour la Chine ? in Hérodote 2011/2 (n° 141).

    (4) For more complete information on North Korea, the United States and non-proliferation. See "Compliance Assessment of North Korean and the U.S. Obligations under the Nonproliferation Treaty and 1994 Agreed Framework" (en anglais), sur le site Internet de l'IEER : www.ieer.org/reports/treaties/nkorea.html

    (5) Appeal of the Initiative Committee at Paris (translated into English)

    (6) Peace message from the President of Angola in http://fr.allafrica.com/stories/201309080402.html 

    (7) Stephen Cho

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