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[Editorial] Pyongyang¡¯s declaration of anti-terrorism

[Editorial] Pyongyang¡¯s declaration of anti-terrorism

Posted October. 08, 2000 18:58,   


The North Korea-U.S. joint declaration of anti-terrorism brightens the prospects of Pyongyang`s inroads into the international community as well as greater developments of their bilateral relations.

Pyongyang¡¯s anti-terrorist declaration is well timed for North Korean Defense Vice Chairman Jo Myong-Rok¡¯s visit to Washington Monday. His U.S. visit is expected to resolve shortly the issue of deleting North Korea from Washington¡¯s list of terrorism-sponsoring states.

Pyongyang¡¯s clear declaration against terrorism and its decision to enter into the international agreements on the prevention of terrorism are rather belated steps to take. North Korea has suffered lots of disadvantages such as Washington¡¯s unilateral economic sanctions together with the fact that it has been treated with contempt in the international societies due to its obnoxious reputation as a terrorism-exporting country. For that reason, North Korea was unable to secure a singe cent of international loan which is critically needed for its economic recovery.

Under such circumstances, it had to even consider the ways of obtaining the loans by Seoul`s surety for its borrowing.

There is yet another stumbling block in removing Pyongyang from Washington`s list of terrorism-sponsoring states. This has to do with North Korea`s protection of the Japanese Red Army terrorists and their family members as socialist comrades, who were involved in the 1970 hijacking of a Japanese airliner en route to Osaka from Tokyo. We realize that It will not be easy for Pyongyang to find a suitable pretext for the prompt deportation of those Japanese hijackers as is requested by Washington. But, the sooner the decision Pyongyang makes to deport them the wiser the choice it will be for North Korea.

Needless to say, North Korea`s firm resolution for, and commitment to, the prevention of terrorism give us a refreshingly new meaning.

Washington`s inclusion of Pyongyang in its list of terrorism-sponsoring states as well as the sanctions to bar any financial aid to North Korea was in 1987 when it exploded KAL 858 plane in midair in the skies of Myanmar.

Earlier in 1983, the explosion at Auungsan in Myanmar which was apparently master-minded by Pyongyang, claimed the lives of Seoul`s 17 high government officials. The North better not forget the fact that we have still vivid memories about the various and numerous terrors it perpetrated against us during the years of Cold-War confrontations.

In their joint declaration against terrorism, Washington and Pyongyang emphasized that they will resist all forms of terrorism, be it by chemical, biological, nuclear or other substances. Pyongyang came to recognize that "it is the responsibility of every U.N. member state to refrain from organizing, instigating, facilitating, financing, encouraging or tolerating terrorist activities.

If the joint U.S.-North Korea agreement against terrorism is fully enforced, it will certainly make a great contribution to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. Our hope is that North Korea Defense Committee Vice Chairman`s U.S. visit will make a watershed in removing Pyongyang`s reputation as a terrorism-sponsoring state as well as making it emerge as a proud member of the international community.