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Two Koreas Have Difficulty Deciding Name for Celebration Day

Two Koreas Have Difficulty Deciding Name for Celebration Day

Posted June. 16, 2005 03:04,   


Civil delegations from the two Koreas and overseas who are participating in the reunification festival to mark the fifth anniversary of the June 15 Joint Declaration held in Pyongyang issued a “Two Koreas Reunification Declaration” in the presence of both Korean official delegations at the 4•25 Culture Hall on June 15.

The joint declaration including five provisions runs as follows: the coexistence and co-prosperity between the two Koreas based on the spirit of the June 15 Joint Declaration; establishing a day to celebrate the June 15 Joint Declaration (“a day between the two Koreas”); putting into practice cooperation between the two Koreas in order to implement the June 15 Joint Declaration; the eradication of the threat of nuclear war; escalating the June 15 Joint Committee into an organization for the reunification and patriotism.

South and North Korea have reportedly had a difficult time reaching an agreement because they have had different views regarding whether the provision of the eradication of the threat of nuclear war should be inserted into the Joint Declaration, and the name for the celebration day.

An official of the South’s Preparation Committee for the Festival said, “While the South emphasized the principle of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, the North adhered to its stance to go through with the withdrawal of the USFK and the abolition of the National Security Law as a prerequisite,” adding, “The provision of the eradication of the threat from nuclear war was a halfway point.” He went on to say that, as for the name of the celebration day, while the North insisted on calling the day “a day between the two Koreas,” the South claimed that this name might be possibly interpreted as a political intention to exclude the U.S., which led to the agreement that they would use both countries’ proposed names for the celebration day.

In the meantime, in his commemoration speech on “the June 15 Joint Event between the two Koreas’ official delegations” held in the People’s Culture Palace on the afternoon of the same day, Unification Minister Chung Dong-young, head of the South’s official delegation, officially invited the North’s civil and official delegations to the 60th Anniversary of the August 15 Independence festival to be held in Seoul.

Minister Chung stated, “The Korean peninsula that is currently under a forked road between a crisis and an opportunity should put into practice the June 15 Joint Declaration without any delay in order to overcome the current situation wisely,” suggesting the following four plans: the removal of setbacks in order to end the cold war on the Korean peninsula; trying to solidify the peace between the two Koreas; the continuous expansion of economic cooperation between the two Koreas; and the urgent resolution of the issue of dispersed families

In his commemoration speech, Secretary of the Workers Party Kim Ki Nam, head of the North’s official delegation, said, “It was the first time ever that both Koreas’ official delegations took part in the reunification festival, which is a good demonstration of the sincere relationship between the two Koreas,” adding, “Let’s (The two Koreas’ official delegations) create groups that play a major role and come to the fore in achieving our reunification.”

Hyung-June Park taewon_ha@donga.com lovesong@donga.com