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Message to Kim Jong Il: “Peace Treaty Is Up To N.Korea”

Message to Kim Jong Il: “Peace Treaty Is Up To N.Korea”

Posted September. 08, 2007 06:55,   


After the Republic of Korea-United States summit held in Sydney, Australia on September 7, the possibility of accelerated Korean Peninsula peace treaty talks has increased. This follows U.S. President George W. Bush’s assertion of his intention to declare the termination of the Korean War and sign a peace treaty with North Korea’s National Defense Committee Chairman Kim Jong Il if the precondition of a denuclearized North Korea is met.

Given the current favorable status of the North Korean nuclear facility dismantlement mandated by the six-way talks, which could completely dismantle all of North Korea’s nuclear facilities, and if the South-North Korean summit (October2-4) yields substantive results for a peace settlement on the Korean peninsula, President Bush and President Roh Moo-hyun’s ‘Sydney Declaration’ may possibly be realized at an early date.

Peace Treaty Talk Flourishing?-

The manifestation of a political resolution at the summit will likely be a turning point that will promote Korean Peninsula peace treaty talks, for it will send a positive message to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has repetitively been demanding the United States end its hostile policy against North Korea.

President Bush’s request to directly relay his support for the second South-North Korean summit, as well as his willingness to sign a peace treaty with Chairman Kim reveals President Bush’s intention to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough by resolving the North Korean nuclear issue within his presidency. It is the overwhelming opinion that this was not mere lip service.

President Bush had previously reiterated several times his wish for a denuclearized and peaceful Korean peninsula.

During the Korean-U.S. summit that was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in November 2006, President Bush announced, “If North Korea abandons its nuclear weapons, it will be possible to officially declare the end of the Korean War,” for the first time. Also, during a group interview with the Asian Pacific press on August 31, he expressed his confidence by asserting, “It will be possible to resolve the North Korea issue (including the abandonment of North Korean nuclear weapons and the normalization of U.S.-North Korean relations) within my term of office.”

In Order to Replace the Armistice with a Peace Treaty-

In order to replace the armistice with a peace treaty, the termination of hostilities of the Korean War must be preceded by facts on the ground. President Roh, who heard President Bush’s message yesterday, may end up discussing the termination of hostilities issue during the South-North Korean summit, planned for next month.

President Bush, South and North Korean leaders could gather in one place to sign the termination of hostilities agreement. President Bush mentioned “It is possible to sign this document with Chairman Kim,” leaving maneuvering space for such speculation.

If such an event were to take place, Panmunjeom, which is under the control of the UN forces, seems the most plausible location.

China, the other party of the Korean War, responded in a favorable manner. During the morning summit between the Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China, President Roh and President Hu Jintao agreed to discuss the Korean peninsula peace process at a later ‘appropriate date.’

Extending Korea’s Troop Deployment in Iraq?-

President Roh mentioned the Korean troops in Iraq issue during the Korea-U.S. summit, saying, “The Korean National Assembly last year resolved to terminate our troops’ mission by the end of 2007,” and that, “We will continue to seek what we can do as an allied nation by having talks and consultations with the National Assembly,” setting forth observations about a potential extension of the mission of Korean troops in Iraq.

The Zaytun extension resolution that was passed last year by the National Assembly specifies the deployment termination date as December 31, 2007.

Baek Jong-cheon, Chief Presidential Secretary for Unification, Foreign and Security Policy, explained that, “The mission of the Zaytun Unit has been set to report its termination of mission until the end of this year in the National Assembly,” and added that, “We have been told that we will receive an answer after having assessed the overall Iraqi situation for the second half of this year during the initial National Assembly reporting phase. We are currently considering various courses of action pending the answer. Based on this, we will have to report to the Assembly, and we believe we must cooperate with the Assembly.”

This may be interpreted as a proposal to review the extension of the troops through consultations with the National Assembly based on a mission termination plan in September. Competent authorities for overseas deployment, the Ministry of National Defense, and other related ministries and agencies will draft the plan.

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