DPRK Proposes to Start Peace Talks
The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea issued Monday on January 11th, 2010 the following statement:
A year has gone by while the process for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is standing at the crossroads due to serious challenges to it.
The denuclearization of the Peninsula is the goal of the policy consistently pursued by the Government of the Republic with a view to contributing to peace and security in Northeast Asia and the denuclearization of the world.
It was thanks to the sincere and exhaustive efforts of the Government of the Republic that dialogues had taken place for the denuclearization of the Peninsula since the 1990s and, in this course, such important bilateral and multilateral agreements as the “DPRK-US Agreed Framework” and the September 19 Joint Statement were adopted.
The implementation of all the agreements, however, stopped half way or was overturned. Since then the nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula has not been decreased, but on the contrary it has further increased and, consequently, even nuclear deterrent came into being.
The course of the six-party talks which witnessed repeated frustrations and failures proves that the issue can never be settled without confidence among the parties concerned. Still today the talks remain blocked by the barrier of distrust called sanctions against the DPRK.
It is our conclusion that it is necessary to pay primary attention to building confidence between the DPRK and the United States, the parties chiefly responsible for the nuclear issue, in order to bring back the process for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on track.
If confidence is to be built between the DPRK and the US, it is essential to conclude a peace treaty for terminating the state of war, a root cause of the hostile relations, to begin with.
When the parties are in the state of war where they level guns at each other, distrust in the other party can never be wiped out and the talks themselves can never make smooth progress, much less realizing the denuclearization. Without settling such essential and fundamental issue as war and peace no agreement can escape from frustration and failure as now.
The peace treaty by nature should have been already concluded in the light of its intrinsic necessity, regardless of the nuclear issue. Had durable peace regime been established on the Korean Peninsula long ago, the nuclear issue would have not surfaced.
Now that the issue of concluding the peace treaty is mentioned in the September 19 Joint Statement, too, it is good to move up the order of action as required by practice in the light of the lesson drawn from the failure of the six-party talks.
The conclusion of the peace treaty will help terminate the hostile relations between the DPRK and the US and positively promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at a rapid tempo.
Upon authorization, the DPRK Foreign Ministry courteously proposes to the parties to the Armistice Agreement an early start of the talks for replacing the AA by the peace treaty this year which marks the lapse of 60 years since the outbreak of the Korean War.
The above-said talks may be held either at a separate forum as laid down in the September 19 Joint Statement or in the framework of the six-party talks for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula like the DPRK-US talks now under way in view of their nature and significance.
The removal of the barrier of such discrimination and distrust as sanctions may soon lead to the opening of the six-party talks.
If the parties to the AA sincerely hope for peace and security and the denuclearization of the Peninsula, they should no longer prioritize their interests but make a bold decision to deal with the fundamental issue without delay.