April 19, 2024
Opinion

The need for a new approach to peace-building on the Korean peninsula

Simultaneously discuss North Korea’s denuclearization and a unification-oriented peace regime

Following North Korea's fourth nuclear test and long-range rocket launch in early 2016, the United Nation Security Council adopted stronger and more comprehensive sanctions against North Korea. U. S.-ROK joint military exercises – Key Resolve and Foal Eagle – were then staged from March 7 to April 30, 2016. Soon after, the U.S and ROK governments announced their decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. As a result, inter-Korean relations are now at their worst in recent years, and the Korean peninsula is, indeed, in a state of the worst crisis situation. What should thus be done to find an exit strategy for reducing high tensions while working towards a peace regime between the Koreas?

The U. S. and the ROK need to design a new road-map for resolving North Korea’s nuclear issue by abandoning the denuclearization-first policy, i.e., denuclearization of North Korea first and peace treaty talks later. It is desirable that North Korea’s nuclear issue be discussed at the Six Party Talks (6PT). At the same time, a peace regime issue at the Four Party Talks should be discussed, involving the U.S, China, South and North Korea. In this way, it could be possible for an agreement on denuclearization and the development of a Korean peninsula peace treaty to be made.

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