Interrelationship between Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and
“Normalization of the DPRK-US Relations”
through “End-of-the War Declaration” and Conclusion of “Peace Treaty”
September 29, 2018
Text Prepared by faculty staffers of Kim Il Sung University
Today the prospect of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula has become a focus of global concern. Recently the DPRK Government, in an attempt to create environment beneficial to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, has continuously taken initiative and peace-loving measures including an end to the test of the nukes and the launch of ICBM, lockout of the underground nuclear test site in the northern part and repatriation of the ashes of the US army.
The United States has also taken measures to restrain from hostile military actions including a halt to the US-South Korea Joint Military Exercise which was due in South Korea this year. However, the tangible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula still requires more than that, which means that priority should be given to legal and institutional normalization of the current abnormal DPRK-US relations.
1. Historical background of initiation of the task of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the efforts of the DPRK Government to denuclearize the Korean peninsula
Clear understanding of the historical background of initiation of the task of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and the DPRK Government’s sincere will to denuclearize the Korean peninsula will serve as a cognitive basis for finding a reasonable and constructive means to implement the objective of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
(1) Historical background of initiation of the task of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula
Historically the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was first initiated by our Republic and the idea of denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula was a goal set by our Republic.
The task of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula is attributed to the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula; shipment, storage and deployment of the US nukes on the Korean peninsula and the subsequent grave nuclear threat against our Republic.
The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula was started with the US shipment of Nuclear weapons including “Honest John” into South Korea in the 1950s, since when the United States has turned South Korea into a nuclear arsenal, annualized military exercises with nuclear war equipment and thus constantly intensified the nuclear threat against our Republic, owing to which the nuclear issue has become more and more serious.
On January 29th, 1958 the United States deployed in the southern part of the Korean peninsula “Honest John” missiles and atomic cannon battalion and publicized it.
Afterwards the United States kept shipping the nukes into South Korea and by the mid 1980s the nukes deployed in the whole region of South Korea amounted to over 1720, of which the deployment density was 4 times heavier than that of the US nukes deployed in the NATO region.
This gave rise to grave nuclear threat against our Republic.
Even after the end of cold war the nuclear threat against our Republic snowballed far from being abated.
The nuclear war exercises mobilizing the US nuclear strategic assets have become annual and regular on and around the Korean peninsula and the United States kept threatening our Republic that they would inflict nuclear preemptive strikes against our Republic.
The task of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula was a historic task initiated by our Republic to put an end to the very nuclear threat of the United States.
(2) Efforts of our Republic to denuclearize the Korean peninsula
The great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il said.
[Denuclearizing the entire Korean peninsula is the will of the great President Kim Il Sung and it is the DPRK Government’s invariable stand.] (<Kim Jong Il Selected Works>Supplementary edition Vol 25 Page 438)
It is the will of the great leaders Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Kim Jong Il to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. The respected supreme leader Comrade Kim Jong Un keeps stressing that our will to denuclearize the Korean peninsula is constant and invariable. The efforts of our Republic to denuclearize the Korean peninsula can be viewed in two stages.
The first stage covers the period when our Republic strived to denuclearize the Korean peninsula as a non-nuclear state. As pointed out above during the cold war over 1000 nukes were deployed in the South Korean region whereas in our republic none was to be found.
Due to the long-standing nuclear imbalance our Republic had to be the victim of the US constant nuclear threat and intimidation. This is why our Republic became the first to propose denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and did its best for its implementation.
The 1959 initiative to create peace zone free from atomic weapons in Asia, suggestion of an idea to establish a denuclearized zone in North East Asia in 1981, proposal of holding tripartite talks between the DPRK and the US involving South Korean authority to remove the danger of nuclear war in 1984, proposal of turning the Korean peninsula into denuclearized zone in 1986, proposal of negotiations with the US for establishment of a new system of ensuring peaceful footing and others are an eloquent testimony to how long our Republic has patiently strived to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
As the historical evidences show, for nearly half a century from 1958 to 2006 our Republic has appealed to the US and the international society that they should not threaten our Republic with the nukes and the Korean peninsula should be denuclearized, suggested numerous constructive initiatives and proposals for this and made strenuous efforts for the implementation.
However, the efforts made by our Republic for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula have failed to bear desired fruits due to various reasons, of which the major reason was that our Republic lacked real power to promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The second stage covers the period during which our republic strived for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as a state possessing the nukes, from 2006 till present.
By the time of rule by the Bush II administration the nuclear threat against our Republic reached the unacceptable level of danger. By this time the United States branded our republic as a “sponsor of terrorism” and an “axis of evil” thus to further intensify its nuclear threat against our Republic.
In January of 2002 the United States adopted nuclear preemptive attack against our republic as a policy in its “assessment report on nuclear weapons” and declared in the “National Security Strategy Report” publicized in September of the same year its will to use nuclear weapons at the time of military preemptive strikes.
By the executive order of Bush II the Pentagon worked out and presented a ”report on nuclear situation” to the Congress, which provided that the US army can use the nukes when “emergency” occurred on the Korean peninsula and in this case they would develop mini nuclear weapons for destructing underground nuclear facilities and for this they should abandon the treaty of ban on nuclear test.
In order to cope with the situation in which the US nuclear threat and intimidation has become increasingly grave the DPRK had to make a crucial choice to possess the nukes in order to safeguard its national sovereignty and thus conducted the first nuclear test on October the 10th, 2006.
However, the purpose of our nuclear test was not merely to possess the nukes from the beginning. It was to put an end to the US unilateral nuclear threat against our Republic and promote the denuclearization of the whole Korean peninsula.
Retrospect of the Statement by the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October the 3rd, 2006 before our first nuclear test will be a help to understanding the characteristics and aim of our Republic’s possession of the nuclear weapons.
The statement pointed that “the Republic will never preemptively use the nukes, threaten other nations with the nukes and transfer the nukes”, which shows the defensive characteristics of our nukes.
What’s more important, the statement provided that “the DPRK will make every possible effort to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to promote global nuclear disarmament and ultimate removal of nuclear weapons”, which clearly testifies that our will to denuclearize the Korean peninsula is invariable and that the aim of our Republic to possess the nukes is to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to promote the global denuclearization.
In other words, our Republic’s possession of the nukes aimed firstly to deter the outbreak of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula and secondly to possess real power to promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Our Republic, even after possessing the nukes, did not abandon its efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in a peaceful way through dialogue and negotiations. The process of 6-party talks was the process in which our Republic strived to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula within the framework of multiparty talks.
5 years from 2013 to 2017 in which our Republic strengthened the nuclear deterrent both quantitatively and qualitatively in faith to the line of simultaneously pushing forward the economic construction and the upbuilding of nuclear forces was the period during which our Republic set up practical MAD (mutual assured destruction) relationship with the United States, strengthened the real power to practically promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and created preconditions for dialogue for denuclearization.
The real “enemy” for the state which possesses the nukes is the nuclear war itself. It was the conclusion drawn by our Republic to defend our sovereignty, right to development and right to existence that to ensure nuclear balance by reinforcing the nuclear forces not for propaganda or as a “card” for compromise but qualitatively and quantitatively is the most just and reliable way to prevent our territory from the disaster of war and the only choice as well to realize the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
2. Interrelationship between Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and “Normalization of the DPRK-US Relations” through “End-of-the War Declaration” and Conclusion of “Peace Treaty”
The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula never means our Republic’s unilateral abandonment of the nukes.
The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula refers to the process of turning the whole Korean peninsula into the zone free from nuclear weapons by completely removing the practical nuclear threat against the Korean peninsula from outside in a verifiable way.
The process consists of two parts; one of removing the US nuclear threat from the Korean peninsula and the other of correspondingly removing the US concern about our Republic’s possession of the nukes.
The issue of our possession of the nukes is attributed to the US nuclear threat, in which the latter is the cause and the former is the effect.
In other words, the US nuclear threat and our possession of the nukes are in the relationship of cause and effect.
The US nuclear threat, the cause of the nuclear issue is an independent variable whereas our possession of the nukes is a corresponding dependent variable.
These two parts are in cause-and-effect relationship and asymmetric interrelationship as well. This means that the more the US nuclear threat gets intensified, the more qualitatively and quantitatively our nuclear forces will be strengthened and that when the US nuclear threat is reduced to nil, we will not need to possess the nukes.
Our unilateral abandonment of the nukes, however, does not affect the existence of the US nuclear threat. Libya is a powerful evidence for this.
In this regard the issue of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula can be resolved only when the US nuclear threat is substantially removed. In other words, the removal of the US nuclear threat is the initial objective of and major condition for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The primary issue in removing the US nuclear threat against our Republic is to eliminate the hostile relations between the DPRK and the US and to normalize the DPRK-US relationship.
Our Republic is under the US nuclear threat for two factors; one is the substantial physical factor that the US possesses huge amount of nuclear weapons and the other is the political psychological factor that the US is effectuating the hostile policy against our Republic and the two countries are hostile states still in the state of war.
In order to ultimately remove the US nuclear threat these two factors should be removed among which priority should be given to removing the second factor.
For instance, our Republic does not consider the nukes of China or Russia as a threat because our Republic is in not hostile but friendly relationship with these countries.
As long as the hostile relations between the DPRK and the US remain unresolved, we will be under constant nuclear threat until we can make sure with our own eyes that one last nuclear weapon be removed and even after its confirmation we will not get rid of fear and concern.
This will be the same for the United States. The US does not consider the nukes of the UK, France and Israel as a threat while considering ours as a threat because the DPRK and the US are in hostile relationship and the two countries are technically in the state of war.
In this respect the normalization of the DPRK-US relationship is a major precondition, an indispensable condition for realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The DPRK-US relationship is also an intervening variable which influences the successful implementation of the agreements for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Various attempts have made so far to resolve the nuclear issue by focusing on it but failed to achieve the goal of denuclearization, for which the reason is that the abnormal hostile relationship between the DPRK and the US has not been abolished.
The 1994 DPRK-US Basic Agreement, the September the 19th Joint Statement issued at the six-party talks, February the 13th agreement and others set the goal and timetable for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and assigned responsibilities to both sides of the DPRK and the US and the countries concerned.
However, these agreements were suspended or aborted in the process of effectuation, for which the main reason is that the DPRK-US hostile relationship was not eliminated and the both sides did not get rid of distrust for and misunderstanding of each other.
The Singapore DPRK-US summit meeting on June the 12th, 2018 was a historical meeting which declared that the two countries made a first step towards reconciliation.
After the meeting a relatively stable atmosphere of reconciliation was created between the two countries. In order to achieve the lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and to realize its denuclearization it is essential for the two countries to understand each other, to promise not to be hostile against each other and to take legal and institutional measures for it.
Proclamation of the “End-of-the-War Declaration” and replacement of the Armistice Agreement with “Peace Treaty” will be the first step to provide such legal and institutional mechanism.
Also it will be a precondition for making tangible progress in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Thanks to the June the 12th Singapore DPRK-US Summit Talks the DPRK -US Relationship of long-standing confrontation and cold war has entered into the phase of gradual appeasement which gives the people a new hope for a peaceful future and the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
However as long as the legal and institutional mechanism which guarantees the normalization of the DPRK-US relationship has not been provided, such hope will fade away any time.
The nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula and the regularly occurring touch-and-go situations are all attributed to the DPRK-US hostile relationship which gives rise to distrust and confrontation.
It is the lesson drawn from the history of repeated failure and frustration that as long as the DPRK and the US, the signatories of the armistice agreement are in hostile relationship, it is impossible to clear away mutual distrust and to satisfactorily realize the denuclearization.
Proclamation of the “End-of-the-War Declaration” and the conclusion of “Peace treaty” will be a most effective trust-building measure and a powerful motive force which ensure the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
If the United States wants a real peace and security in the Korean peninsula, East Asian region and the rest of the world, it should take a resolute action to sign a termination of war and a peace treaty with DPRKorea.