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Why America does not have a peace treaty with North Korea

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작성자 선우학원 작성일14-09-17 17:02 댓글0건




Why America does not have a peace treaty with North Korea



Harold W. Sunoo, Ph.D.


The Korean War stared in 1950 and ended in 1953.  When North Korea forces advanced to South Korea, President Syngman Rhee appealed to President Truman for help.  President Truman sent U.S. troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.  The American forces pushed the North Korean Army back to North Korean territory, and then continued to invade North Korean soil above the 38th parallel until they reached the Chinese border.  At that point, China felt threatened and sent thousands of Chinese volunteer soldiers to reinforce the North Korean troops and together pushed the U.S. forces back down to the South Korean border- the 38th parallel.


At this point, an ever-aggressive General MacArthur proposed to President Truman for America to employ its nuclear weapon, and submitted a list of 26 North Korean targets.  President Truman, who had grown tired of General MacArthur’s arrogant and aggressive decisions, rejected MacArthur’s proposal, stripped him of his command and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgeway.


General Ridgeway approached China with an offer for truce to stop the war.  China accepted the offer and the two countries signed an armistice agreement. 


But an armistice agreement is only a cease-fire agreement, and is not a peace treaty.  It has now been more than 60 years since the signing of the armistice, but no peace treaty has been signed.  Why?


Since the end of the Korean War, more than 60 years ago, more than 30,000 U.S. troops have continuously been stationed in South Korea.  America houses over a thousand nuclear weapons in South Korea.


In response to the uncertainty of having only a cease-fire for 60 years, the threat of the large number of U.S. troops and the nuclear stockpiling in South Korea, North Korea felt the need to have nuclear weapons of their own as a counter-threat.


Dr. Lee Sung-Ki and other North Korean scientists were trained in nuclear physics in Moscow University.  The program was underway at the site in Yong-byun.  The U.S. observed the developments at Young-byun with growing apprehension.


On December 12, 1985, North Korea joined the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  Under this pact, North Korea agreed not to manufacture nuclear weapons.


Meanwhile, the nuclear capable air and naval forces which began in 1976 continued to be deployed to South Korea.  During the Carter administration, nuclear warheads were reduced from 800 to 250.  But in following years, the Bush Administration put an end to the weapons removal.


After the Gulf War, Joint Chief of Staff chairman General Colin Powell commented:  “I am running out of villains.  I am down to Castro and Kim Il-sung”.  Whatever he meant, it is clear that America needs “enemies” to maintain the war weapon production.  The American economy is a war economy and depends on war to maintain its economy.


In early 1993, the International Atomic Energy Agency accused North Korea of violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  North Korea agreed to inspections.  Tension rose.  The U.S. Command and the Pentagon responded with military preparation against North Korea by sending a battalion of U.S. Apache helicopters to South Korea as well as additional heavy tanks, and heavy combat gear loaded onto American ships.


On May 8, 1994, there was a conference in the Pentagon about how to help General Luck’s plan in Korea in event of a war.


The planners at the Pentagon informed President Clinton that if a war broke out they estimated that the potential costs would be $100 billion, and that the potential casualties would be 100,000 American soldiers and 500,000 Koreans.


At this point, President Clinton’s Administration was seriously considering a preemptive bombing of the nuclear research center in Young-byun, North Korea.  This would mean war.  This was being discussed openly, and the American public knew about this option.


At this time, I was actively working with a small pro-unification group American Committee on Korea.  We were mainly church leaders, scholars and Americans of Korean ancestry seeking to influence U.S. and Korean policy for a peaceful reunification of Korea.  We believed that the American bombing of Young-byun had to be stopped at all costs.  Who could influence this pending catastrophe?  We approached President Jimmy Carter.  Carter, we believed, is a man of peace.  He had expressed his belief that the U.S. was responsible for dividing Korea, and that American is responsible for uniting the divided nation.  He accepted our plea to go to Pyongyang and we were able to endorse his trip with contacts we had established with North Korea through our unification network. 


Carter talked to Clinton.  Clinton rejected his proposal, but Carter insisted that he would go as a U.S. citizen, not a representative of the American government.  Clinton had to agree.


As a first step, Carter went to South Korea and talked with President Kim Yong-sam.  President Kim allowed Carter to cross to North Korea right at the 38th border negotiation point.  This was the very first time that anyone had crossed the 38th parallel since its creation in 1953.  North Korea welcomed the Carter group.


President Carter met President Kim Il-sung and had a productive dialogue.  Carter and Kim agreed that the Korean peninsula should be free of nuclear weapons from any source.


On his return, Carter gave CNN an interview to announce the results of his meeting with Kim Il-sung and to halt the rush towards armed conflict.


Carter also briefed President Clinton and other high officials in the White House.  Carter informed Gallucci- the chief American negotiator with North Korea- that he and Kim had agreed to freeze the nuclear program in North Korea, and allow the IAEA inspectors to remain in Pyongyang.


Carter said that he believed the third round of U.S.-DPRK negotiations should be continued in the light of this breakthrough.


Gallucci reported this news to the Cabinet, and it was a bombshell in the Cabinet room.


After obtaining written confirmation from Pyongyang of its acceptance of the U.S. devised freeze on its nuclear program, Washington announced its intention to proceed to the third round of U.S.-DPRK negotiations to begin July 5, 1994 in Geneva.


On October 21, 1994, U.S.’ Gallucci and DPRK’s Kang Sok-gu signed the agreement which stated:

  1.  The U.S. would organize an international consortium to provide light-water reactors with a target date of 2003.  In return, North Korea would freeze all activity on its nuclear reactors and permit them to be monitored by IAEA inspectors.
  2. The U.S. would arrange to supply 500,000 tons of heavy oil annually before the LWRs came into operation
  3. The US would provide formal assurances against the threat of use of nuclear weapons against North Korea
  4. North Korea will reengage in North South Dialogues.


Kang said “…this is a very important milestone document of historical significance”


North Korea declared that this was a diplomatic victory since North Korea had dialogue with the U.S. – the super power in the world.  The U.S. began to implement the agreements by beginning to build the light-water reactors in North Korea with American engineers.  One of the senior engineers was Mr. Lim of Chicago who is a close friend of mine in the unification movement.  The U.S. also began to supply heavy oil, as per the agreement.


The Clinton Administration sent Secretary of State Madeline Albright to Pyongyang with A personal letter from President Clinton assuring the conditions of the Geneva agreement.  Everything was moving smoothly according to the agreement until President Bush was elected.


On January 29, 2002, President Bush totally reversed the Clinton policy by declaring North Korea one of the three “Axis of Evils” along with Iraq and Iran.  He declared them enemies of the U.S. and unilaterally initiated war with Iraq- despite worldwide objections.  It was not until 6 years later, on October 11, 2008, that U.S. State Department spokesman Sear McCormack announced that North Korea had been removed from the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.


But with this pronouncement of an unexpected 180 degree change of U.S. policy in 2002, North Korea again felt threatened by the U.S.  Seeing the U.S. unilaterally invade Iraq, North Korea began removing IAEA monitoring equipment from its nuclear facilities and in December, 2002, expelled the IAEA inspectors and shortly thereafter, withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in January, 2003.


On April 23, 2003, North Korea declared it has nuclear weapons.  A series of 6 nation talks ensued with diplomats from the United States, North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan and Russia meeting.  Such meetings would continue intermittently for the next 9 years with fits and starts.  At one point the president of South Korea walked across the 38th Parallel to meet the North Korean president and mutual trade zone was established on the North-South border with South Korean business hiring North Korean workers.  But recently, as of spring 2014, talks have again broken down, the U.S./South Korean joint military exercises continue to provoke North Korea, and North Korea continues to fire missiles off its eastern coast


Bush’s 2002 reversal of Clinton’s Korea policy ensured the budding relationship between America and North Korea broke to pieces.


Unfortunately, this hostile U.S. policy towards North Korea has only continued under the Obama Administration, and even gotten worse with Obama’s “Pivot towards the Pacific.


Pope Francis recently visited South Korea for five days.  On his last day tens of thousands of Koreans gathered at the historical Myongdong Cathedral for his farewell.  The Pope’s last words of advice to the Korean people were for South Koreans to “…talk to the North Koreans.  They are your brothers and sisters.  Talk to them!” 


President Bush was wrong.  North Korea is not the enemy. President Obama needs to talk to North Korea to finally negotiate a Peace Treaty so that we will have peace in all of Korea and Asia. ”.  President Obama needs to return to the Clinton policy and respect the agreement that the U.S. signed with North Korea in Geneva. Signing a Peace Treaty will not only finally bring peace in Korea after 60 years, but support peace in northeast Asia.


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