With hope, however cautious, the world receives the news about the agreement signed this June 12 between the Presidents Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, which puts Korea and the US closer to a diplomatic solution for the regional instability, to dissipate the constant threat of war and end the painful Korean national division. After almost seven decades of outrageous, offensive policy of the US and its allies against the People’s Korea, the peace forces must follow up on the dialogue’s development with renewed commitment.
By Socorro Gomes*
A series of alleviating events culminated on this point, with emphasis to the two friendly meetings already held between the Korean leaders. In the most recent one, on April 27th, Presidents Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in reaffirmed the historic commitment with a future peaceful and sovereign national reunification, cementing rapprochement starting from the meeting’s environment, with the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, we mark the 18 years of the promising 15th of June North-South Joint Declaration, of similar commitment, which gains strength.
The disposition of the Korean leadership and President Kim’s posture are brave and assertive. After all, the People’s Korea and the peace forces all over the world have been vehement in denouncing the impacts of the imperialist interference in the Korean Peninsula, since the devastating 1950-1953 war. In that desolating episode, the US led a horrific bombing campaign that destroyed 75% of the capital Pyongyang, among other cities. Estimates inform that, during the war, almost three million Koreans were killed. Moreover, in the following decades, a policy of demonization and criminal sanctions set the bases for the isolation imposed on the People’s Korea by the US imperialism and its allies, with offensive impacts on the population. Still, Kim Jon-un took the bold and necessary path towards dialogue.
Therefore, meeting with Trump, Kim put the demands that his country has reiterated on the table: the end of the war drills held on a yearly basis between the US and South Korea – which Trump finally admitted are “provocative” and “inappropriate” in a press conference in Singapore – and of the sanctions frequently reinforced against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The successive North-Korean leaders have equally reiterated the proposal of a peace treaty to finally end the Korea War, through which the US laid the bases for its offensive presence on the peninsula. Such permanent presence reaches today the number of 28,000 troops. According to Trump, in his press statements, the US should reduce or withdraw the troops from South Korea, end the military drills and gradually suspend sanctions against the People’s Korea in exchange for denuclearization – a commitment already confirmed by the DPRK including through the destruction of the testing site in May, for instance.
The agreement signed is a great victory for the entire Korean nation, who yearns for rapprochement and, in the future, the peaceful and sovereign reunification. In the context of the anniversary of the Joint Declaration signed on June 15th, 2000, between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea, hope must be strengthened together with the demand for a sovereign peace, corresponding to the will of the Korean people, who has already been suffering from the division and the imperialist interference in the peninsula for over 60 years. Furthermore, as the World Peace Council has been affirming, the threat of a generalized war should dissipate thanks to the commitment reinforced by all, including the peace forces all over the world.
The end of foreign interference and of the US threats of aggression is a condition for the progress of negotiations, which, as the Korean leadership affirmed, will be accompanied by the desired denuclearization of the peninsula and the national rapprochement, in favor of peace and shared prosperity, which are the strategic commitments and goals of all consequent forces.
*Socorro Gomes is the president of the World Peace Council