자주 평화 통일 시국 대 토론회 6 - Han S. Park > 특집/기획/통일

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자주 평화 통일 시국 대 토론회 6 - Han S. Park

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작성자 작성일09-01-26 00:00 댓글0건

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<강의 원고 4> Talking Points

Peace and the Reintegration of Korea:

Old Challenges Facing a New Reality

Han S. Park

University Professor of Public and International Affairs

Director of the Center for the Study of Global Issues

University of Georgia

__________________

History moves on. Things are changing. Governments change. States collapse. Generations of people are moving on as streams in rivers. But one thing has not changed in over one half a century: Korea remains divided. The division has manifested itself in the pain of millions of separated families; it has incurred economic drains from both sides, and continuous psychic and cultural distress throughout the years. The time has come for the division to be reflected upon, for the soul-searching required for reintegration to be energized, for new paths to unification to be explored and acted upon. The time has come because it is only today that the world is openly acknowledging the severity of the crisis in a way that a consensus is being built regarding the imperative for fundamental change. Nowhere has this urge for change been demonstrated more clearly than in the election of Barak Obama as the president of the United States. To his call for “fundamental change,” the world has responded affirmatively as his popularity has spiked around the globe. The world is ready for an immediate and radical departure from the “business as usual” of the past. Against this backdrop, we can expect that the Obama administration will respond to the call for a change aggressively. How will (and how should) the new administration articulate its policy toward Korea, beginning with the nuclear conundrum? And concurrently, how should the two Korean regimes articulate their policies for peace and unification in the peninsula and thus contribute to world peace and sustainable prosperity? I shall first portray the historical and political context surrounding the challenge of Korean unification. Then, I shall envision the type of reintegration or reunification that is most feasible, timely, and just. Finally, I shall propose a set of ideas that might guide the specific efforts at engineering actions for reintegration.

Seizing the New Opportunity: The Historic Context

In assessing the objective historical context against which today’s challenges for the unification of Korea must be considered, one should begin with the reality that human political history has reached a point at which we all find ourselves in the same vessel: the global village. In this village, humanity shares a common aspiration, that of preserving the continuity ofhistory itself by staving off its own impending extinction.

We should also analyze the nature and structure of the evolution of the Korean divide. And most importantly, we must reflect on the aspirations, obligations, and character of the Korean people.

The Health of the Global Village

It is a legitimate fear that the planet earth may be unable to carry the burden of sustaining its ever-growing, consumption-obsessed population. The deterioration of the environment leading to global warming is alarming indeed. The regenerative capability of the planet is headed for certain demise. These massive global ills will linger on for some time. But there is one source of the demise of human species that can be consummated at any time with or without warning! That is human self-destruction through the proliferation and possible use of weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear devices. Unless the inhabitants of this planet succeed in demilitarization, especially denuclearization, the sustenance of mankind will be increasingly precarious.

Further, world conflicts are typically waged between asymmetrical powers where the weaker will always be tempted to resort to terrorist means, suggesting that there will be no rules respected in such a conflict. In the midst of the current Iraq war, the parties to the conflict have been degraded to mutual terrorists. Under the pretext of democracy and freedom, human dignity has lost its place in the power politics of the world.

The emerging global political climate defies the “business as usual” that is predicated on the following:

(1) A “trickle-down” economy that ensures the expansion of unregulated capitalism

(2) Security assurance based on power paradigm of domination that has inherited the colonial (imperialist) world order

(3) The mechanism of “MAD” (Mutually Assured Destruction) as the deterrence of conflict

The Ascent of the Obama Era: Implications and Significance

Despite all its problems and shortcomings, the United States is still the most influential country in the world. Its influence is felt throughout all aspects of human existence, that is, economically, culturally, ideologically, and of course, militarily. When America is hurting, the world feels the pain. One particular strength of America and its people is that they have the ability to rectify mistakes and wrongs as seen in the impeachment of Richard Nixon after he had been elected by a landslide margin. This ability of rectification has emphatically been demonstrated by the election of Barak Obama in 2008.

As the embodiment of change, Obama is expected to chart a different course for American and by proxy, world history. In the area of world security and peacemaking, especially policy toward the Korean peninsula, his administration is likely to revamp what the Bush Administration has established, especially the Bush Doctrine.

(1) Dialogue with all, unconditionally;

(2) Removal of the label of “rogue” state from the language of foreign policy;

(3) Shift from freedom as the core value of foreign policy to dignity of life;

(4) Shift from the policy of domination (and its resultant arrogance) to coordination and cooperation;

(5) Empathy as a foreign policy orientation

If the above principles of the Obama Administration’s foreign and diplomatic policy are applied to North Korea and the Korean peninsula, one might expect a series of changes in the objectives and approaches in its policy goals, strategies, and tactics.

(1) Resolve contested issues through direct and indirect dialogue;

(2) Work with North Korea as it is in terms of its ideological and system characteristics;

(3) Be prepared to address and assist with the North Korean economy, not just as a “reward” for “good behavior.”

(4) Be prepared to address the issue of security for the DPRK;

(5) Show greater sensitivity to the need for “face saving” on the part of the DPRK.

Desirable South Korea Policy Response to the New Reality:

With the emergence of a conservative government in South Korea in 2008, inter-Korea relations have deteriorated to a deadlock. Unless this stalemate is alleviated, the future of inter-Korea relations and the prospect for unification are bleak, indeed! A series of changes by the South Korean government are imperative to break this deadlock.

(1) Accept the principles and premises of 6.15, meaning that the approach toward unification must be gradual and through peaceful means;

(2) Do not deny the fact that the North Korean system is a legitimate one, and realize that a system change in the north should not be the goal of South Korean policy;

(3) Do not make North Korea’s relinquishing the nuclear program a prerequisite condition for economic and political cooperation.

Desirable North Korean Policy Response to the New Reality:

In order to maximize the opportunity to develop diplomatic normalization with the United States, Pyongyang should consider the following:

(1) Be prepared to relinquish the nuclear program, even the weapons, if and only if its national security is legally and institutionally assured;

(2) Improve relations with the United States and other world systems;

(3) Give higher priority to relations with South Korea.

Inter-Korea Bilateral Relations:

(1) Guiding Principles for Designing a Model

a. Functional Integration, not structural consolidation:

b. Accommodation, not assimilation:

Both sides should set a goal for mutual accommodation, rather assimilation through domination. They should pursue a positive-sum Relationship, not zero-sum:

c. Peace, not security:

The paradigm of security for world order has exhausted its validity. Today’s world calls a new paradigm of world order, and it has to be found in the mechanism of peace. That is to day, the pursuit of security cannot enhance security anymore in a world where weapons of mass destruction are easily accessible and small powers are no longer complaiscent with their status of a secondary citizenship in the global community.

(2) Twin Pillars of the Approach

a. Self-Initiative, not chauvinistic exclusivity:

b. Synoptic Approach: the myth of the “low hanging fruit”
One fashionable view regarding the approach toward unification has been that we should aim at “low-hanging fruits”. That is to say, the notion that one should resolve inter-Korean difficulties and obstacles that are easiest to resolve first, and leave hard ones for a later visit is fundamentally flawed in the case of Korea. Thus, we cannot leave the most difficult problem of military and security issues unresolved in favor of economic and humanitarian exchanges. The reason is simply the harsh reality that unless security issue is resolved first, all other measures of rapprochement will not be sustained. Ideally, all issues such as economic, cultural, social, political, and military issues must be the co-objects of resolution.

(3) Strategic Moves: Now or Never!

a. Seizing the momentum

b. Riding the global tide

Concluding Remarks: The Character and Grand Duty of the Korean People

Global denuclearization: beyond the Korean peninsula

A vision for Confucian Democracy

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