From No.801, August 15, 2003 issue of FLAG OF UNITY newspaper logo

Will Peace Prevail in East Asia/Toward Anti-War Seoul Festival on August 15

Six States Agree to Discuss Nuclear Issue

Amid the rising tensions on the nuclear program in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ("North Korea"), five nations including United States, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China have agreed to discuss with North Korea.

Tensions have been running high, accentuated by the statements such as "We should always be prepared to go alone, if necessary" by Richard Pearle, an influential member of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's advisory panel, or "North Korea is not much different from gangsters. We just cannot expect them to negotiate a compromise" by Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary ABE Shinzo. It seems that there is no limit to provocative language and gestures of Japanese and US pro-war politicians or the Neo-conservatives. In violation of the Convention of Maritime Law or the Act of Ports and Harbors, the Japanese government refused to give permission to the North Korean Ship Man Gyong Bong 92 for its annual entry into the Niigata Port, while they did nothing to search or prosecute the right-wing gangs who attacked the building where the Federation of All Democratic Koreans have offices in Japan. The situation has been highly volatile.

Now, we have the deliberations among six nations. It is confirmation of the position declared in the China-South Korea joint statement on July 8, 2003 that the nuclear issues of North Korea can be solved peacefully through dialogues. Japan is obliged to accept that position. For the moment, Japan has been pushed aside from blocking the detente and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

How to Contain Pre-emptive Strikes

In the State of the Union Address of January, 2002, US President George Bush denounced Iran, Iraq and North Korea as an axis of evil who are in possession of, and developing weapons of mass destruction as well as supporting terrorist activities. Then, in the following September, the Bush Administration hammered out a new national defense strategy called the "Pre-emptive Strikes." In March through April this year, they acted out the new strategy by smashing Iraq and overthrowing the Hussein regime.

Observing the Bush strategy at work in Iraq, North Korea must have decided to resume their nuclear development program, and to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). It is North Korea's trump card to obtain the assurance of non-aggression from US in the form of an official treaty.

The Neo-conservatives in the Bush Administration played the card more smartly by taking advantage of the moves, twisting North Korea's rhetoric and moving strategically step by step to hunt down that country. Their goal is to overthrow the Kim Jong-Il Regime by a pre-emptive strike on North Korea. First they stopped the supply of heavy oil to North Korea, then demanded the official inspection. The third step is expected to be economic sanction while the last step must be a pre-emptive strike on North Korea.

Fortunately, though, it looks as the pre-emptive strike of US is postponed for a while thanks to the agreed six-nation deliberation. Things did not work out as the Neo-conservatives had hoped.

In the background of the new development, we see the sunshine policy being supported by the public of South Korea, the Iraqi people's growing resistance against the US-UK occupation and increasing number of US soldiers' death. People's power is pressing the US superpower to avoid the pre-emptive strike.

August 15 Anti-War Seoul Festival in Korea

The framework of six-nation deliberations has been set up. But it is people's power that would bring about a desired result, which is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through an US assurance of non-aggression and North Korea's cancellation of nuclear programs. Time has come for the people to forge joint struggles to realize the peace in East Asia.

Without giving any regard for its lack of decent efforts for the settlement of the past colonial rule and post-war reparations, the Japanese government denounces North Korea for its practice of abducting Japanese youth. National emergency legislations have been passed to deal with what is called "the expected crisis coming from North Korea," increasing the tensions of possible military conflicts. Normalization of diplomatic relations of the two states has been interrupted. And it looks like Japan is going to scrap the Pyongyang Declaration any minute.

The people of East Asia can play a decisive role in the confinement of US-Japan Neo-conservative's adventurism into a war. Let us hope that Anti-War Seoul Festival on August 15 will make the first successful step toward peace, demonstrating power of the people of Japan and Korea. (August 3)

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