North Korea to abandon nuclear programs
On September 19, the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks held in Beijing, China, adopted a joint statement concerning the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea). The following three points form the gist of the statement.
(1) The DPRK is committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and returning, at an early date, to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and to International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards.
(2) The United States affirmed that it has no nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and has no intention to attack or invade the DPRK with nuclear or conventional weapons.
(3) The DPRK and Japan undertook to take steps to normalize their relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of concern.
Commenced in August 2003, departing the persistent rough sailing, the Six Parties have for the first time reached a concrete and epoch-making agreement. Despite foreseeable twists and turns ahead, the significance of the Joint Statement will not be lost.
Solution based on US affirmation of peaceful coexistence with North Korea
To sum up the implication of the Joint Statement:
First, a prospect has opened toward the solution of the nuclear issue of North Korea and further toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and East Asia.
Second, the US and Japan have declared not to invade North Korea and to take steps to normalize their relations with North Korea. For the US, it is the first time in history to explicitly state such affirmation in a multinational diplomatic document. Japan has also been pressed to make an international commitment to comply with the Pyongyang Declaration toward the normalization of her relationship with North Korea. Thus, North Korea has gained the assurance for peaceful co-existence with the US and Japan, making a departure from the current cease-fire, a state of war.
It was in the early 1990's, after the collapse of the socialist block and directly after the Gulf War, and also in 2002 after the Afghan War waged in the name of "war on terror" that North Korea's nuclear issues emerged. Behind the impulse of North Korea toward nuclear development, urged by the sense that the nation was endangered, was the policy line for war of aggression driven by global capitalism. In this light, it has a tremendous significance that the US and Japan, two key movers of the aggressive policies, have given affirmation to non-invasion and effort for diplomatic normalization.
Third, rounds of the Six-Party Talks have begun functioning as a process to facilitate framework formation for the demilitarization and the establishment of a collective security system in East Asia. The Bush administration's preemptive attack strategy has lost its base in the eastern Asian community. Japan-based bellicose forces are completely isolated as well.
Non-Defended Localities movement now
Given the Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks, Japan's peace movements have a mission to reconfirm. That is, we must deadlock the war state buildup by the Koizumi administration and press Japan to be a part of the framework for peace creation in East Asia.
Building on the momentum of the landslide victory in the General Election, Koizumi is poised to forge a political process at a burst toward the re-making of the Constitution of Japan. At the same time, his agenda includes early establishment of war mobilization systems through development of "residents protection" plans combined with war game drills while continuing dispatches of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) troops to the Indian Ocean and Iraq. In order to secure the execution of the Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six-Party Talks, we must stop this war party line of Japan.
The key to the success of our struggle is even more extensive development of the Non-Defended Localities movement, organizing local communities to deny cooperation for war and to reject the presence of military forces. Already, a direct petition campaign is in progress in the city of Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, aiming to have a Non-Defended Locality ordinance enacted, and citizens of Takatsuki, Osaka Prefecture, Nara and Kyoto are joining in the move in succession. This movement is the very cradle of the power that can block the war party line and establish the framework for peace creation in East Asia by first piling its base in Japan. This struggle, indeed, carries an international significance in nature. (September 26)