Threats to PeaceˇXNorth
My thesis is that engagement and negotiation, not isolation or confrontation, is the preferred strategy re the DPRK. Conversation and talking is better than military threats and war.
I have become engaged in the last six yearsˇXever since
leading the first Canadian Government delegation to
Dae Jungˇ¦s Sunshine policy of reconciliation and reunification announced in
c) Hope for significant role as middle power in reducing tensions and maybe contributing to framework for peace.
d) Even in 2003, the DPRK was taking its first awkward steps to market oriented economic reforms.
Despite no treaty after K warˇXonly cessation of hostilitiesˇXbut no adjacent country wants destablisation on K peninsulaˇXso probably containment will go on and onˇX
until 1945 (Koreans have to take Japanese names even in
Collapse of energy needs when
S K wants negotiation--
Four years ago some of us in
June 15/06 was the 6th anniversary of what the North Koreans refer to as the June 15 Declaration, which now seems an empty promise. The threat to peace seem more dangerous now than any time in the past 6 years: Review what has happened:
a) NK quit the non proliferation treaty
b) Restarted its nuclear reactor
c) Reprocessed spent fuel rods into weapons grade plutonium
d) Declared itself a nuclear power
e) Announced the development of a missile capable of reaching the Western shores of North AmericaˇXand continues to export missiles all over the worldˇXmajor industryˇXnot illegal BUT-
Bush moved the goal posts and declared N K the Axis of evil along with
g) 6 party talks seem stalledˇX2 elks locking horns (US and N K)
h) humanitarian aid agencies asked to leave-
The BLAME for this is usually put on to the shoulders of N KoreaˇXoften with good reasonˇXthe DPRK regime is not easy to deal withˇXit is rigidˇXinscrutableˇXthere are human rights violationsˇXlabour campsˇXand refugees and dissidents continue to flee.
Has real security needs in terms of a wider understanding of securityˇXand the threat of using nuclear weapons is not going to bring security to N K, particularly when security is broadly understood as PEOPLE securityˇXfoodˇXeconomic and social well beingˇXconcepts of security must include PEOPLE as well as statesˇXthere has been a marked shift in international thinking on this in the past decade. Security through human development with access to food and employment and to environmental security. Before 1990 N K was a developed countryˇXnow no factories ˇVno heatˇXenewrgy etcˇX
Essential to build human relationships at every level between citizens in DPRK and those of other countriesˇXto create trustˇXthis is the only way to motivate change in the behaviour on both sides and the only way to sustain negotiations between USA Govt and DPRK govt.
BUT security is unachievable if we continue to play the
blame game. Blame is on all sides, particularly on how the current
administration in the
a) Power based adversarial approachˇXwhere
resources are used to coerce or intimidate the other side in order to comply
with their demandsˇXa win lose proposition. No end to this unless one side
capitulatesˇXno peaceful ending even then as we have learned in
c) Rights based challenge: Appeal to an external source like the UN Security CouncilˇXperceived by N K as a hostile approachˇXand still a rights based contest a win-lose scenarioˇXsomeone has to apply force to make one of the parties comply. There can be no progress on the issue of human rights unless this is relkated to long term options for the future of the region. (Obvious since 1984) Impossible to work on security for DPRK without solving long term problem of reunification.
d) Negotiation. Allows both sides to arrive at a solution that satisfies each disputantˇ¦s interestˇXthat their own needs are met. It is interest-based, non adversarial approachˇXseeks reconciliation of each oneˇ¦s interests. It is often wrongly spoken of as ˇ§condoning, appeasing, capitulatingˇ¨, or ˇ§rewarding bad behaviour.ˇ¨
What we need to do is to re-frame the conflict.
Assumptions lead us to descriptions
Re Framing means changing oneˇ¦s perception of the situation so as to see new possibilities about what the situation really is and how it can be resolved.ˇXso we can change our frameˇXif not the facts we know. E.g. the Sunshine policy WAS a re-framing of the issue that opened possibilities for a time.
Civil society can play a vital role in re-framing the issue:
Communication, dialogue, learning and teaching, refusing to quit when it is tough, engaging without illusions in order to influence the outcome.
Nothing will speed change more quickly than an exposure of North Koreans from that Rip van Winkle country to the international community. This is not outside the power of civil society in our country.
e.g. British Ambassador to DPRK stopped over in Canada to share his perceptions from inside DPRKˇXsince Britain maintains a diplomatic presence in PyongyangˇXhe testified to the value of arranging for DPRK nationals to visit the UK on a 5 week learning English unit, funded by the British CouncilˇXand hoped other countries would do the same. Urgent need to establish scholarships to allow DPRK students to study abroad in sustainable development, environmental planning and reforestation. A small thingˇXa baby stepˇXbut feasible and possible. And wonderful what they will learn !!
My perception is that the DPRK really want international contacts and want to enter the international community, Letˇ¦s help them to understand what is required and help open that door. My thesis is that engagement and negotiation, not isolation or confrontation, is the preferred strategy re the DPRK. Conversation and talking is better than military threats and war.