R.O.K. Government’s Stance on the ‘public letter’ by North Korea’s National Defense Commission
January 24, 2014
l North Korea is claiming that the so-called ‘open letter’ is not a camouflaged peace offensive. The R.O.K. government expects the North’s claim to be true, but as we have experienced provocations from the North many times following its peace offensive in the past, we have doubts on its sincerity.
- Just last year, North Korea conducted the 3rd nuclear test on February 12th, less than two months after it called for better inter-Korean relations in its New Year Address. Also it announced the nullification of the South-North Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the Armistice Agreement. The North threatened to turn Seoul into a ‘sea of flames’ and to conduct ‘surgical nuclear strike’ and it even went on to take measures suspending the operations at the Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC).
- North Korea must show its sincerity with action as its earnestness cannot be determined by a one-off talk.
l Our government positively evaluates North Korea’s proposed intent to “end slander.”
- However, after it made the so-called ‘important proposal,’ the North is continuing its extreme verbal attacks by slandering our head of state by name and using such words as ‘puppet war maniac’ through its state-owned media outlets such as Rodong Sinmun and the Korean Central News Agency. This is not acceptable under international norms.
- If words do not match actions as such, the international community including our people, will not believe in the sincerity of North Korea’s proposal.
- North Korea would very well know that the R.O.K. government has not slandered North Korea. If it is asking us to control the press, then it does not have a proper understanding of our system of free democracy.
- We hope North Korea’s proposal to end slander is not another psychological warfare to cause conflict within South Korean society.
l North Korea should not shun its responsibility on its numerous armed provocations by saying that we should put behind the unsavory past.
- Just 4 years ago noble lives of 46 South Korean sailors and innocent people were sacrificed due to North Korea’s attack on the Cheonan vessel and its indiscriminate shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.
- If North Korea intends to overlook the shock and agony of our people and the victims’ families as if nothing had happened, our people cannot but doubt North Korea’s will to improve inter-Korean relations.
- Moreover, North Korea is dispatching infiltration equipments and weapons near the West Sea with numerous multiple rocket launcher(MRL), coastal artillery, attack helicopters and submarines as it continues to conduct military drills. Recently, North Korea is reinforcing its military training of its special warfare forces targeting airports.
- Under current circumstances, it is illogical to criticize and request a stop to our annual military exercise, which is conducted for defensive purposes.
- If North Korea truly wants new inter-Korean relations, it must take responsible measures that our people can accept.
l North Korea must clarify its position on how it will actualize denuclearization.
- Until now, North Korea conducted three nuclear tests, proclaimed itself a nuclear state on its constitution while continuing its nuclear activities to enhance nuclear capabilities.
- Also, the North has continuously threatened to turn Seoul and Washington into a ‘final grave’ with its nuclear attacks. It is showing a contradictory attitude as it is arguing that its nuclear weapons serve as a “treasured sword” against nuclear threats from the U.S.
- North Korea should not insist on its will on denuclearization with mere rhetoric, but it must show an attitude with practical measures for denuclearization that the international community demands.
l Our government stance on improving inter-Korean relations by building trust between South and North Korea remains unchanged and the door for inter-Korean dialogue is open.
- First of all, efforts to solve humanitarian problems must be continued regardless of political and military situations. More importantly, North Korea must immediately come forward to resume the agreed reunion of the separated families without any preconditions.
- If South and North Korea build trust by carrying out agreements, there will not be any issues that we cannot discuss.
l If North Korea truly wants to improve inter-Korean relations and peace on the Korean Peninsula, it must show an attitude that the international community including our people can truly accept.