Panmunjeom declaration and denuclearisation of North Korea

प्रकाशित मिति : २०७५ जेष्ठ ३

- Indra Mohan Sigdel

Preamble:
An important political event has occurred in the world's political platform recently. Unthinkable a few
months ago, a high level summit between two top leaders of South Korea and North Korea has taken
place on April 27, 2018. The Chairman of State Affairs Commission of Democratic People's Republic of
Korea, Kim Jong Un, and President of Republic of Korea, Moon Jae-in, have jointly signed a document
entitled "Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula"
and it has been brought to public. Various journalists and political leaders have presented their views on
it. Many of them say that Korean leaders have reached an agreement to denuclearize Korean peninsula;
Kim Jong Un has now come in a correct track and the US president Trump has gained a diplomatic
victory in it. Some of them have even declared that Donald Trump has become a claimant of "Nobel
peace prize" for his special contribution to establishing peace in the Korean peninsula. This short article
will centre on the questions related to this declaration and its impact in the upcoming power balance of
the world.

Birth of two Koreas:
Since time immemorial, Korea was an independent and a sovereign nation. Japan occupied Korea by way
of Japan-Korean annexation treaty in 1910. During the colonial period after this event, Korean people
remained waging national liberation movement against Japanese occupation. Both types of the political
forces, right and left, used to actively participate in national liberation movement, sometimes jointly and
sometimes independently. In the course Second World War, the US and Soviet Union had jointly engaged
in battle with the Japanese army in Korea. Subsequent to the end of Second World War followed by the
defeat of Japan in August 10, 1945 midnight, a serious question emerged on the political future of Korean
peninsula. Both of the countries, capitalist America and socialist Russia, were desirous of restructuring
Korean state in line with their respective ideologies but given the state of power balance at that time none
could seize that opportunity. In the given situation, the United Nations decided to divide Korea along 38 0
parallel and authorised America and Soviet Union to help politically restructure southern and northern
part of Korea respectively working with the people and political parties there. All this created a basis to
divide Korea into two Koreas named as North Korea and South Korea.

America picked up the leadership of a 70 years old Singman Rhee, a diehard anti-communist leader who
had permanently settled in America since decades, to lead the political task of restructuring southern part
of Korea. He did what he could to weaken the influence of communist movement there and pushed ahead
the task of restructuring Southern part of Korea on the basis of bourgeois ideology. On the other, the
Socialist Russia started its activities to restructure Northern part of Korea with the help of a 33 years old
leader Kim Il Sung, who had a very good influence in the communist movement of Korea. In 1948, the
Republic of Korea came into being under the patronage of America and Democratic People's Republic of
Korea was constituted with the help of Russia and China. Thus, two countries with politically opposite
systems came into being in the Korean peninsula.
Inter-Korean contradiction and the US:

The relationship between these two countries, which came into being in the given state of international
power balance, has been hostile since the very beginning. Principally the anti-communist stance of US is
responsible for this. After the end of Second World War, the US, which was scared of the development of
communist movement in the countries including China, Korea, Vietnam and Kampuchea, presented itself
in a very aggressive way in that region. The military attack by South Korean army that took place in June
15, 1950 along the demilitarised zone of 38 0 parallel and the retaliation by North Korea turned to be a
long-drawn war between two Koreas. Naturally, the US provided support to South Korea and Russia and

China took to the battle field supporting North Korea. This war lasted for three years. After South Korea
and North Korea reached an armistice on July 27, 1953, Russian and Chinese army returned back to their
countries. However, the US Army that had been camping in South Korea since 1950 has not returned
back yet. It is estimated that about 28,500 modern American Army has stationed now in the American
military camps set up in South Korea.

The Workers Party of North Korea accepts Marxism-Leninism and Juche idea as its guiding principle and
claims that communism is its ultimate goal. It has been able to establish itself as a determined and strong
anti-imperialist force all across the world by confronting all sorts of offenses perpetrated by the US ruling
classes and their pawns in South Korea. This process, which had begun from the tenure of Kim Il Sung,
has not yet been paused while arriving at the tenure of Kim Jong Un via Kim Jong Il in between. Rather,
the process of building and testing nuclear weapons that had begun from the tenure of Kim Jong Il has
now reached to its climax under the leadership of Kim Jong Un.

South Korea is not a country that has produced nuclear weapons. Since before, South Korea has been
showing her hooliganism before North Korea in the backing of US imperialism. The apologists of world
imperialism have tried to portray the contradiction in the Korean peninsula at present as the contradiction
between North and South Korea. However, South Korea is not a competent rival to North Korea in terms
of its military strength today given that the later has produced nuclear weapons of her own. Therefore, the
principal rivalry in Korean peninsula at present essentially remains between US imperialism and North
Korea, not between two Koreas.
Nuclear weapons and economic sanction:
While arriving at November 29, North Korea had made altogether 16 nuclear tests in 2017 only. Of those
ballistic missiles, some are of short range, some are of medium range and some are of long range. The
latest nuclear test had made the missile attain 4,500 kilometres height and traverse a distance of 960
kilometres. North Korea possesses such missiles that can target up to 10,000 kilometres far. She has
acquired nuclear strength that can target almost all locations in the earth. Aimed at frustrating North
Korea in its mission of accumulating nuclear weapons, the United Nations has imposed sanction on her
and most of the countries of the world have implemented this decision strongly. The countries like
America, Japan, South Korea, Australia etc. which make the US pole have been most strict to apply the
UN decision. The countries including China and Russia also have supported the UN sanction. Even in the
midst of such an intensive and extensive encirclement, North Korea did not stop its mission of building
and testing nuclear weapons even for a single day.
Joint declaration and its waves:

In the backdrop of derogatory war of words and the possibility of world war between North Korea and the
US till a month before, this declaration has become an unforeseen event. On the Korean war and peace,
the declaration writes, "During this year that marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice, South and
North Korea agreed to actively pursue trilateral meetings involving the two Koreas and the United States,
or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China, with a view to declaring
an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime." The document further writes,
"South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a
nuclear-free Korean Peninsula." Apart from this, the declaration has laid stress on three issues, they are:
peace, prosperity and unification.
Mainly the media that support western pole have exaggerated this event. They have propagated news in
such a way that Korean leaders are prepared for complete denuclearisation of North Korea. Russia and
China have welcomed the declaration and have suggested the US that she should be committed to
realizing it. Many have taken it as 'wait and see' situation. US president Donald Trump and the Japanese
president Shinzo Abe have given a balanced reaction to it. Mike Pence, the US vice president has through
a statement expressed his opinion thus: "The Korean peace agreement is a step toward denuclearization of

the Korean Peninsula, but it is just one step. Any talks, promises, and assurances from North Korea will
be met with reservation, vigilance, and verification."
In this very context, one of the human rights activists Kim Yong Hwan from North Korea has publicised
his position through an interview to Daily NK on April 18. Answering the question: will North Korea be
ready for denuclearisation, he says, "However, I believe that the chance that they actually give up their
nuclear weapons is so remote that it doesn’t even come close to 1%. … … Even if other countries
promise to ‘protect the regime’, and ‘not invade’, North Korea won’t believe them. … … Instead, due to a
deeply ingrained belief that without nuclear weapons, the country will end up collapsing, I believe there is
no chance of North Korea actually undergoing complete denuclearization."
Contradictory summit:
From the very beginning, the summit remained to be a paradoxical event. First, the crux of tussle remains
between North Korea and the US but the summit has taken place between North Korea and South Korea.
Second, one of the signatories of the declaration South Korea cannot and cannot make others implement
the decision whereas the US which can and can make others implement the decision is not involved in the
process of taking decision. What kind of summit is this? How is this summit justified? Nevertheless, this
summit is being watched as a meaningful event. It is well understood that the US has taken this summit as
a rehearsal of the upcoming much talked summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Un's diplomatic victory and reinforcement of China-Russia pole:
Kim Jong Un has been proved as an adept diplomat from this summit. One, he has rightfully established
that North Korea is a nuclear power in the world. Two, as of the worldwide recognition of Panmunjeom
declaration, North Korea has gained equal status as those of the US, Russia and China, and she has been
able to play a vital role in the upcoming international summits organised to deal with the denuclearisation
of the whole world, not merely the Korean peninsula. Three, now North Korea does not need to make any
more tests to make others know that she is a nuclear power. Perhaps for this reason, Un has declared the
closure of test sites of the ballistic missiles. Four, North Korea, which used to be called a hermit kingdom
yesterday, has become a sociable country like others, today. Five, he has opened door to engage in foreign
business also with the countries like US, Japan, South Korea and Australia for her economic prosperity.
Mainly for these reasons, Kim Jong Un has displayed his diplomatic maturity in this summit.
As of this declaration, North Korea has acquired a legitimate status of nuclear power in the international
arena. Now it is not as easy as before for any country to discourage North Korea from taking stand in the
international affairs. It is easily understandable that the role of China and Russia was helpful to bring
North Korea and Kim up to attain this status. The suggestion of Russia and China to the US that the later
should work with North Korea in accordance with the spirit of Panmunjeom declaration is also aimed at
establishing Kim's image internationally. All this is creating conducive environment for North Korea to
formally join the Russia-China pole in the international equation of power. The role of Iran too is sure to
boost up this very process, in the days ahead. Hence, the later developments in the international politics
clearly show that the Russian-Chinese pole is getting consolidated and the US pole is getting weakened
further.
Conclusion:
Altogether nine countries in the world possess nuclear weapons. They are Russia, US, UK, France, China,
India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea. There is no uniformity in statistics on the number of weapons
these countries have piled up. However, Russia and the US have maintained monopoly in it too. Out of
about 15,000 nuclear weapons stored in the world, more than 90 per cent of them belong to the US and
Russia combined. North Korea is the youngest country, which joined this group in 2006 only.
The imperialist countries and their accomplices have been controlling the world by entertaining monopoly
in the nuclear weapons. Though North Korea is an underdeveloped and a small country, she has defied

the imperialist world, mainly the US. The valour, patience and diligence, the North Korea has shown in
building nuclear weapons amid strong opposition and sanction, the oppressed nations the world over
should honour her resolve that defies the US decree.
A summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, which is the coming agenda, has drawn attention all
over the world. The US delegate is seriously preparing to raise denuclearisation of North Korea in this
summit. It is going to be a big litmus test for Kim Jong Un. What the peace-loving people, who oppose
the nuclearisation of the world, expect from Kim Jong Un in the upcoming summit is that he must take a
firm stand to table the agenda of denuclearising the whole world, not the North Korea only and struggle in
its favour. People believe, Kim Jong Un will not disappoint the peace-loving and anti-imperialist masses
of the world in this summit.
Finally,
This is an era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. In Lenin's word, imperialism means war. The
race of building ultra-modern nuclear weapons and war will not stop until imperialism is brought to an
end. The proletarian revolution, which is accomplished under the ideological guidance of Marxism-
Leninism-Maoism, can open the way forward to the downfall of imperialism and denuclearisation of the
whole world. Hence, there is no other way except the world socialist revolution that can permanently lead
the world towards complete denuclearisation.