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14-07-2016
Seeking South Korea-North Korea peaceful solutions inspired from 1955 Bandung Declaration
Author : Hendrajit, Geopolitical Analyst and Executive Director of the Global Future Institute (GFI)

Factors triggering tensions between North Korea versus South Korea and the US intervention was the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan. Likewise, the incident is just a triggering factor for the United States to press it harder while cornering North Korea.


Especially when North Korea in its development accused the United States of having conducted an organized crime through its supporting elements in South Korea. It was likely intended to provoke political tension among regional countries. So the US attitude and maneuvers could be considered to have ignored North Korea as a sovereign nation-state.
 
There are at least two issues always raised by the Washington to discredit North Korea. Firstly, North Korea has violated serious enough Human Rights (HAM) in addition to threaten its peoples as well as peace and quietness of its neighbors, particularly South Korea.
 
Secondly, North Korea has tried to continue to create political instability in the Korean Peninsula in particular and East Asia in generalby continuously increasing its maximum scale-nuclear weapons capability.
 
For North Korea, the US attitude is very unfair and one-sided. Imagine. For nearly six decades South Korea has practically  been under the protection and control of US influence. Thus from the North Korean perspective, it is reasonable to increase the ability of strategic defense industries and its nuclear weapons for solely being intended to defend against possible military attacks from both South Korea and the US.
 
Related to human rights violations and the possession of nuclear weapons, the US has always implemented a  policy of double standards against South Korea and Japan which have incidentally become its strategic allies since the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War era, and the US tended to agree and fully support a secret agreement concerning the possession of nuclear weapons of Japan and South Korea.
 
Even, the US and South Korean decision on the placement of anti-missile system in South Korea was clearly addressed to North Korea and the People's Republic of China (PRC). Although the US argued that the placement of anti-missile system and the entire military equipment were intended to anticipate the growing threat from North Korea and the PRC.
 
Various studies on the North Korea versus South Korea conflict have shown that within the last 60 years, Washington has played a significant role in creating political isolation against North Korea. For example, by trying through various ways and means, it has tried to destabilize the North Korean national economy, including destroying its centers of industry and agriculture. So that various diplomatic efforts towards the reunification of Korea has always failed miserably.
 
This is solely due to the US interests and the split of North Korea and South Korea is seen much better because then Washington could retain its influence on South Korea. The US military presence in South Korea in a large enough scale has also managed to control the country's economic and financial policies based on the liberalism -leaning Washington Consensus scheme.
 
Korea post World War II
 
If we trace back especially following the end of World War II marked by the defeat of Japan in Asia Pacific, then this is where the origin of the conflict on the Korean peninsula began. Following the end of World War II and the defeat of the Japanese military against the Allies in August 1945, the 35-year Japanese occupation of Korea also ended.
 
However, given the commitment of the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union establishing a strategic alliance to confront German fascism in Europe and Japan in the Asia Pacific region, the end of World War II would open a new scene of conflict on the Korean Peninsula. Because Korea was then targeted as the fight for influence between the United States versus the Soviet Union. Although basically the Korean people immediately wanted to establish their own sovereign state following the defeat of Japan against the allies and the end of World War II.
 
When examining a study conducted by Frasminggi Kamasa, in his book, The Korean War, the tragedy of the Korean Peninsula division in the unfinished war, the US and the Soviet Union did contribute greatly to the loss of Korea from Japanese occupation, Thus related to the Korean Liberation Day, there are two conflicting versions of the story. On the one hand, August 15, 1945 is celebrated as the Korean Liberation Day because it coincides with the day on which the Commander of Japan announced the capitulation of troops in Korea. But the another fact also shows that on this date, North Korea was not fully freed from the grip of Japan.
 
Soviet paratroopers of the 25th Army freed Hamhing and Pyongyang on August 24, 1945. However, having been decided by national leaders that the Korean Liberation Day is dated on August 15, 1945. For that reason, the Korean Liberation Day is still referring to the capitulation of the Japanese troops in Korea.
 
So on August 15, 1945, the commander of the Soviet 25th Army to the Korean People who still have not fully been released were published. In particular, he announced:

"The Korean People! Remember happiness lies in your hands. You find independence and freedom, and now the future depends on yourselves. Soviet Army only provides a variety of conditions necessary for freedom and creativity of the workforce of the Korean people. People Korea will become the masters of their own destiny."
 
Based on the Soviet commander's report that the 25th Army managed to disarm and capture some 11,800 Japanese soldiers and officers.
 
However, concerning the Soviet increasing influence following its success to free Pyongyang and Hamhung on August 24, 1945, the US took the military-political maneuvering on the assumption that the Soviet Union intended to occupy Korea so it is better for the US to precede the movements. So, Lieutenant General John R Hodge, commander of the XXIV Corps in Okinawa consisting of 6th, 7th and 40th Infantry Division amounted to some 72 thousand troops, was assigned as occupation forces of Korea. The troops arrived in the port of Inchon and went directly to Seoul on 8 September 1945.
 
Apparently, from the beginning the US did intend to master Korea by using a pretext of preceding the Soviet Union. Proved after receiving the surrender of Japanese forces, US forces soon mastered Korea through the establishment of military rule. The pretext used by Washington related to the US military occupation policy objectives in Korea is to deal with the influence and the expansion of Soviet power in Korea.
 
But actually, the Multinational Trusteeship scheme over Korea is only a pretext for Washington to shape its permanent military policy in Korea. As stated by John Carter Vincent, Head of Far Eastern Affairs, State Department: "After the Japanese rule, Korea was not immediately prepared to hold their own government. For that we (the US) proposed period of custody during the Korean people will be prepared to take over a self-government in Korea."
 
Through the construction of this story it is is clear that the concept of multinational is a trusteeship policy according to the US version. In a US State Department report, known as SWNCC 101/4 regarding US foreign policy in terms of international trusteeship for Korea stated:

"Korea's strategic position between China, the Soviet Union and Japan, and the Korean government instability before being annexed by Japan has made it a battleground between China, Japan and Russia. If no agreement is immediately reached between the big four allies on the shape of a trusteeship for Korea, the competition for control of Korea could emerge again."
 
Through the direction of US foreign policy, as expressed in SWNCC 101/4, it is clear that the conception of the multinational trusteeship is intended by Washington to secure its strategic interests in Korea.
 
Instead, the Soviet Union especially the 25th Army following its success in freeing some areas of North Korea, looked at Korea solely as a military operations area. At that time, the political aspect was not at all considered, moreover in terms of the status of Korea in the future.
 
So even though the Soviet likely also had a strategic agenda to use the presence of military to expand its hegemony in Korea, due to the US preemptive maneuvers through a policy of military occupation in Korea, then the Soviet maneuver in North Korea was in its development based on the consideration to build strategies of power balance on the Korean Peninsula.
 
And the US puppet to control the direction of politics in South Korea was ready to be raised, namely Dr Sygman Rhee, who arrived in South Korea in mid-October 1945. Then on October 24, 1945, a transitional government was formed. However, some  populist nationalist-leaning political spectrums viewing Sygman Rhee as the US puppet refused to join the coalition of parties that became the basis of the formation of the transitional government. As a result, the split in the coalition of parties supporting the transitional government led by Sygman Rhee was inevitable.
 
In short, the complicated polarization between various political parties led to the political forces that followed the US scheme and the ones following the Soviet Union. It then led to the struggle between US-backed Park En Hen versus Soviet-backed Kim Ku. Pro-US camps that initially pro agreed the trusteeship latter rejected the trusteeship scheme over the new directives from Washington that sees this scheme is even more beneficial for Moscow for being assumed of intending to expand in Korea.

Then on the pretext of the Soviet expansive threat to Korea, it was later used as justification for the US to apply the concept of problem solving Korea unilaterally (one-sided) and gain loss as minimal as possible. Obviously through a shift of a pro trusts toward anti trusts policy, the Washington inconsistencies were strongly colored with considerations of whether these conceptions beneficial or even detrimental. Once the trusts conception leads to the creation of a balance of power on the Korean Peninsula that does not allow the US to create a single power, the trust conception was later abandoned for considerably too theoretical and not practical.

Due to the unilateral policies applied by the US related to the Korean solutions, the US and the Soviet Union equally insisted to hold their own arguments related to those who are considered very democratic to be involved in negotiations.

In 1950, following the fall of the PRC into the hands of Mao Zedong and the Communist Party of China, the US attitude to become more entrenched in Asia, including Korea, became stronger. As expressed in the US foreign policy through the study of the US National Security Council (NSC 48/5):
 
"The significance and the strategic of Asia are because of its natural resources and human resources, geography, political and military power that are increasingly growing, Chinese and North Korean military capability should be evaluated as a threat to the free world. If this is the case the people of Asia would fall into Soviet Communist domination."

Furthermore, NSC 48/5 confirmed that the Asian human resources and natural resources contributed importantly to US security by helping the US need of available raw materials that are needed and they will be the most important assistance in wartime.

NSC 48/5 also stressed that Asia produced the entire natural rubber in the world, 5 percent oil, 60 percent tin, and many other strategic materials such as manganese, jute, and the ingredients for developing atom. It is also emphasized that Japan has a great prospect in the field of heavy industry which is roughly equal to 50 percent of the Soviet production today.

So by the direction of the US National Security Council, it is important for US security interests to apply military and economic assistance program in maximizing the availability of Asian human and natural resources for the US and the creation of the free world.

The phrase "the creation of the free world" is just as the US sign to strengthen its military influence in Japan and South Korea as the Joint Pact of Security in the face of what is claimed by US to fight the "World Communism." In other words, the phrase "the creation of the free world" is only to establish the reasons of justification in facing the  "Communist World" which in this case means North Korea and the Soviet Union that are extremely positioned  contrary. This is the true essence of the issuance of NSC 48/5.

Having failed to reach an agreement of which political forces are considered representative to discuss the status and the future of Korea, the parting of South Korea under the control of the US versus the Soviet-backed North Korea is inevitable.

For that reason, there should be new initiatives to resolve the Korean conflict through a new perspective and spirit. It is time for South Korea and North Korea to re-open peace talks within the framework of Korean reunification, it seems very important and urgent to also include the US, Russia, China and Japan, jointly seeking a peaceful solution to the mutual benefit of all parties.

Last but not least, the direction of a peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula on the basis of Korean reunification should benefit the people of Korea as a whole, both in the North and in the South. On this stand, the Indonesian government, especially through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could take part in playing a key role in initiating a peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula. Perhaps the spirit of Ten Principles of Bandung born from the Bandung Asian-African Conference in 1955 could revive the spirit of solidarity between two Koreans as fellow nations in Asia.



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