After 70 years of separation, a red light is seen in the national security of Northeast Asia. Solving the North Korean problem: opening up of the North, human rights, dealing with a dictator, moreover, sanctions and pressure against the North and our response with the Missile Defense System is boomeranging-- destabilizing security. With this introduction, the chairperson of the Saeurinuri Peace Corp. begins her article in the Catholic Times.
Up until now both the North and South have been working to implement different policies for unification. In Dec. of 1991 both the North and South became members of the United Nations. Both working for reconciliation and hoping to live in peace came to a basic agreement on a non-aggression pact and interchanges between the North and South along with dialog and negotiations.
During this time they agreed on two occasions to keep the peninsula a nuclear free zone at a summit of the two parties. 20 meetings of the divided families, sightseeing at Kumgangsan, Kaesong factory with a free economic zone were the results. There was the agreement to talk about a great many pending questions that would change the situation between the two. However, the nuclear development of the North and the South's military maneuvers with the United States has stopped this.
The present government sees the policies of dialogue of the past as the reason for the obstacles to the unification of the country and the nuclear development of the North. Others, on the other hand, see the last 8 years with its policies and its pressure on the North as the reason for the development of their nuclear capability and also the militarization of the South. This one-sided pressure policy has not helped the solving of the problems between the North and South and has left citizens with great sorrow.
The present policies which are not what are expected by the times we live in have rather become a fuse for a greater conflict among the neighboring powers.
It is time to disassociate the unification of the country from ideology and politics. The country, industry, religion, public social organizations need to visit the North for informal meetings with their counterparts in the North, find ways of working together and ways of cultural interchange between the two. We had for a decade non-official interchanges, learned a great deal about each other and will be helpful for the future.
Unification means the search for areas of agreement and finding where our sympathies are similar. The Unification Ministry has from Oct. 21-25 scheduled many events to awaken our desire for unification. We can't help but be sad that it is only a solitary work of the South without any response from the North.
According to the parliamentary audit of 2016, the Ministry of Unification has only used half of the allotted funds received. Open for business but with little to show for its efforts. The present policy is not one of dialog and negotiations but using military and economic power seeking to absorb the North.
In order to show that the Ministry of Unification is not only a name but has some influence it has taken a lead with a proposal to reduce armaments. The ministry sees this as a necessary premise to achieve peace on the peninsula and has moved it over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The writer hopes that the Economic ministries will show leadership in laying the foundation for peace initiatives.