U.S. to Blame for Derailing the Process of Denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula

The following article is excerpted from the Korean Central News Agency, May 12, 2003 on-line edition (minor grammatical changes made by the AINS editorial staff).

The government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, proceeding from the principled stand to protect the sovereignty and dignity of the country, and to ensure peace and security in Asia and the rest of the world, proposed to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula many years ago, and on January 20, North and South Korea adopted the "joint declaration on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." The DPRK has consistently made positive efforts to implement it. The United States, however, has posed a constant nuclear threat, derailing the process of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula despite the desire and efforts of the Korean people.

The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is a product of the U.S. policy of turning South Korea into its nuclear base.

The deployment of the nuclear missile "Honest John" in South Korea by the U.S., in the latter half of the 1950s, sparked a nuclear issue the magnitude of which was brought into bolder relief with the shipment of the neutron bomb in the first half of the 1980s.

On February 3, 1958, the U.S. forces exhibited two 280-mm-calibre atomic guns and "Honest John" nuclear missiles to the media, in the airfield of the U.S. First Army Corps, in the vicinity of Uijongbu.

The meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives, held on May 30, 1975, to examine the defence budget for 1976, officially disclosed that at least 1,000 nuclear weapons and 54 nuclear-capable aircraft were deployed in South Korea.

Among the nuclear bombs shipped into South Korea were 80 nuclear warheads for "Honest John" missiles, 192 tactical nuclear bombs for fighter-bombers, 152 nuclear shells for 155-mm-calibre howitzers and 56 nuclear shells for 8-inch howitzers (January 1981 issue Defense Monitor published by the U.S. Defense Intelligence Centre).

The U.S. deployed 56 neutron bombs in South Korea, as well as a large number of battle-field "backpack" nukes, the deployment of which was rejected by many countries in Europe and other areas.

In early 1978, when the Kori Atomic Power Plant began operation, South Korea had an annual capacity of extracting 139 to 167 kg of plutonium 239, enough to make 23 to 28 20-kilo ton-class nuclear bombs.

The Brookings Institution of the U.S. made public a report "Nuclear Proliferation and U.S. Diplomatic Policy" on November 9, 1980, in which it said South Korea and Japan would have access to nuclear arms in ten years.

All the historical facts prove that the U.S. has for a long time massively deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea, and posed a constant nuclear threat to the DPRK by instigating South Korean hawks.

The DPRK government put into force the "Joint Declaration on the Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" in order to fundamentally settle the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula under the prevailing situation.

In November 1956, the 12th session of the first Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK clarified its official stand opposing the introduction of A-bombs in South Korea.

The just stand of the DPRK -- against the conversion of South Korea into a nuclear base -- was repeatedly manifested at sessions of the SPA, the meetings of the north-south coordinating committee, the military armistice commission, and on other occasions in the 1960s and 1970s.

On Jan. 10, 1984, the People's Central Committee and the SPA Standing Committee held a joint meeting at which they adopted letters to the U.S. government and Congress, and the South Korean authorities. The letters proposed tripartite talks allowing the South Korean authorities to attend the DPRK-U.S. talks to discuss measures for removing the danger of nuclear war, and providing preconditions for a peaceful settlement of the Korean issue.

In order to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and fully ensure the sovereignty of the country, the DPRK government agreed to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in December 1985 and, after agreeing to the treaty, advanced many more peace proposals on its own initiative, and has made every possible effort for their materialization.

In the June 23, 1986 statement it solemnly declared that it would not test, produce, store and introduce nuclear weapons, nor allow the establishment of any foreign military bases, including a nuclear base, and passage of any other country's nuclear weapons through its land, air and waters.

The statement also clarified that if the U.S. government and the South Korean authorities request any negotiations, as regards the DPRK's proposal for turning the Korean Peninsula into a nuclear-free, peace zone, the DPRK government would respond to it anytime regardless of the format.

Since the "Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" was announced on Jan. 20, 1992, the DPRK has redoubled its sincere efforts to put it into practice. The joint meeting of the Central People's Committee and the SPA Standing Committee on Feb. 5, 1992, examined and approved the joint declaration.

This was an epochal event that provided a landmark for turning the Korean Peninsula into a nuclear-free, peace zone and reunifying the country.

As a more practical step, the 16th meeting of the Standing Committee of the ninth SPA, held on Feb. 18, 1992, and the third session of the ninth SPA held in April of the same year, examined, discussed and approved the proposal for ratifying the safeguards accord between the DPRK and the IAEA. As a result, the accord took effect on April 10, 1992. . . .

With a view to denuclearizing the peninsula, the DPRK government opened to the world community all the nuclear activities of the DPRK for a peaceful purpose, proving the validity and integrity of its nuclear policy.

It allowed an IAEA delegation, led by its general director, to visit the DPRK from May 11 to 16, 1992, and inspect all the nuclear facilities they had wanted, and any objects they had suspected.

The DPRK submitted to the IAEA its initial inventory report on nuclear material and nuclear facility designing information on May 4, 1992 -- far ahead of the set date, which were to be presented according to articles 42 and 62 of the safeguards accord between the DPRK and the IAEA.

The DPRK government rendered full cooperation to the IAEA's ad-hoc inspection team in its six rounds of inspection in the DPRK, from May 1992 to early February 1993.

Thanks to the consistent and magnanimous efforts exerted by the DPRK government, the DPRK-U.S. joint statement was adopted between the two countries on June 11, 1993 and the DPRK-U.S. Agreed Framework (AF) was adopted on October 21, 1994, under which both sides committed themselves to fundamentally settle the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

Even when the U.S. moves to scrap the AF, and reduce the north-south joint declaration on denuclearization to a dead document, reached its peak after the Bush administration took office, the DPRK proposed DPRK-U.S. direct talks several times and strongly called for settling the nuclear issue by concluding a non-aggression treaty in the hope of preventing the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula from being derailed.

As part of its principled and patient efforts, the DPRK government advanced a new bold proposal for settling the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula at the DPRK-U.S. talks held in Beijing in April 2003.

The U.S. is accountable for derailing the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Ever since the publication of the north-south joint declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. adopted a policy to systematically and completely destroy it, and has stood in the way of its realization in every way.

In July 1992, nearly 7 months after the publication of the joint declaration, the U.S. instigated the International Atomic Energy Agency to demand "special inspections", thus sparking a nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

Instead of withdrawing all types of nuclear weapons, already stockpiled and deployed in South Korea, the U.S. introduced many depleted uranium bombs, whose use is banned internationally, and deployed them for an actual war in February 1997.

After the emergence of the Bush administration, the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK reached its zenith and the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula has been derailed in actuality.

On June 6, 2001 Bush made public a "Statement on North Korea policy," the keynote of which was North Korea's redoubled efforts to implement the Geneva Agreement on nuclear activities, including those in the past, specified verification of missile development, and the reduction of conventional weapons.

On January 30, 2002, Bush in the "State of the Union Address" singled out the DPRK as part of an "axis of evil" -- a clear proof of his administration's extremely hostile policy toward the DPRK.

"The threat of North Korea's nukes and missiles" claimed by the Bush administration, was a product of its policy to foster confrontation and war against the DPRK in a bid to torpedo the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and suffocate the DPRK.

The "Report on Nuclear Posture," which the U.S. Defense Department worked out and submitted to Congress, noted that U.S. forces can use nuclear weapons in case of a "contingency" on the Korean Peninsula, and the U.S. should develop smaller nuclear weapons to be used for destroying underground facilities, and to this end it should refrain from honoring the nuclear test ban treaty (South Korean KBS, March 15, 2002).

The Bush administration has systematically and completely torpedoed the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. It finally adopted it as policy by calling for preemptive nuclear attacks on 7 countries, including the DPRK, in March 2002.

This was a wanton violation of the basic spirit of the NPT, which calls on the nuclear weapons states to refrain from threatening other countries with nukes, or using them against other countries and creating emergency cases endangering the fundamental interests of non-nuclear states.

The process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula has thus been completely derailed because the U.S., the world's biggest possessor of nukes, scrapped the DPRK-U.S. joint statement and the AF, and has adopted as its policy the mounting of a preemptive nuclear attack on the DPRK, a non-nuclear state, in breach of the spirit of the NPT.

The DPRK confirmed this when the special envoy of the U.S. President visited Pyongyang early in October 2002. It keenly felt that the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would only remain as a day-dream unless the U.S. dropped its hostile policy toward the DPRK.

The inter-Korean declaration on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was thus reduced to a dead document due to the U.S. vicious hostile policy to stifle the DPRK with nukes.

The U.S. repeatedly targeted the North with nuclear war exercises, after turning South Korea into the biggest nuclear advance base in the Far East -- thus wantonly violating the basic spirit of the joint declaration on denuclearization.

The "9-Day War Scenario", "5-Day War Scenario", "Operation Plan 5027," "Operation Plan 5027-98," war plans worked out [by the U.S.] in the 1980s and 1990s, and the recently disclosed "Contingency Plan" all specified nuclear attacks on the DPRK.

Successive U.S. rulers and hawkish groups have been engrossed in blackmailing the DPRK with nuclear war scenarios to invade the north.

In January 1992 alone, the month when the joint declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula was adopted, the U.S. hurled a total of 16,000 warplanes into aerial war exercises, staged in South Korea under various names. This means that it mobilized an average of over 500 warplanes a day.

Typical of the sabre-rattling in the first half of the 1990s was the Team Spirit 93 Joint Military Exercise.

The reception, staging, onward movement and integration (Rsoi) joint military exercise, which replaced the "Team Spirit" exercises in 1994, was a nuclear war exercise whose aim was to rapidly U.S. troops and hardware into an actual war in case of an "emergency". The Rsoi has gained in scope every year.

The U.S. staged more than 10,000 war exercises against the DPRK from the cease-fire to 1999, counting only large nuclear war exercises, and a total of 20 million troops were involved in them.

In the last decade, after the publication of the declaration on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. perpetrated more than 2,000 cases of military provocation in the sky, sea, and land, actually blackmailing the DPRK with nukes.

In March 2002, the Bush bellicose group staged the largest-ever nuclear war exercise against the north, a combination of Rsoi and Foal Eagle. Involved in it were nearly 700,000 troops, more than three times as many as those involved in the Team Spirit joint military exercise staged in 1989.

The reckless nuclear war exercises staged by the U.S. have increased the danger of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula with each passing day, and this has been one of the basic factors of derailing the process of denuclearization on the peninsula.

After the demise of the East-West Cold War, the U.S. has escalated nuclear threats and war moves not only on the Korean Peninsula but worldwide, styling itself an "international gendarme" and the "world's only superpower."

After the September 11 incident in particular, the U.S. divided the world into good and evil by its own standards. It openly perpetrated aggression against those countries, which incur its displeasure, under the pretext of "combating terrorism" and imposed regime change there.

On March 20 this year, the U.S. provoked a war of aggression against Iraq under the pretext of "finding out weapons of mass destruction" in a bid to topple the Saddam government.

The Iraqi war taught the lesson that "nuclear suspicion," "suspected development of weapons of mass destruction" and suspected "sponsorship of terrorism" touted by the U.S. were all designed as a pretext for war, and one would fall victim to a war if one meekly responds to the IAEA's inspection for disarmament.

Neither strong international public opinion, nor big countries' opposition to war, nor the UN Charter, could prevent the U.S. from launching the Iraqi war.

It is a serious lesson the world has drawn from the Iraqi war that a war can be averted and the sovereignty of the country and the security of the nation can be protected only when a country has a physical deterrent force, a strong military deterrent force capable of decisively repelling any attack made by any types of sophisticated weapons.

The reality indicates that building up a physical deterrent force is urgently required for preventing the outbreak of a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula and ensuring peace and security of the world, now that the U.S. does not show any political intention and will to renounce its hostile policy toward the DPRK.

The DPRK will increase its self-defensive capacity strong enough to destroy aggressors at a single stroke. Any U.S. aerial attack will be decisively countered with aerial attack, and its land strategy will be coped with by land strategy.

All these facts go to clearly prove that the U.S. is chiefly to blame for ditching the north-south joint declaration on denuclearization and for derailing the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. [The U.S.] has put peace and security in Korea and the rest of the world in peril by resorting to arbitrary practices, by posing a nuclear threat, and by perpetrating war moves as the "world's only superpower."

The U.S. is wholly accountable for the DPRK-U.S. serious nuclear standoff and a nuclear war crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. will certainly be judged by history for derailing the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, and by going against the aspiration and desire of humankind to establish an international order for peace, progress, reconciliation and cooperation.