Asia-Pacific ILC 2021, July 7: Session IV - Achieving Sustainable Peace in Korea

Asia Pacific—Four speakers from India, Nepal, the United States and Uzbekistan presented on the topic, “Achieving Sustainable Peace in Korea: A Multilateral Challenge for Asia Pacific,” at Session Four of the July 7-8 International Leadership Conference 2021 (ILC2021)—Asia Pacific program, held on July 7 at 3:30 p.m. During the event, the speakers proposed multilateralism, bilateralism and the delegitimization of nuclear weapons as possible solutions for realizing peace on the Korean Peninsula. A total of 305 people attended the session via Zoom and hundreds more did so on YouTube.

Dr. Thomas Selover, president of SunHak UP Graduate University in Korea and of the Professors World Peace Academy, and international co-coordinator of the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP), proposed the perspective of interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values championed by UPF founders, the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. He concluded by saying that we must begin “a multilateral family of Asia-Pacific nations” through universally shared values so that mutual prosperity will be shared widely to the benefit of the whole region and beyond.

Dr. Nigora Talipova, assistant professor at Tashkent State Economic University, Uzbekistan, pointed out that South Korea uses proactive, multi-vector foreign policies as instruments to address the Korean issue. To support her argument she cited the New Northern Policy, an important foreign policy achievement of South Korea that aims to build a comprehensive cooperation relationship between the two Koreas and the countries north of them, including five countries in Central Asia. Dr. Talipova added that this economic interaction model can contribute to the integration of the economic experiences of Korea, its technologies and capital as well as the regions’ rich natural and human resources, and thus reach its maximum efficiency for potential cooperation.

Prof. Swaran Singh, chairman of the Center for International Policies, Organization & Disarmament, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India; president of the Association of Asia Scholars; and general secretary of the Indian Association of Asian & Pacific Studies, believes that the topic of achieving sustainable peace in Korea is a critical issue for all humanity and warned nations not to conclude that war is the only option, as he recalled the famous monuments commemorating the soldiers who made  supreme sacrifices for India and in wars. He said that just as justice and freedom has been described as indivisible, so has sustainable peace. He enumerated two drivers for peace on the Korean Peninsula: (i) the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea, which has been the most destabilizing force, and (ii) the infusion of modern technology to address security and development challenges which will lead to solutions that are essentially multilateral. He said all wars are bad but nuclear wars cannot be won and therefore must not be fought. He recommended the upcoming 10th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1971 tackle the issue of the delegitimization of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Subash Kaji Shrestha, deputy secretary general of the Asian Regional Institute of Juche Idea (ARIJI) and former deputy mayor of Dhulikhel municipality in Nepal, acknowledged that the Korean Peninsula now stands at a crucial crossroads: whether to advance along the road of peace and reunification after breaking the serious deadlock in North-South relations or continuously suffer the pain resulting from division and the vicious cycle of confrontation and the danger of war. He said the Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018 signed by President of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and the President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Moon Jae-in is a landmark for national reunification. Not only can it further accelerate the development of inter-Korean relations, but also open up a new heyday of national reconciliation, unity, peace and prosperity by honestly and fully implementing the Panmunjom Declaration, in keeping with the aspiration of all Koreans, he said.

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