IFJ Congress 2001: 31. Establishment of Peace on the Korean Peninsula

31. Establishment of Peace on the Korean Peninsula Proposed: Korean Affiliates of the IFJ, KJA and KFPU The 24th IFJ Congress, meeting in Seoul on June 11th to June 15th, 200, notes that: The desire for peace on the Korean Peninsula, the last island of the cold war confrontation, is now more urgent than at any other time. Today, the Peninsula is still cited as one of the few remaining powder kegs in the world, with one of the most heavily militarised borders in the world dividing North and South Korea. Should there be armed conflict on the Peninsula, it would clearly put peace and stability of the entire world at risk. Fortunately, the two immediate parties to this conflict, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a historic summit meeting in June 2000. The summit meeting brought an end to the 50-year history of antagonism and confrontation and prepared a foundation for reconciliation, cooperation, and peace on the Peninsula. The two parties reconfirmed at the summit meeting the principles of autonomous and peaceful unification that were spelled out in the July 4th joint communiqué of 1972. The two parties also acknowledged, for the first time since the division of the country, that there are complimentary features in their respective unification plans, thus taking “a big step” toward solving the conflict on the Peninsula. The June 15th Joint Statement, drafted and announced last year by ROK and DPRK was received enthusiastically by all people around the globe who want reconciliation and peace on earth. After the announcement of the June 15th Joint Statement, EU members and other Western countries established formal diplomatic relations with DPRK, joining the line of other nations that have already done so. IFJ, in particular, recognised the contribution EU made towards the stabilisation of peace on the Peninsula by sending a delegation, in May of this year, for consecutive visits to DPRK and ROK. Along with such efforts put forth by the international community, DPRK, once regarded as the proverbial “Hermit Kingdom”, is also displaying attitudes as a responsible member of that community, willing to pursue mutual prosperity with countries that formerly antagonised. IFJ believes that a positive evaluation of changes in the DPRK and accelerating the speed of DPRK’s transfer into the international community will contribute to the stabilisation of peace on the Korean Peninsula and to the maintenance of peace on Northeast Asia and the world. Therefore, in the name of journalists around the world affiliated with IFJ, the participants at the 24th IFJ Congress in Seoul urge for and adopt the following. 1. The plan by the United States to establish a missile defense system must not become an obstacle for the stabilisation of peace on the Korean Peninsula. In particular, since DPRK is moving towards resolution of the missile issue through negotiation, the U.S. must solve the issue through dialogue with the DPRK. Also, the U.S. must not force ROK participation in the establishment of the missile defense network. 2. ROK and DPRK must confirm, at home and abroad, the opening of the second summit meeting. Holding regular Inter-Korean summit meetings, including the second summit meeting not yet announced, will greatly contribute to stability and peace on the Peninsula. To achieve this, groundwork is necessary on both sides. ROK must either revise or abolish the National Security Law, which legally defines DPRK as an enemy state. IFJ shall remind the world that the National Security Law has been pointed out as an element that infringes upon freedom of the press and expression in ROK. On the other hand, DPRK should keep in mind that improving relations with ROK would also contribute to improving their relations with the U.S. 3. When reporting on issues regarding the Peninsula, journalists must pay attention to making an effort towards accurate reporting based on facts. The difficulty of access to sources of information cannot be used as an excuse for reporting based on conjecture. Journalists must remember that the journalistic principle of pursuing accurate and objective reporting cannot be an exception in handling issues regarding the Korean Peninsula.