Korea Global Fo­rum 2014 In­ter­na­tional Ex­pert Con­fer­ence

The Global Digest (English) - - Contents - By Staff Cor­re­spon­dent

The Korea Global Fo­rum 2014 Trust, Peace, and Mu­tual Pros­per­ityas a path to Korean Uni­fi­ca­tion, in­ter­na­tional ex­pert con­fer­ence, was held in Seoul from Septem­ber 25-26th, 2014. The fo­rum was or­ga­nized by the East Asia In­sti­tute and hosted by the Min­istry of Uni­fi­ca­tion of South Korea, where ap­prox­i­mately 500 hun­dred peo­ple at­tended. The fol­low­ing are pre­sen­ta­tions and dis­cus­sions of ex­perts in at­ten­dance:

Frank Jan­nuzi, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Mau­reen and Mike Mans­field Foundation, ar­gued that US pol­icy change may be a new as­sess­ment of any threat to South Korea, or any op­por­tu­nity that is avail­able. The US has an al­liance struc­ture, but China doesn’t have any­thing com­pa­ra­ble, not even with North Korea, Myan­mar, Laos, and Cam­bo­dia. He found that East Asia is a rapidly chang­ing re­gion, and at the same time, there is a lack of a se­cu­rity struc­ture. He be­lieves the re­gion needs a multi-lat­eral se­cu­rity struc­ture. Un­der the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, US pol­icy on East Asia is low, and the Koreas are not a pri­or­ity agenda, he ex­plained.

John Ever­ard, a former Bri­tish Am­bas­sador to North Korea, said the Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion is­sue cor­re­sponded to each other only af­ter the col­lapse of East Ger­many. Fran­coise Nicolas, Di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Asian Stud­ies, the French In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, also said Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion was not a de­lib­er­ate pol­icy, and not much a pre-uni­fi­ca­tion by chance, due to the col­lapse of East Ger­many. She sug­gests South and North Korea can fol­low a Chi­nese model as one coun­try two sys­tems. The build­ing of Ger­man trust also de­pended on other fac­tors of Euro­pean neigh­bors as well, but Korean trust build­ing is de­pen­dent on the two Koreas only, she pointed out. Eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor for trust build­ing where some neg­a­tive re­sults of the Ger­man ex­pe­ri­ence led to East Ger­mans feel­ing they are treated as a sec­ond­class cit­i­zens.

Vasilly Mikheev, Vice Pres­i­dent of In­sti­tute of World Econ­omy and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, ar­gued if the two Koreas unite into a mar­ket econ­omy on the Korean Penin­sula, it will lead to de­cline. Rus­sia will suf­fer as well. He said in­deed Rus­sia is re­spon­si­ble for North Korean nu­cle­ariza­tion. Ac­tu­ally, Rus­sian in­ter­ests are a post Soviet se­cu­rity struc­ture. He also said Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion was a col­lapse of the so­cial­ist sys­tem in East Ger­many. He iden­ti­fied the US en­gage­ment pol­icy to­ward North Korea is not to as­sist in the sur­vival of North Korea, but to col­lapse the regime. He hoped only that North Korea could col­lapse in a coup as a pre­con­di­tion for uni­fi­ca­tion.

Li Nan, re­search fel­low at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ence, said the Chi­nese dis­ap­proved of North Korean nu­cle­ari­sa­tion, and nei­ther of the US-ROK mil­i­tary ex­er­cises. China wants the IAEA to be in­volved in North Korean nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment. China no longer con­sid­ers North Korea as a buf­fer zone, even though, China and North Korea have a treaty, they don’t have real co­op­er­a­tion, such as they con­duct no joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cises. Nowa---

days, China is con­sid­ered by North Korea as a nor­mal statist re­la­tion­ship. For China, it wor­ries for US troops re­main­ing in Korea even af­ter uni­fi­ca­tion, he ex­pressed. Yoo Hoe-yeol, Pro­fes­sor at Korea Univer­sity dis­cussed trust build­ing be­tween North and South Korea, as Pres­i­dent Park sent a mes­sage to the UN As­sem­bly, for peace, de­vel­op­ment, and hu­man rights as main points. In South Korea, young peo­ple do not re­ally care for uni­fi­ca­tion of the Korea penin­sula, he re­vealed.

Dr. Ry­ooKihl-jae, min­is­ter of Uni­fi­ca­tion for South Korea, em­pha­sized the pre­con­di­tion for North Korea to im­ple­ment what they had al­ready made an agree­ment on, and both sides need sin­cer­ity and com­mit­ment for trust build­ing.

Ge­or­gyToloraya, head of the Re­gional Projects Depart­ment, Russkiy Mir Foundation, de­clined im­pos­ing pre­con­di­tions upon North Korea to start trust build­ing, which is not like part­ner­ship com­mu­ni­ca­tion. He ar­gued that pre­serv­ing two states is a must. If he has a chance to ad­vise Kim Jongun, he will de­mand to stop provo­ca­tions.

Hans-Ul­rich Seidt, In­spec­tor Gen­eral, Ger­man For­eign of­fice, has to in­spect all Ger­man em­bassies around the world. His opin­ion of Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion was through con­fi­dence build­ing and co­op­er­a­tion, not be­cause of the col­lapse of East Ger­many or the USSR. The Euro cur­rency was the re­sult of Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion, he is con­vinced. It is im­por­tant to be aware dur­ing con­fi­dence build­ing, such as mil­i­tary ex­er­cises, they shouldn’t be made against the other side, North Korea, he sug­gested. And, he re­called back the im­por­tance of Rus­sian and US lead­er­ship for trust build­ing in the case of Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion.

Fujiwara Ki­ichi, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Tokyo, iden­ti­fied the East Asian re­gional se­cu­rity struc­ture un­der US al­liances should be one of co­op­er­a­tion among al­liance states, such as the co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Ja­pan and South Korea a cru­cial part. He pointed out the prob­lem in East Asian se­cu­rity as a lack of a mech­a­nism to con­trol an es­ca­la­tion from any state. Nowa­days, so­cial be­hav­ior also has changed in Asia, where Chi­nese peo­ple think they are a ma­jor power, and Ja­pan is in de­cline of its power. The Ja­panese do­mes­tic sit­u­a­tion is that the LDP ad­min­is­tra­tion wants to re­main in power, not just Abe.

Former Un­der Sec­re­tary of State Kurt Gam­bell

The next day a spe­cial guest, Kurt Gam­bell spoke - nowa­days is a dy­namic and dif­fi­cult time around the world with global bal­anc­ing and changes. He no­ticed the US needs to step care­fully around the Asia Pa­cific in or­der to play a role for what it wants, and the long-term ef­fort must be, not just a tac­tic but also a larger vi­sion. He warned that Asia has to be­come open and ac­cept what the US ini­ti­ated. Now, it’s the 40th an­niver­sary of the open­ing up of China.

He called for South Korea and Ja­pan to work to­gether within the same US al­liance, be­cause North Korea is still work­ing for China’s strate­gic in­ter­est. Ac­tu­ally, 20 years ago, North Korea did en­gage with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity more than to­day; North Korea is only en­gaged with China, which dis­ap­pointed him. In fact, the North Korean case is ex­traor­di­nar­ily dif­fi­cult, which can lead to mis­trust among them. The uni­fi­ca­tion of the Korean penin­sula is not an orig­i­nal pur­pose for North Korea and China, he pointed out. To bal­ance China’s in­flu­ence, the US also trained some of North Korea’s young peo­ple for a fu­ture in the next gen­er­a­tion. He clar­i­fied a re­la­tion­ship should be not just for mil­i­tary pur­poses;but also to help peo­ple in other ways. Of course, the US has con­ducted more di­a­logues with China and en­gaged an af­fec­tive strat­egy than any other coun­tries have done.

He also de­scribe the in­ter­nal US po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, where par­ties are also di­vided and it’s dif­fi­cult to make any af­fec­tive pol­icy. Poli­cies are chang­ing faster nowa­days, as the re­sult and there will be more fre­quent ten­sion. For his un­der sec­re­tary po­si­tion, he had to at­tend sev­eral con­fer­ences, fre­quently. Ac­tu­ally, he pointed out the US chal­lenge as a strat­egy. Two sources of Asian strate­gies are a re­la­tion­ship with China and an al­liance re­la­tion­ship. He ad­mit­ted the US had erred for not work­ing with Europe. When it comes to Rus­sian and US co­op­er­a­tion for Asia, he pointed out it is hin­dered by the is­sues in Ukraine be­tween the two su­per­pow­ers at the mo­ment.

At the In­ter­an­tional Ex­pert Con­fer­ence in 2014

Kurt Gam­bell

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