Vol. 8
The Jeju Peace Institute is delighted to present the ‘Jeju Forum Alumni Newsletter,’ created to spread and realize the ideas and visions discussed at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. In this issue, Glyn Ford, Director of The Track2Asia and former member of the European Parliament, reflects on the success of the Jeju Forum to date and highlights paths forward. This issue also brings you some of the highlights of the 13th Jeju Forum held this past June and a video message from Steven BLOCKMANS, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium. We look forward to your feedback and continued support.
Ireland and the Devil’s Details! Glyn Ford Director of The Track2Asia; Former member of the European Parliament
For those looking to manage future relations between North and South a great deal of focus and attention has been on the process of German unification. Some of this dates back to Kim Dae-jung’s sojourn at Cambridge University when his study led to the development of the ‘Sunshine Policy’. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of that pilgrimage it is important to remind ourselves that the ‘Sunshine Policy’ came from a recognition that a reprise the German model wouldn’t work on the Peninsula for an amalgam of financial, social and political reasons. A quarter of a century on those truths are even more self-evident.

Pyongyang realizes that early re-unification is another word for assimilation. Yes, they aspire to eventual re-unification but only after their economy, that has been forced for decades to live a lie desperate to keep up in the Peninsula’s arms race that has sucked all the life out of the civilian economy, is able to flower and grow a double digit percentages for a quarter of a century. For the moment the aspiration is ‘two countries, one system’.

Thus the appropriate model to learn from is Ireland not Germany. The Irish Peace Process is worthy of study because will be more likely to be analogous to the situation on the Peninsula. For here was peace without unification. But this very process required both sides to accept the unacceptable, endure the unendurable and forgive the unforgettable. Those accused and those guilty of mayhem, bombings and the murder of men, women and children on both sides were given immunity from prosecution.

There is no peaceful unification unless a similar path is followed on the Peninsula. It was this that made Pyongyang so dismissive of Park Guen-hye’s talk of peaceful unification as she simultaneously set up the machinery, with the invitation for the UN’s Centre for Human Rights in North Korea in Incheon, to churn out lists of those in the North guilty of Human Rights violations. No-one can escape the knowledge of man’s inhumanity to man in the North. The aim must be the earliest possible cessation. This will follow the adoption of the Irish model and the South African model of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The last twelve months has seen a truly remarkable transformation in North-South relations on the Peninsula and a new rapprochement between Pyongyang and Washington that few would have foreseen in the early days of the Trump Administration. Even with the promise of a second Kim-Trump Summit in Asia sometime after the middle of next January we are a long, long way from the finish line. Those negotiations will pose some difficult issues as regards the verified ending of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and the removal of material and bombs over the next decade. This is well understood by all those involved. What is less appreciated and even spoken about in the South, are some tricky issues that will need addressing and resolving between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Here there is a role for the Jeju Peace Forum. First it should develop and adapt, on the basis of the Irish and South African experience, a model law setting out a legal framework post-unification. Early unification may not be on the agenda, but the process will be eased and quickened if those in power in the North are aware early on of the legal jeopardy that unification will pose for them and their families.

Second the Forum should address interregnum issues that must be dealt with in a pragmatic way in the time between settlement and unification. Clearly the ‘iron curtain’ that has held for forty years along the DMZ is rightly being weakened. The recent recognition by UNC Commander Vincent Brooks that security around Panmunjom can be sharply reduced is just the first of many such steps. Yet these will have consequences as yet unaddressed. Even under the previous regime there were ‘defections’ across the DMZ. There was the spectacular defection in November last year of a soldier in a jeep and in 2012 an earlier ‘defection’.

With the slackening of security, the occasional will become common and potentially a flood. Currently ‘defectors’ and economic migrants from the North are automatically welcomed and paid a bounty for moving to the South. With rapprochement people in the DPRK will learn more of the ‘prosperity gap’ between North and South and ‘illegal’ migration will become easier. How will Seoul control this process? In the last sixty-five years 30,000 ‘defectors’ and economic migrants have arrived in the South. At the height of the Syrian crisis Germany was taking in that many per day!

With or without such resettlement grants does Seoul in future return those fleeing in any circumstances? The defector in 2012 had killed his platoon and squadron leaders, while last November’s defector seemingly admits to manslaughter or worse. Do North Koreans visiting the South have some kind of ‘immunity’ from prosecution if accused of Human Rights violations as former campguards? What about those accused of non-political crimes? Does the South accept the North allowing/encouraging the aged and infirm to join their families in the South?

What about the problem in reverse? The South Korean Evangelical Christians who will court arrest and martyrdom as they proselytize in the North. How does Seoul respond when they are arrested and jailed? Does it ask for them to be deported back home and pay an indemnity? Does the same apply to Northeners promoting Kimilsungism? As is said, ‘the devil is in the detail’ and it is the unintended consequences of some of these unanswered questions that may prove as dangerous as some of the nuclear issues. It won’t be long before the first family ‘defects’ across the DMZ. The Jeju Forum has work to do!

Glyn Ford is the author of ‘Talking to North Korea’ (Pluto, 2018) that will be published in Korean later this year. He’s a former Labour Member of the European Parliament (1984-2009) and has visited Pyongyang almost fifty times in the last twenty-one years.

Glyn Ford was a Member of the European Parliament for over 25 years, leaving the EP in June 2009. Before entering the European Parliament Glyn was a Senior Research Fellow in Manchester University’s Department of Science and Technology Policy and was at various times a Visiting Fellow/ Professor at Sussex University, the University of Tokyo and the East-West Centre in Hawaii. At the European Parliament he served on both the International Trade and Foreign Affairs Committees, particularly on dossiers related to Asia. During his time as an MEP, Glyn was rapporteur for the Free-Trade Agreement with ASEAN, for implementing the Scientific Partnership Agreement with the Republic of Korea, and he was ‘shadow’ on the EU-Japan and EU-China trade agreements.

Glyn was also a member of the Delegation with the Japanese Diet from 1984 to 2009, and the Delegation for relations with the Korean Peninsula from its creation in 2004 to 2009. Glyn was leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and Deputy Leader of the Socialist Group and served at various times on the Research, Technology and Energy, Justice and Home Affairs, Petitions and Rules Committees along with the Sub-Committee on Security and Defence. He was the Socialist Co-ordinator on both the Rules and Petitions Committees.

(For more information about Glyn Ford’s activities in the European Parliament, please follow the link below: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/archive/alphaOrder/view.do?language=EN&id=1413)

After leaving the Parliament, Glyn Ford founded POLINT, focusing on European Politics, International Relations and International Trade. He also continued his political and academic engagement with the DPRK and the East Asian region. These activities, which have always been conducted on a ‘non-profit’ basis, are now carried out in the framework of the NGO Track2Asia.

Thanks to his engagement with the DPRK, he is now considered one of the most pre-eminent European experts on the Korean peninsula in particular, and East Asia in general. A sample of this expertise can be seen in his books “North Korea on the Brink” (Pluto Press, 2008 and later translated into Japanese and Korean) and "Talking to North Korea" (Pluto Press, 2018).

Reducing Tension and Building Confidence in the Korean Peninsula
This session focuses on areas to build confidence on the Korean Peninsula in light of the Panmunjom Declaration. Discussants talk about approaches to build confidence as well as mechanisms to deal with challenges and buffer and buttress such a process to ensure difficulties do not erode support for the agreements.

The following are excerpts from the final report of the Jeju Forum 2018.
- Sonja BACHMANN Teamleader, Northeast Asia and the Pacific, Department of Political Affairs, Asia and the Pacific Division, United Nations
- Robert CARLIN Visiting Scholar, CISAC, Stanford University
- BAEK Jong Chun Chairman, The Sejong Institute
- Glyn FORD Director, The Track2Asia/Former Member of the European Parliament
- CHENG Xiaohe Associate Professor, School of International Studies at Renmin University of China
- Sonja BACHMANN Following the Panmunjom Declaration, both reducing tension and building confidence on the Korean Peninsula have become serious matters. These measures can lead to the denuclearization of North Korea. The two Koreas consider the Declaration essential for providing security guarantees. Therefore, it should be implemented accordingly. In regard to building a peace regime, which is the ultimate goal to be achieved, the Declaration lays out ways to enhance political and military confidence in detail. When focusing on building trust, the two Koreas should probably start with low-level arms control, and then if possible, move on to the gradual reduction of each other’s armed forces. As trust builds over time, the tension will further de-escalate on the Korean Peninsula. Under such circumstances, relations between the U.S. and North Korea can be normalized. Simply put, the completion of the normalization process will be a prerequisite for bringing about a stable peace regime. All of these suggest that everything must be coordinated carefully. Let us start off by assessing the Panmunjom Declaration in detail. Without the proper implementation of the measures stipulated in the Declaration, reducing tension and building confidence on the Korean Peninsula simply will be impossible. Therefore, how will the Declaration get implemented?
- Sonja BACHMANN Similar to inter-Korean relations, the relations between the U.S. and North Korea must improve as well in order to reduce tension and build confidence. However, it seems like Washington only cares about denuclearization. What can we learn from the past experiences?
- Robert CARLIN Since I am more of a carpenter or a cabinetmaker, I like dealing with details, but other panels have been more conceptual. Currently, we are Intellectually constipated. We must be prepared to go beyond the norm. The gap has been too wide between Washington and Pyongyang until now. But, the speed that we are witnessing right now should be an indication of what is possible. The process will be slowed down inevitably at some point. Considering this, we should take bigger steps and do things sooner. There is a lot of momentum on the North Korean side. The U.S. has tendencies to slow things down when there is widespread skepticism, and this must be avoided. Let North Korea continue to make progress for us. Governments have hard time coordinating. In order to move things forward, all implementation steps are crucial. We have to stop being obsessed with the concept of denuclearization and, at the same time, keep in mind that this is a much broader process. Denuclearization is important for sure, but it is not the only thing that needs to move forward. In regard to the implementation process, there have been multiple failures in the past. However, these failures should not be considered the same. The Agreed Framework did not fail. Instead, it was deliberately murdered; it is a mistake to call it a failure. Negotiators spend a lot of time putting words on paper. Unfortunately, those who implement have a hard time understanding them. Implementing is much more complex than negotiating, and we must figure out how to integrate the two together. Lastly, it would be misleading to think that complete verification is possible. It is simply impossible! North Korea is not a conquered country. It is a sovereign state and a matter of sovereignty will come into play. We will have to settle for less somehow.
- Sonja BACHMANN What are the roles of so-called the “Big 4” countries, particularly the U.S. and China?
- CHENG Xiaohe We are still in the early stage of exploring key actors’ true intentions. We are moving to a good direction, but I am not sure whether North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons. Why did North Korea refuse to make new commitments at the Singapore Summit? Despite this, I believe that Washington and Pyongyang can have a breakthrough on major issues through high-level discussions. At this point, the basic framework for denuclearization is absent. Accordingly, clarifying key concepts will be very important. The two leaders must reach a minimal consensus. For example, what does CVID mean exactly? For the time being, this is more important than the implementation process. There are many lessons to be learned from the past failures. First of all, Washington and Beijing must show leadership. The U.S. once believed that China should spearhead the efforts to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea. More importantly, the process should not be a zero-sum game. The U.S. and China did not—and still do not—trust each other. When playing zero-sum games, it is extremely difficult to cooperate. With respect to the unification issue, the two Koreas will continue to lead the way, and both the U.S. and China will play a supporting role. When it comes to the denuclearization issue, Washington and Pyongyang will play a leading role, while the roles of Seoul and Beijing remain confined. Russia and Japan will be included in the process later on, but they will play only supportive roles. Other members of the international community such as the European Union (EU) have a very limited say in this matter and will be so for the foreseeable future. Fi-nally, it is important to remember that securing more participants does not necessarily guarantee bringing about good results. China’s role in dealing with North Korea has been evolving since the early 1990s. China had nothing to do with the Agreed Framework. China then joined the Four-Party Talks. Subsequently, China began to host the Six-Party Talks. China became a resolution enforcer, thereby punishing its own ally. Nonetheless, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un met three times up until now and signaled that they have good relations, their friendship remains unchanged, and Beijing will assist Pyongyang along the tumultuous way. In other words, if North Korea really needs help, China will be there. It is evident that China will play a more important and active role.
- Sonja BACHMANN What can the international community do? Are there any lessons from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or other agreements? Moreover, what should we and North Korea expect from one another?
- Glyn FORD How did we get to this point? There are two threats to North Korea: external (i.e., the U.S., South Korea, and Japan) and internal. South Korea spends more than North Korea’s entire GDP on its military. Therefore, for North Korea, its nuclear weapons can trump everything. Kim Jong-un wants to retain his nuclear arsenal while developing his country’s backward economy, but he will be unable to do so. This is exactly why he wants CVIG. Chairman Kim wants to kick-start North Korea’s economy. We are in a sweet spot at the moment. Pyongyang is prepared to move very fast and far. We must focus on things that could further encourage North Korea to denuclearize.
The policy of strategic patience was simply what I call “malign neglect.” All previous negotiations with Pyongyang ended in failure, but they were not the same failure. We have to learn from them. In fact, one agreement that was partially successful was the 1994 Agreed Framework; it effectively arrested North Korea’s path to nuclearization for about six to eight years. Most likely, a new agreement will resemble the Agreed Framework. However, there must be some kind of a sense of ownership. For example, guarantors of North Korea’s security have to show gestures. Kim Jong-un will not abandon his nuclear arsenal until everything has been implemented. He is well aware that Washington will lose interest in Pyongyang without the presence of nuclear weapons.
The North Koreans will want something like two light-water reactors, which would be funded mostly by South Korea. Of course, under President Trump, the U.S. will not pay a single penny. In order to develop its economy, North Korea will need help in mitigating the chronic energy supply shortages. For this particular reason, I believe that Pyongyang’s big demand will be connected to energy.
We have to make reasonable demands. North Korea is sanctioned today due to its nuclear, missile, and space programs. The international community also expressed grave concern over North Korea’s current human rights situation. If Pyongyang wants sanctions relief, it will have to comply and roll back these programs. What could North Korea expect in return? There will be a U.S. security guarantee, sanctions relief, and normalization of relations. Moreover, there will be humanitarian and development assistance. Throughout the entire process, they have to communicate with one another. One of the problems with the Agreed Framework was that the promised Liaison Offices in Washington and Pyongyang were never established. Opening Liaison Offices therefore should be prioritized this time. These Liaison Offices will play a key role in managing the problems and disputes that may arise between the two countries.
For North Korea to feel sufficiently safe, a U.S. security guarantee and the entailing peace settlement should be endorsed by the UN Security Council. This endorsement by the Security Council will make any new agreement with Pyongyang more multilateral in nature similar to the JPCOA, which then would be more resilient and stronger compared to the Agreed Framework. The international community has to share the financial burden. At the same time, there should be some burden-sharing arrangements in the political arena. For instance, the EU could reengage North Korea through a human rights dialogue.
Policy Implications
• Even after the inter-Korean and Singapore summits, the basic framework for denuclearization remains absent. Prior to discussing the implementation process, several key concepts such as CVID should be clarified.
• Although all previous negotiations with North Korea failed, there are lessons to be learned from them. It is imperative that both the U.S. and China actively take charge of the denu-clearization efforts this time.
• The Agreed Framework and JPCOA will serve as good guidelines when making new agreements with Pyongyang. The key is to make them multilateral by getting them endorsed by the UN Security Council.
Interview with an Alumnus
JPI PeaceTalk with Steven BLOCKMANS, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium
In this JPI PeaceTalk, Steven BLOCKMANS, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies, Belgium, argues that what Korea and its partners in the Northeast Asian context could do is to look at the partners in the region but also further beyond.
Jeju Forum Media Kit
The Jeju Forum Secretariat has released a media coverage for the 13th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, which was held from June 26 to 28 under the theme of Reengineering Peace for Asia. This media coverage is a collection of 657 media reports of the event, ranging from preview articles dated April 18th to final stories dated June 18th by 120 domestic and foreign media outlets. The coverage is broken down into 371 reports by newspapers and magazines, 29 by broadcasting stations, 55 by English newspapers and foreign media, and 202 by news agencies and online media. This year’s forum was successfully publicized through a variety of media coverages before and after the event.
Participating Institutions of the Jeju Forum
The Korean Association of International Studies
The Korean Association of International Studies (KAIS) was founded in 1956 to promote research and education related to international relations by Korean political scientists who shared the importance of international relations for South Korea and the understanding that international relations has its own distinct scope and methodology. The association is free from any ideological inclinations as well as political prejudices. Further, it does not identify with any political parties or administrations. For over six decades since its inception, the association has been successful in upholding these principles. For more than half a century since its inception, the KAIS has shown remarkable developments. Starting with a membership of no less than ten, KAIS has become one of the most prominent academic associations in Korea with more than 1,700 individual and institutional members. The KAIS has regularly held annual meetings, international conferences and special seminars on various themes of domestic and foreign policies. The KAIS publishes two academic journals, one in Korean and one in English. Also it published numerous numbers of books and text books on international studies, contributing the quality of scholarship in this field. In addition to the growth in its activities and membership, the KAIS also takes pride in meeting theoretical and policy needs of the South Korean government as well as universities. Thanks to its past achievements, dedication of its members, and adherence to principles, the KAIS today is one of the most respected and representative academic associations in Korea.
The Asan Institute for Policy Studies
The Asan Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, non-partisan think tank with the mandate to undertake policy-relevant research to foster domestic, regional, and international environments conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, as well as Korean reunification. The Asan Institute for Policy Studies was founded by Dr. Chung Mong Joon, honorary chairman and a seven-term member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, on February 11, 2008. We currently have 17 full-time research fellows, 20 program officers and 32 regular staff members. The institute conducts research in national security and foreign policy, area studies, public opinion and domestic politics, social science methodology, and global governance. The Asan Institute has also launched a monthly E-journal in 2013, The Asan Forum, for in-depth interpretation of rapid changes across the Asia-Pacific region. The Asan Academy, a special fellowship program to train the future generation of leaders in Korea, was also established by the institute in 2012.
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