Monday, October 19, 2015

DPRK FM Urges U.S. Not to Groundlessly Shun Conclusion of Peace Treaty

Pyongyang, October 17 (KCNA) -- The DPRK Foreign Ministry Saturday released the following statement: As already known to the world, at the recent 70th UN General Assembly the DPRK reclarified its fair and aboveboard stand to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement (AA) by a peace treaty. This was prompted by the urgent need to defuse the danger of a war caused by the potential threat to the Korean Peninsula and create climate for durable peace. The situation on the peninsula in last August when a trifling accidental case created a touchand-go situation all of a sudden finally proved that the present AA could no longer avert a conflict and defuse the danger of a war. An agreement was reached between the north and the south with much effort thanks to the DPRK's peace-loving stand and persevering patience but there is no guarantee that the agreement will be preserved and implemented as desired. It is because the south Korean authorities, a party to the agreement, do not have any prerogative of command over any armed force in south Korea and are not in a position to reject any joint military drill imposed by the U.S. It is as clear as noonday that if a conflict occurs again in the area along the Military Demarcation Line due to the escalating tension, it will spill over into an uncontrollable all-out war. The course of the negotiations held so far for the settlement of the issue on the Korean [2] Peninsula proved that no issue in which the countries concerned including the U.S. are interested can be settled unless a peace treaty is concluded before anything else. The DPRK once discussed the issue of denuclearization at the six-party talks by taking into consideration the assertion of the countries concerned that the issue of denuclearization should be discussed before anything else and simultaneously discussed both the nuclear issue and the issue of ensuring peace in the past. But all these discussions proved futile and, even when a partial agreement was reached, it was not implemented. This was mainly because the U.S. persistently pursued its hostile policy toward the DPRK and its military provocations such as large-scale joint military exercises and introduction of nuclear striking means into south Korea, its vivid manifestation, periodically chilled the atmosphere of all negotiations and ratcheted up the tension on the peninsula. In order to put a definite end to the evil cycle of escalating confrontation and tension it is necessary to replace the AA by a peace treaty before anything else. This is the conclusion drawn by the DPRK. There are two ways for ensuring peace on the peninsula. The first one is the Cold War way in which the DPRK has to bolster its capability for selfdefence with its nuclear force as a pivot in every way so as to cope with the U.S. increased nuclear threat and war provocations. It is entirely thanks to the DPRK's nuclear deterrence that all-out war is averted on the peninsula in a state of ceasefire. The other way is for the U.S. to roll back its hostile policy toward the DPRK and respond to the call for concluding the peace treaty with the latter so as to ensure genuine and lasting peace based on confidence. The issue of replacing the AA by a peace treaty is the matter on which the U.S. should make bold decision first and there should be a principled agreement between the DPRK and the U.S., to begin with. The UN, too, should positively support the conclusion of the peace treaty and thus fulfill its responsibility for putting an end to the abnormal situation where its member country is technically at war with the "UN Command" on the Korean Peninsula. [3] If the confidence building between the DPRK and the U.S. helps remove the source of imminent war, it is possible to finally put an end to the nuclear arms race and consolidate peace. The U.S. should drop the idea of groundlessly shunning the issue of concluding the peace treaty and prudently take a right option. If the U.S. shuns the conclusion of the peace treaty or puts a conditionality on it even at this time when the situation on the peninsula has reached a crucial turning point, this attitude will clearly show the world that it has no intention to roll back its hostile policy toward the DPRK. If the U.S. insists on its hostile policy, it will only see the DPRK's limitless bolstering of nuclear deterrence and the growth of its revolutionary armed forces capable of fighting any form of war to be ignited by the former. -0

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