nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

South Korea: Nuclear reactor shut after ‘malfunction’

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/south-korea-nuclear-reactor-shut-after-malfunction-/1419440

Hanbit 5 nuclear reactor has been shut down twice in last six months, local media report says
Riyaz ul Khaliq   |15.03.2019 , ANKARA

A nuclear reactor in South Korea has been shut down on Friday following a technical glitch, local media reported.

According to Yonhap news agency, South Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) announced 1 million-kilowatt Hanbit No. 5 in Yeonggwang region “stopped operating at around 1.25 p.m. (0425GMT), apparently due to a malfunction in its transformer”.

South Korea has six operational reactors at the Hanbit plant. The same nuclear reactor was shut down last September for its regular examination. It restarted generating power in November.

KHNP said that the malfunction in the nuclear reactor “did not cause any radiation leak or pose safety risks”.

Yonhap reported that South Korean officials have opened an investigation into what caused the malfunction in the Hanbit plant.

Hanbit No. 5 is expected to resume its operation as soon as inspections are completed, the news agency said.

Advertisements

March 16, 2019 Posted by | safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised North Korea’s offer to dismantle a key nuclear production complex

Moon Lauds North Korea’s Nuclear Offer, Splitting With Trump, Bloomberg, By Youkyung Lee, March 4, 2019, 

  • He says a ‘partial’ sanctions lift was discussed in Hanoi
  • Moon says Trump, Kim should meet soon to reach agreement

South Korean President Moon Jae-in praised North Korea’s offer to dismantle a key nuclear production complex as an “irreversible” step to undercut its weapons program, breaking with the Trump administration.

In a meeting to discuss the summit last week in Hanoi between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, Moon on Monday lauded North Korea’s offer to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear complex. He also called for pushing ahead with inter-Korean projects currently hindered by sanctions and said the two sides discussed the “partial” lifting of sanctions — backing North Korea’s version of events…….

Moon has endeavored to serve as a bridge between Trump and Kim, and has staked political capital on bringing peace to the divided peninsula. ….

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-04/moon-lauds-north-korea-s-nuclear-offer-splitting-with-trump

March 7, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

USA and South Korea cancel big war games – in a conciliatory gesture to North Korea

US, S. Korea officially call off annual military exercises amid nuclear talks with N. Korea, By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES March 2, 2019

SEOUL, South Korea — The United States and South Korea canceled key war games in favor of low-profile drills, the allies said Sunday, in a major concession to North Korea days after its nuclear summit with President Donald Trump collapsed without agreement.

The springtime exercises known as Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, along with their autumn counterpart Ulchi Freedom Guardian, have long been the lynchpin of the alliance between Seoul and Washington.

The drills, which include computer simulations and live-fire bombing runs, also have been a touchstone for tensions as the North considers them a rehearsal for an invasion.

The decision to cancel Key Resolve and Foal Eagle had been widely expected after Trump reiterated his own antipathy for the drills, which he has called “very expensive” and “provocative.”

Rebranding exercises

A rebranded “combined command post exercise” will be held from Monday to March 12, according to a separate statement issued Sunday by the top U.S. and South Korean commanders on the divided peninsula.

Commanders and other military officials insisted they can maintain a strong defensive posture with scaled-back training…… https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-s-korea-officially-call-off-annual-military-exercises-amid-nuclear-talks-with-n-korea-1.571119

March 4, 2019 Posted by | politics international, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea offers hope that the Trump-Kim nuclear summit could bring an end to the Korean War

Korean War could be declared over at Trump-Kim summit, says South Korea   There’s an upbeat tone that a formal declaration ending the Korean War could be made at the Hanoi summit this week. SBS News 25 Feb 19,    Hopes that US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War at the Hanoi summit rose Monday, after South Korea said the two leaders could reach an agreement.

The devastating conflict between communist North Korea, backed by China, and the capitalist South, aided by the United States, ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving Pyongyang and Washington still technically at war.

“I believe that the possibility is there,” the South’s presidential Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters about a formal declaration.

“There is no way of knowing what kind of declaration it might be, but I believe the US and North Korea may reach an agreement.”

President Moon Jae-in said in October “it was only a matter of time” before Washington and Pyongyang declared an end to the war.

The US has also struck an upbeat tone. Stephen Biegun, the US special envoy for North Korea, said earlier this month that Trump was “ready to end this war”, fuelling speculation that the formal end of the conflict may be near.

Kim, the leader of North Korea, is due to meet the US president in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday and Thursday, where it is hoped the pair will make progress in talks on denuclearisation, and a possible peace treaty……..

President Trump says he would be happy as long as North Korea maintains its pause on weapons testing, and he is in no rush to strike a nuclear deal with Kim Jong-un. …..https://www.sbs.com.au/news/korean-war-could-be-declared-over-at-trump-kim-summit-says-south-korea

February 25, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

With escalating tensions between India and Pakistan, could India consider a pre-emptive nuclear strike?

February 23, 2019 Posted by | India, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

An end-of-war declaration would be the first step towards denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula begins with a peace declaration, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By David Kim, February 14, 2019 During his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump announced that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the end of the month to continue a “historic push” for peace on the Korean Peninsula. If one statement stood out from Trump on North Korea, it’s that “much work remains to be done” to achieve complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Last year’s summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim was historic not for what it achieved on denuclearization, but for what it signaled to the world: Both countries, through the top-down, personality-driven diplomacy of their leaders, are ready to transform their relationship by seeking permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. The central question moving forward isn’t whether Kim is willing to give up his nuclear weapons; rather it’s whether the United States and North Korea can transform their relationship to a point where Kim and his elites begin to believe their regime can survive without nuclear weapons. More than any other measure, an end-of-war declaration between the two countries would represent the beginning of this transformation. As the State Department’s special representative for North Korea, Stephen Beigun, said in a speechat Stanford University, “President Trump is ready to end this war. It is over. It is done.” Both sides appear ready to make that statement a reality.

Denuclearization is a long-term goal. While some Trump administration officials have suggested otherwise, complete denuclearization isn’t a realistic short- or medium-term goal. After the Singapore summit, President Trump tweeted that North Korea no longer poses a “nuclear threat.” In fact, experts believe that tweet is a decade or more away from being true. It now seems that Trump may have adjusted his views on this point. In a recent tweet, Trump said he looks forward to “advancing the cause of peace” at the next summit in Vietnam, suggesting he accepts that peace and a new relationship should undergird any real denuclearization agreement with North Korea.

Trump should understand that by agreeing to a peace declaration with the North, he won’t necessarily speed up the denuclearization timeline; rather, he’d be laying the foundation for a formal peace regime, an institutional set-up to allow both the United States and North Korea to work toward that goal.  At Stanford, Biegun said the United States is prepared to take parallel steps with North Korea by “simultaneously look[ing] for ways to advance a more stable and peaceful, and ultimately, a more legal peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” one that can “advance denuclearization.” This is a much more subtle formulation than the previous all-or-nothing approach taken by many US policymakers, the idea that North Korea had to abandon all its weapons first before the United States took any steps such as sanctions relief.

Kim wants an end to the Korean War. Ever since the days of Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung’s regime, North Korea has sought a formal peace regime ending the Korean War. The country has repeatedly raised its strong desire for an end-of-war declaration as the next step towards permanent peace. A report on the regime’s state-run news agency, for instance, stated last year “that the issue of the end-of-war declaration should have been resolved a half a century ago.” Trump appears to agree. He reportedly told Kim in Singapore that he’d sign a declaration. Such a peace declaration may serve as a preliminary security guarantee, or litmus test, to see how serious Kim is about denuclearizing.

Unlike a formal peace treaty, an end-of-war declaration, or peace declaration, is a legally non-binding instrument. Getting to a declaration won’t involve difficult negotiations. The document, rather, would represent a symbolic end to a war that has actually been over since 1953. Without abandoning the goal of a peace treaty, Trump could use a declaration to signal to Kim that the United States is serious about negotiating with his regime. As some experts also point out, an end-of-war declaration could be a “game changer” for North Korea because it could help “neutralize the hardliners” within Kim’s regime, creating the breathing space to allow further progress towards denuclearization. It would also counteract the frequent propaganda narrative in North Korea of foreign encroachment………. https://thebulletin.org/2019/02/denuclearization-of-the-korean-peninsula-begins-with-a-peace-declaration/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=PeaceDeclaration_02152019

February 23, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea says that Kim Jong Un is ready to accept nuclear-plant inspections

Kim Ready to Accept Nuclear-Plant Inspections, South Korea Says, Bloomberg, By Youkyung Lee, February 16, 2019,

·          South Korea presidential adviser sees Trump path to compromise

·          Trump says ‘I’m in no rush for speed’ in talks with Kim regime

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was ready to accept the dismantlement and inspection of a high-profile nuclear plant, a South Korean presidential adviser said, suggesting a possible point of compromise in upcoming talks with President Donald Trump.

Moon Chung-in, a special adviser for foreign affairs and national security, said in an interview Friday that the verified destruction of the regime’s Yongbyon nuclear complex was an achievable goal during Trump’s planned Feb. 27-28 summit with Kim. Moon said it was his “understanding” that South Korean President Moon Jae-in got Kim’s personal assurance on that when they met in Pyongyang in September.

………..Moon Chung-in said the U.S. should agree to allow economic projects between the two Koreas to proceed in exchange for inspections of Yongbyon — something the U.S. has so far been reluctant to do. Kim has railed against the international sanctions regime choking his moribund economy and called for resuming the projects, including a industrial park and a mountain resort.

“Those will be doable,” Moon Chung-in said. Such an exchange would advance talks, “without undermining the overall sanctions regime by the UN Security Council, yet giving some kind of incentives to North Korea in a way the U.S. can come up with some sort of compromise,” he said.

Moon Chung-in, a strong advocate of South Korea rapprochement with North Korea, said the success of the Hanoi summit hinges on how North Korea proceeds with its nuclear arms program. Satellite-imagery analysis and leaked American intelligence suggest that North Korea has been churning out rockets and warheads as quickly as ever.

If North Korea continues to produce nuclear materials even after the Hanoi summit, I would say that’s the most important indicator that the Hanoi summit failed,” Moon Chung-in said. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-15/kim-ready-to-accept-inspection-of-nuclear-plant-adviser-says

 

February 16, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korea looks for nuclear dismantling pledge by Kim at second summit with Trump

Japan Times, 26 Jan 19,  North Korea must make concrete pledges toward curbing its nuclear weapons program, such as dismantling its main nuclear complex and allowing international inspections to confirm the process, when leader Kim Jong Un meets U.S. President Donald Trump as soon as next month, South Korea’s foreign minister said.

Kang Kyung-wha said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos that she is optimistic North Korea will agree to concrete steps toward abandoning its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, developed in violation of United Nations resolutions.

“The (North Korean) leader has promised to his people many times that ‘I’m going to take this country toward economic development.’ He has to deliver that, and he’s not going to get the kind of significant assistance unless he takes concrete steps toward denuclearization and somehow eases the sanctions regime,” she said on Thursday.

“Given the strong political will on the part of the top leaders of the two sides. … I think we will see concrete results.”

Trump and Kim held a historic first summit in Singapore in June. The White House said last week a second summit would be held in late February but did not say where………https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/25/asia-pacific/south-koreas-looks-nuclear-dismantling-pledge-kim-summit-trump/#.XEttNNIzbGg

January 26, 2019 Posted by | politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea’s Kim Yong Un wants more nuclear summits with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in

Kim Wants More Summits With Moon to Tackle Nuclear Issue ,Bloomberg, By Sam Kim and Youkyung Lee. December 30, 2018,

Kim intent on resolving nuclear impasse, Blue House says  North Korean leader sent personal letter to South Korea’s Moon

Kim Jong Un is intent on resolving the nuclear impasse that has stalled negotiations with the U.S. and wants to hold more meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Moon’s office said.

The North Korean leader sent Moon a personal letter of well wishes on Sunday, expressing a willingness to meet often in 2019 to advance peace talks and achieve “denuclearization on the Korean peninsula,” Moon spokesman Kim Eui-keum said. Moon thanked him for the letter, tweeting that the North Korean leader “again made clear” that he would act on his agreement with the U.S. and South Korea.

The missive came amid increased skepticism over Kim’s willingness to dismantle his arsenal of nuclear weapons, months after a historic summit with President Donald Trump in which the two leaders agreed to work toward denuclearization. Kim’s letter made no mention of Trump or the U.S.

…….Earlier this month, North Korea told the U.S. that sanctions and pressure won’t work to force Pyongyang into action on its nuclear program. North Korean state media said the removal of the U.S.’s nuclear weapons from the region was a condition of its own disarmament, raising the stakes for Trump’s efforts to hold a second summit with Kim………https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-30/kim-wants-more-summits-with-moon-to-tackle-nuclear-issue

December 31, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo orders South Korea to slow down on being friendly with North Korea

Pompeo to Seoul: Nuclear progress must not lag better Korea ties, REUTERS, November 21, 2018 WASHINGTON--The United States has told its ally South Korea it should not improve ties with North Korea faster than Pyongyang takes steps to give up its nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Speaking as a working group with South Korea to coordinate North Korean policy held an inaugural meeting in Washington, Pompeo indicated that Washington had been concerned that Seoul had moved too quickly with Pyongyang.

“We have made clear to the Republic of Korea that we do want to make sure that peace on the peninsula and the denuclearization of North Korea aren’t lagging behind the increase in the amount of inter-relationship between the two Koreas,” he told a news briefing………

Last month, in a rare sign of discord between Seoul and Washington, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Pompeo had expressed “discontent” at an inter-Korean military pact reached during a summit in September.

The Koreas also agreed in October to begin reconnecting rail and road links despite U.S. concerns that the rapid North-South thaw could undermine efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

At an unprecedented summit in June, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to work toward denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula and establish new relations.

But negotiations have since made little headway, with Pyongyang upset by Washington’s insistence that international sanctions must remain until it gives up its nuclear weapons.

Last week, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said in Washington it was important to provide North Korea with motivation to denuclearize but that sanctions would stay in place “until we see actual progress on denuclearization.” http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201811210041.html

November 22, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA | 1 Comment

South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Kepco is still working to land Saudi nuclear power deal,  Korea JoongAng Daily   BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr], 2 Nov 18, GWANGJU – The CEO of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said it still hopes to be picked for a $20 billion nuclear power plant project in Saudi Arabia that is expected to be decided by the end of next year. …….

“We are trying to show that we are working to become Saudi’s long-term partner,” Kim said

In July Korea was put on the shortlist for the Saudi nuclear project along with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.

The Saudi government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with a 2.8 gigawatt capacity by 2030. The country has plans to build a total of 16 nuclear power plants in the next 20 to 25 years. …….

Kim said earnings from overseas could make it easier for Kepco not to raise domestic electricity bills. ……..http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3055054

November 5, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

South Korean President Moon says that Kim Jong Un sincerely wants to abandon nuclear weapons

North Korea leader sincere, must be rewarded for move to abandon nuclear weapons: South Korean president, 15 Oct 18, PARIS (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sincere and really means to abandon nuclear weapons, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a French newspaper, adding that the international community needed to reward him for that.

……..“This year I have discussed in depth with Kim for hours. These meetings have convinced me that he has taken the strategic decision to abandon his nuclear weapon,” Moon told Le Figaro in an interview before a state visit to Paris.    Moon is to meet President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.

……Moon said he hoped another Trump-Kim summit would allow the two leaders to go further than the statements they made at their first meeting in Singapore.

“Declaring an end to the Korea war would be a start to establishing a regime of peace,” he said, also calling for the United States to take “reliable corresponding measures to guarantee the security of the regime”.

“We could also in the future discuss the easing of sanctions, in accordance with progress on denuclearization,” he added. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-southkorea-northkorea/north-korea-leader-sincere-must-be-rewarded-for-move-to-abandon-nuclear-weapons-south-korean-president-idUSKCN1MO0SG?il=0

October 15, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Nuclear safety should be the first priority in the Korean Peninsula

First, cooperate on nuclear safety in the Korean Peninsula, The Hill, 

Absent since the restart of dialogue with North Korea is any discussion on inter-Korean nuclear safety cooperation, despite concerns over possible safety risks at the North Korean nuclear complex. Inattention to the facility could have dire consequences for the peninsula: radioactive fallout does not recognize borders.

For example, because of its inability to acquire civil nuclear technology from abroad, North Korea might try to develop its own power reactor from a variation of outdated Soviet designs such as the RBMK-1000 type that resulted in the most catastrophic man-made disaster in history, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. On the other hand, the possible dismantlement of nuclear facilities such as the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which contains hazardous material and radioactive elements, could contaminate the surrounding environment and expose North Korean workers if there is improper clean-up.

In addition, as the operator of several fuel cycle facilities, North Korean leaders and experts no doubt would be interested in learning more about Japan’s costly lessons with nuclear safety. Despite having sophisticated industrial capability and arguably high nuclear safety standards, Japan has experienced deadly accidents in fuel cycle facilities — most notably the accident at a fuel fabrication plant in Tokaimura in September 1999, when the mishandling of enriched uranium led to the death of two workers from acute radiation exposure, and permanent injury of another. The accident, attributed to poor safety culture and inadequate regulatory oversight, exposed 436 people to radiation.

Without strict safety practices and adequate protection, North Korea might experience a similar scenario. Furthermore, the country has issues related to emergency response and communication in the event of a nuclear accident because of the secretive nature of its nuclear program. In particular, because North Korea terminated all cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2009, it would be difficult for outsiders to learn about any incident and provide support, if necessary. It is equally difficult for North Koreans to improve their safety culture and standards without an adequate, transparent working environment.

Why make nuclear safety an early priority in the high-level diplomatic process with North Korea? The number, pervasiveness and close-to-the-border locations of nuclear facilitates in North Korea are reasons enough.

The significant role of nuclear energy in electricity generation in South Korea, where 24 nuclear power units contribute almost 30 percent of the electricity production, means South Korean experts would have much to share.

Indeed, South Korea has had to overcome its own safety problems, such as the cover-up of a plant blackout at the Kori-1 nuclear power unit in 2012, and the revelation of falsified test results for safety-grade equipment in the same year. Scientists and engineers from these two countries should be enabled to cooperate on nuclear safety by sharing information about their safety practices.

Besides, communication platforms have existed for this kind of engineering diplomacy. Striving for the middle-power status in the region, South Korea has proposed several initiatives aimed at regional integration among Northeast Asian countries; thus, the issue of nuclear safety in North Korea would be a perfect opportunity for Moon to promote a nuclear safety initiative for bilateral cooperation of nuclear safety professionals from the two Koreas. …….. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/409750-first-cooperate-on-nuclear-safety-in-the-korean-peninsula

October 11, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, safety, South Korea | Leave a comment

North Korea could have 60 nuclear weapons- according to South Korea Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon

South Korea says Kim Jong Un could have 60 nuclear weapons  SEOUL, South Korea , CBS News, 2 Oct 18-– A top South Korean official told lawmakers that North Korea is estimated to have up to 60 nuclear weapons, in Seoul’s first public comment about the size of the North’s secrecy-clouded weapons arsenal. Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told parliament Monday the estimates on the size of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal range from 20 bombs to as many as 60. He was responding to a question by a lawmaker, saying the information came from the intelligence authorities.

The National Intelligence Service, South Korea’s main spy agency, couldn’t immediately comment.

Cho may have unintentionally revealed the information. His ministry said Tuesday Cho’s comments didn’t mean that South Korea would accept North Korea as a nuclear state, suggesting Seoul’s diplomatic efforts to rid the North of its nuclear program would continue.

The South Korean assessment on the North’s arsenal is not much different from various outside civilian estimates largely based on the amount of nuclear materials that North is believed to have produced……….https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-korea-kim-jong-un-60-nuclear-weapons-south-korea-minister-atomic-bombs/

October 5, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA must declare an end to the Korean war – to bring peace to the peninsula

To Secure Peace Between the Koreas, US Must Declare an End to the War, Christine Ahn, Truthout, September 24, 2018,A historic opportunity to end the seven-decade Korean War is suddenly within reach. The world witnessed world-class peacemaking between North and South Korea last week at the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared “a Korean Peninsula free of war” and “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.” But peacemaking between the two Koreas alone is not enough: The success of this process also rests on progress between Washington and Pyongyang, and particularly on the signing of a peace treaty to end the Korean War.

To a packed audience of 150,000 North Koreans wildly cheering on their feet on September 20 at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, President Moon affirmed, “We have lived together for 5,000 years and been separated for 70 years. We must live together as one people.”

At their summit, Kim and Moon announced a long list of actionable stepsthey will take to improve relations, from establishing a reunion center for divided families to reopening the Mt. Kumgang tourism center and the Kaesong industrial zone — two inter-Korean development projects from the previous Sunshine Policy years that were shut down as relations worsened between the two Koreas during the previous two hardline administrations. The defense ministers also agreed in a separate military agreement to reduce military tensions by downsizing the number of guards near the Military Demarcation Line, the border dividing North and South Korea in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) established by the Armistice Agreement in 1953. The Korean leaders also agreed to de-mine a village in the DMZ surrounding the border between North Korea and South Korea.

As part of the Pyongyang Declaration by the two Koreas to transform the Korean Peninsula “into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,” Kim committed to “permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site” in the presence of international inspectors, and “the permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.” But this would depend on “corresponding measures” by the United States “in accordance with the spirit of the June 12 US-DPRK Joint Statement.”

Trump last month canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, saying North Korea had not made “sufficient progress” toward denuclearization. North Korean leaders, however, say the United States hasn’t honored its end of the Singapore Declaration in which the first two items were to improve relations and establish a peace process. Denuclearization came third, and the repatriation of the remains of US service members was a last added item.

Pyongyang has already made several concessions: It has halted missile and nuclear tests, begun to dismantle the Sohae missile launch site and destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test in the presence of foreign journalists, released three detained Americans, and repatriated the remains of US service members from the Korean War. The United States, meanwhile, has halted one joint military exercise after Trump’s spontaneous announcement at the press briefing following his meeting with Kim. But these joint exercises could easily be resumed.

North Korea has made clear that denuclearization will require a peace process that includes concrete steps toward a Peace Treaty, as promised in the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the United States, North Korea and China. James Laney, a former US ambassador to South Korea under Clinton, has argued, “A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy.”

But North Korea is unlikely to unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons without improved relations. We knew that the Clinton and Bush administrations were close to waging a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang, but now Bob Woodward’s book Fear has also confirmed that even President Obama weighed a first strike on North Korea. Kim has seen what happened to Iraq, Libya and Iran, not to mention his own country’s experience of a devastating US bombing.

Most Americans have no idea that in just three years, the Korean War claimed over 4 million lives. The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea, more than it did in the rest of the Asia-Pacific in WWII combined, and it used 33,000 tons of napalm in Korea — more than in Vietnam. Curtis LeMay, a US Air Force general in the Korean War, testified, “We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes.” The US’s indiscriminate bombing campaign leveled 80 percent of North Korean cities, killing one out of every four family members. The bombing of homes was so devastating that the regime urged its citizens to build shelter underground.

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended in a stalemate with a ceasefire. Military commanders from the US, North Korea and China signed the Armistice Agreement and promised within 90 days to return to negotiate a peace settlement. Sixty-five years later, we are still waiting for that Peace Treaty to end the Korean War.

A peace treaty would end the state of war between the United States and North Korea, taking the threat of a military conflict off the table. A ceasefire — a temporary truce — is what has defined the US-North Korean relationship.

One tangible step that the Trump administration can take that the North Koreans would view as a “corresponding measure” is to declare an end to the Korean War……….https://truthout.org/articles/to-secure-peace-between-the-koreas-us-must-declare-an-end-to-the-war/

September 26, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment