The Korean Crisis: A Call For The Establishment Of
An Independent Panel
By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar
03 December, 2010
Citizen groups the world over are deeply concerned about current political tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
Both North Korea and China, on the one hand, and South Korea and the United States, on the other, should do their utmost to defuse the tense situation. Pyongyang’s bellicose postures only serve to exacerbate an already critical crisis which could explode into open warfare at any time. Likewise, the intensification of military exercises by the South Koreans and the threatening presence of the US nuclear powered carrier, George Washington, in Korean waters have heightened the danger of a huge military conflict that will engulf the entire region.
The North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, should be prevented from launching another attack upon South Korean territory. The Chinese leadership should use its influence over Kim and Pyongyang to ensure that there is no further provocation from North Korea. At the same time, US warships and aircraft should not enter the sensitive northern end of the Yellow Sea which could lead to an armed clash with China.
Both North and South Korea should be persuaded to agree to the establishment of an independent panel to investigate the exchange of fire on Yeonpyeong Island on 23 November 2010 which ignited the present crisis. The panel should comprise former leaders of ASEAN states who command a certain degree of respect in the region. Dr. Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia and Fidel Ramos of the Philippines would be choice candidates for the proposed panel. Both the North and South Korean governments should at the outset agree to accept the findings of the panel.
Once the findings of the panel have been made public, one hopes that a third Inter-Korean Summit will be inaugurated. The first two Summits, in June 2000 and October 2007 respectively, were relative successes. They gave a boost to the “Sunshine Policy” of the late South Korean President, Kim Dae-Jung, whose long-term goal was to overcome the tragic division of the Korean Peninsula, and to unify the Korean people.
A united Korean nation will strengthen world peace.
Dr. Chandra Muzaffar,
International Movement for a Just World (JUST).
2 December 2010.