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Ahn Cheol-soo's Plan for Peace and Joint Prosperity on the Korean Peninsula

November 8, 2012 (Press Release)

(Working Translation)

While inter-Korean relations have hit rock bottom under the Lee Myung-bak administration, the North Korean nuclear situation has worsened and military tensions have increased, aggravating the overall situation in Northeast Asia. The need for normalized inter-Korean relations and the realization of peace and joint prosperity on the Korean Peninsula is urgent, and we need to start taking action now.

To achieve peace and joint prosperity in Korean Peninsula, we need to meet the following goals:

First, we need to create a virtuous cycle of improving inter-Korea relations, solving the North Korean nuclear issue, and establishing a peace regime.

Second, we need to establish the foundation for unification by making progress in inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation.

Third, we need to pursue a “blue ocean” economic strategy, realizing the untapped potential of the regional economy.

To achieve these three goals, I will promote and fulfill the following six strategies:

1)      Work simultaneously for improving inter-Korea relations, the establishment of a Korean Peninsula peace regime, and a solution to the North Korea nuclear issue.

a)      Resume inter-Korean talks and establish a hotline between North and South.

b)      Prepare an institutional framework for peace and coexistence on the Korean Peninsula.

c)      Realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through a comprehensive approach.

2)      Establish a West Sea peace settlement and institutionalize inter-Korean trust-building.

a)      Open a direct phone line between the North’s Southwest Front Line Command and the South’s Northwest Island Defense Command.

b)      Restore the June 4, 2004 agreement on a military hotline, which has been a dead letter.

c)      On the condition that North Korea recognizes the Northern Limit Line, discuss a joint fishing area in the West Sea, including negotiations on resource management and operational issues for South Korean boats fishing in Northern waters or agreed-upon public waters.

d)     Establish an “Inter-Korean Dispute Resolution Committee” as a permanent dispute settlement body.

3)      Develop a unification process and build a foundation for unification.

a)      Restore, develop, and institutionalize the steering committee established by the June 15th Joint Declaration.

b)      Gather more diverse ideas on unification by reorganizing the “Unification Advisory Council” into a “Unification Strategic Planning Committee.”

4)      Promote practical solutions to humanitarian and human rights issues.

a)      Focus on solving humanitarian issues.

b)      Make efforts for the practical improvement of human rights in North Korea.

c)      Protect the human rights of North Korean refugees and expand tailored resettlement programs for them.

5)      Develop a national consensus and bipartisan cooperation on North Korea Policy.

a)      Seek the ratification of important inter-Korean agreements through the National Assembly.  

b)      Promote a national consensus about the basic direction of North Korea policy.

c)      Pragmatically adhere to the Development of Inter-Korean Relations Act.

6) Revitalize inter-Korean economic cooperation and open a new era in the regional economy.

a)      Seek new markets for small and medium-sized businesses by opening new opportunities in the regional economy.

b)      Create a stable investment environment by institutionalizing inter-Korean economic cooperation.

c)      Secure new growth engines by establishing economic blocs along the West Sea Rim and the East Sea Rim.

d)     Build a complex regional distribution network combining surface and maritime transportation.

e)      Construct a Silk Road for regional energy and resource infrastructure.

f)       Promote agricultural cooperation with the North to revive the inter-Korean agricultural industry.