Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits are to be held on coming 27 April and by the end of May respectively.
Recent events such as North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches, and the release of a new nuclear strategy guideline, “Nuclear Posture Review (NPR)” by the Trump Administration have raised concern about a military confrontation including use of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula. These Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits aim at a peaceful solution of North Korea’s nuclear and missile problems through dialogue and negotiations, averting the risk of a military confrontation, and envisage a step toward “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” establishing the foundations of a “nuclear-weapon-free world.”
We welcome the Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits to be held and expect their success.
Ahead of the summit talks, North Korea has expressed its will to suspend nuclear and missile tests and to discuss the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” at the meetings. If a military confrontation broke out in the Korean Peninsula, attacks against the US bases and nuclear power plants in Japan as well as the Peninsula would be assumed. Considering the possible recurrence of inhuman damage in Japan too, we must definitely avoid a military confrontation in the Korean Peninsula.
The most effective means to avoid such a confrontation is not dependence on nuclear deterrence but direct talks and negotiations aimed at a peaceful solution between the heads of the states concerned.
These Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits to be held aim at a peaceful solution of concerned matters through direct talks and negotiations between the heads of the states concerned.
The “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” is an indispensable foundation in building peace regime in Northeast Asia.
In Northeast Asia, the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” has been intended through a build-up of a series of international agreements: the “Joint Declaration of South and North Korea on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” on 19 February 1992; the “Agreed Framework of 21 October 1994 between the USA and the DPRK; the “Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration” on 17 September 2002; the “Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks” on 19 September 2005 agreed among the states concerned, namely Japan, South and North Korea, China, US, and Russia; and so on. Specifically, the Six- Party Talks Joint Statement “unanimously reaffirmed that the goal of the Six-Party Talks is the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner,” and “committed to joint efforts for lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia.” It also agreed to “negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula” and to “explore ways and means for promoting security cooperation in Northeast Asia.”
The Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits to be held this time go back to the series of international agreements accumulated so far and aim at the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” averting the risk of a military confrontation stemming from North Korea’s nuclear and missile problems. They would be a step to a success in comprehensively building a peace regime in Northeast Asia containing Japan.
Moreover, the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” leading to an eventual “nuclear-weapon-free world” is the wish of the civil society including the Hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors) and becoming an international trend. On 7 July 2017, the United Nations Conference adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) by a vote of 122 states in favor. The TPNW has taken the step of making nuclear weapons totally illegal including their use and threatened use, aiming to step out from dependence on nuclear weapons and at achievement of their abolition.
The Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits to be held this time will be a step to obtain the goals of the TPNW in Northeast Asia: step-out from nuclear-dependent policies; and abolition of nuclear weapons.
As long as nuclear weapons exist in the world, it is impossible to enjoy true world peace and security. Nuclear weapons are not only inhuman weapons that could drive humanity into a catastrophe but also contrary to the principle and rules of international law applicable in armed conflict. The whole world as well as Northeast Asia should work persistently to realize a “nuclear-weapon-free world.”
We, lawyers in Japan, the only country to have suffered wartime atomic bombings on its cities in Northeast Asia, wish from the bottom of our hearts the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” leading eventually to a “nuclear-weapon-free world,” to be realized by a peaceful solution through patient talks and negotiations at the upcoming Inter-Korean and US-DPRK Summits.