North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

NDC Issues “Open Letter” on North-South Military Talks

National Defense Commission May 2016

DPRK National Defense Commission as of May 13, 2016 (Photo: NK Leadership Watch graphic)

The DPRK National Defense Commission [NDC] issued an “open letter” on May 20 (Friday) which claimed that its “proposal for the north-south military authorities’ talks is the best and greatest realistic way for ensuring peace of the country and the security of the nation.”  The NDC timed the release of this letter so that some level of inter-Korean interactions might take place in order to avoid another crisis as happened during August 2015.

According to KCNA, the NDC also said:

But the south Korean authorities categorically denied the DPRK’s proposal for the military authorities’ talks, terming it “propaganda offensive bereft of sincerity” and “camouflaged peace tactics”. They went the lengths of crying out for “strong counteraction” while talking about such unreasonable logic as “denuclearization first and dialogue next”.

The NDC of the DPRK solemnly urged the south Korean authorities as follows to put under control the prevailing catastrophic situation created in the north-south relations through dialogue and negotiations:

The south Korean authorities should immediately respond to the DPRK’s proposal for jointly paving the way for ending all the hostile acts, stumbling blocks fostering mistrust and confrontation and hindering the improvement of relations between the north and the south, and for building military confidence.

All kinds of hostile acts rattling the nerves of the opposite side and slandering it including psychological broadcasting and leaflet-scattering operations being waged in frontline areas are by no means unrelated to the responsibilities of the military authorities of both sides.

The continued grim situation under which both sides level their guns at each other with the Military Demarcation Line imposed by outside forces and the hotspot waters in the West Sea in between would inevitably lead to armed conflict and the outbreak of a war.

Fostering trust and dialogue, not mistrust and confrontation, is the the best way and urgent and pressing task for paving a wide avenue to peace and prosperity under the touch-and-go situation.

The south Korean authorities should clearly bear in mind that the prospect for improving the north-south relations can be opened only through dialogue and negotiations.

The south Korean authorities should positively respond to the DPRK’s proposal for opening bilateral military dialogue at the earliest date for settling all the problems arising in easing military tension on the Korean peninsula and improving the north-south relations.

Army, be it in the north or the south, has the mission to safeguard the peace and security of our country and nation.

It is the responsibility and duty of the military authorities in all aspects to remove the danger of a war and defuse tension on this land.

It is neither possible to achieve peace through the recourse to arms nor possible to ensure security through mud-slinging and hostility.

It is for this reason that we wish to put all matters of concern on the military negotiating table and settle them through frank discussion.

The south Korean authorities have to clearly understand that they can not have any reason or pretext to deny this if they have intent to improve the present north-south relations.

The south Korean authorities should meet the great expectation of all Koreans by actively supporting the bold and practical measures that would help ensure peace of the country and the security of the nation.

Now is the time when a single action speaks louder than hundreds of words.

No matter how dear peace may be, talking is not enough to ensure it. The nation may be get inveigled in the whirlwind of war and suffer from a horrible disaster in the end.

It is necessary to decisively break with the inglorious past and make a fresh start.

The north and the south should join hands and take a giant stride forward to defuse military tension and the danger of conflict on the Korean peninsula and to open a new chapter for the improvement of the north-south relations and for the movement for national reunification.

There is nothing to be afraid of and nothing impossible if all members of the resourceful and homogeneous Korean nation pool their intention and efforts.

The south Korean authorities should behave with discretion as members of the Korean nation, not misjudging the warm sincerity and great magnanimity of the DPRK.

All the Koreans will soon be able to see bold and practical measures to be taken by the DPRK to defuse confrontation and the danger of conflict on the Korean peninsula and achieve the sacred cause of national reunification, the most cherished desire of the Korean nation.

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