Reunification of Korean Peninsula:
The Remaking of Regional Super Power
Author : Raju Chaqladar, M.S.S.(1st Class),
International Relations, 57th Batch,
University of Dhaka
Korean peninsula has a very significant influence in terms of geopolitics. Korean Peninsula became integrated by the dynasty of Sila in 668. It was a long since Korean peninsula was under the sphere of Chinese influence. Anyway, Korea became independent from the clutch of China in 1895.
After Russia-Japan war in 1905, Korea became a protected area of Japan and finally on 29 August, 1910 Japan included Korea of her own Empire. Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945. After the defeat of Japan in WW-II, the United Nations developed plans for trusteeship administration of Korea.
The Korean peninsula was divided into two zones of administration on 15 August, 1945 according to 38° latitude line. The former USSR and the USA captured the North part and the South part respectively.
The cold war between the USA and the USSR resulted in establishment of two separate governments in 1948. North Korea invaded South Korea on 25 June, 1950 which was the commencement of Korean War. The war was ended in a ceasefire agreement at approximately the same boundary with South Korea making slight territorial gains after three years of devastating fighting on 27 July, 1953.
The USSR, China and the UN led by the USA were involved with the Korean War. But the two countries never signed any peace treaty and thus are still officially at war. Only a ceasefire was declared through a truce. “Two Koreas will highly likely be unified by the 2020,” this prediction of Richard Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of State in a recent report. He further mentioned, “It appears increasingly likely that the North Korean nuclear issue will be finally resolved only unification”. In fact, Korean reunification process is the possible future unification of North and South under a single government.
On 4 July, 1972 both Korean government made a joint declaration of reunification. In recent, 15 June, 2006, N Korea and S Korea signed ‘North-South Joint Declaration’ in which both sides made promises to seek out a peaceful reunification.
Former Bush administration was also considering shifting its stance towards North. Instead of insisting the N Korea completely and verifiably disarm and renounce nuclear weapons before agreeing to negotiations as they gave in the past, now they could consider negotiating a formal peace treaty with Pyongyang.
In Washington, the Obama administration also is keen to ease concern over N Korea. North Korea exploded nuclear weapons on 9 October, 2006 as the 8th nuclear powerful country in the world. The USA, including her western allegiance state become concerned about North Korea and tried to impede the nuclear program.
But, being failed to come unanimity on nuclear issue of North Korea, Obama administration extended the period of ‘Economic Proscription’ on 24 June, 2009. In 1953, the USA imposed ‘Trade Ban’ on North Korea and on 17 September, 1999 Bush administration made that ‘Trade Ban’ slightly flexible. Anyway, these components are sufficient to make relation worse for a country.
The cabinet level talks between North Korea and South Korea were held in Pyongyang from February 28 to March 02, 2007 aimed at improving relations between them. Both the countries discussed over food aid to N Korea, family reunions and other inter-Korean issues during the talks.
North Korean negotiator opened the talks by asking Seoul to resume humanitarian projects. On the other hand, S Korea argued Pyongyang to quickly implement the nuclear disarmament treaty. The hot issues touched upon concentration on food aid and attempt to connect severed families between the two nations. Earlier they also announced efforts to improve communication systems namely Video Conferencing, in an attempt to reconnect families that have separated after the war.
N Korea and S Korea reached a deal on 2 March, 2007 to resume reunions of families separated during the Korean War in a step at improving ties that were chilled by Pyongyang’s weapons tests in 2006. S Korea provides N Korea with significant aid and cooperative economic ventures and the two governments have cooperated in organizing meetings of separated family members and limited tourism of North Korean sites.
However, the disarmament pact reached on 27 February, 2007 among the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the USA is worth about $250 m in aid to the Northern counterpart. It requires N Korera to seal its main nuclear reactor, allow international inspections and instigate accounting for other nuclear programs with in two months. In return, North Korea will receive 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, a down payment on a promised one million tons of oil or aid of similar value if it ultimately disarms.
Here the complexity is that the problems of credibility. North Korea always fears from US invasion and if N Korea be a victim of this ‘Six-Party Talks’ that means N Korea fears from historical ‘Libyan Model’ of nuclear solutions.
The thinking of Korean people to each other of North and South is becoming affectionate. In the present day’s reality, S Korean people have comprehended the nuclear program of N Korea is not a threat to South.
Both Korea have signed a non-aggression treaty on 13 December, 1991. South has a high-tech economy that is the 11th largest economy of the world and N Korea is the 8th nuclear powerful country of the world. If the two separated parts be reunified, it is beyond any question that Korean peninsula would be the regional super power.
The potential leader and people of Korean peninsula are webbing that dream and trying to make it real! Reunifications of national projects are the sign of reunification of Korean peninsula. And to do that dream real, South made a ministry namely ‘The Ministry of Unification’.
On 16 June, 2000 the late president of South Korea Kim Dae Jung and the president of North Korea Kim Jung Il signed a historical treaty on the basis of unanimity.
The treaty was signed aiming at reunification of Korean peninsula. In recent times, people of South Korea have sought the removal of the US troops. Now 37,000 of US troops have still been deployed in South Korea and it is a big threat to the people of North Korea. So, the main hindrance for reunification of Korean peninsula is the USA.
Why USA is so interested to assist S Korea providing also security assurance? Answer is so simple; geopolitical situation of Korean peninsula. Sir Halford J. Mackinder(1861-1947), the English geopolitical specialist, who had developed a theory named “ Heartland Theory”.
According Halford J. Mackinder’s “Who Rules East Europe, commands the Heartland; who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; who rules the World Island commands the world”.
Now the question is that what area is called Heartland? “Widen area of East Europe and the North side of mountain ring of middle Asia’s whole area is called Heartland”. Heartland is encompassed with South-West Asia, South-East Asia, South Asia and some area of China.
Korean peninsula is in South-East Asia. This block is also a communist majority. China, Russia, Vietnam, North Korea are some famous communist countries. Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippians have anthropologically similar.
Myanmar is seemed, on the other hand, to be a forthcoming nuclear powerful country; Russia and N Korea assist her to develop nuclear energy.
Democratic norms, values and human rights are massively violated here – to be said categorically. There are so many causes why USA is concerned about this part.
China is called the sleeping tiger of Asia which is the light bearer of communism in this arena. To contain communism in this block, US presence is must said by Samuel P. Huntington, the former ‘Director of Security Planning’ of ‘National Security Council’ of former US president Jimmy Carter.
The prime motto of the USA in this area is just to create a sphere of influence and contain former USSR and stop spreading out of communism in this arena. North Korea, officially known as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is a communist country whereas South Korea, officially known as Republic of Korea eventually became a capitalist economy, liberal democracy and one of the largest economies of the world.
After the death of Kim Il Jung, the founder of communist North Korea, both Koreas have taken small and symbolic steps towards a possible reunification process.
There are two popular policies about the reunification of Korean peninsula. The first one is that “Sunshine Policy” that was introduced by the Millennium Democratic Party under the president Kim Dae Jung of South Korea. He was awarded the Noble Peace Prize in 2000 for his “Sunshine Policy”.
The supporters argue that sanctions and threats from the USA and South have harmed rather than improved prospects for reunification and if N Korean government does not feel threatened by South Korea or the USA, it will have nothing to lose and everything to gain from dialogue and engagement with the outside world and will have no reason to build weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Opponents belong to “Hard Line Policy” argue, on the other hand, that dialogue and trade with North Korea have done nothing to improve prospects for peaceful reunification process and helped bolster the North Korean government , which has no real interest in reunification course and is only trying to ensure its own survival.
After the end of the cold war on 2 February 1989, (USA declared the end of the cold war, through The New York Times) international politics saw a new dimension of world order.
Reunification course of Yemen on 2 May, 1990 and 3 October, 1990 and the reunification process of Germany were the indirect output of collapsing of USSR. But reunification process of Korean peninsula is somehow different from socio-political and historical background.
The Summit in 2000 was vaguely welcomed by the USA. Yet the USA was anxious about the rise of nationality among the people of Korean peninsula. If Korean peninsula reunified, 37,000 of US troops have to be removed from South Korea.
As a result of removing troops, US would lose influence in South-East Asia even all over the Asian politics. Simultaneously, Korean influence would be increased and Indo-China sphere of influence would shrink.
Yet, N Korea-China has an invisible tie of unity that is developed by political ideology and it is the great threat for the superpower. There are some hurdles in the process of reunification.
The cultures of both Koreas have diverged following the cession, even though traditional Korean culture and history are shared. Political systems of both the Koreas are different yet the main remonstrance of North Korea is the presence of US troops in S Korea.
Now-a-days, South Korean people also demand the withdrawal of US troops from their country’s base. Economic differences between them also are causes of concern. North Korean economy is very weaker than that of their counterpart. Poverty gap is rapidly increasing as the economy is stagnant whereas the South’s economy is characterized by moderate to high economic growth.
Reunification of Germany also faced the same situation. But the USA, the UK, France, and the former USSR had taken collective steps for the reunification of Germany. Korean situation is different from than that of German crisis.
The people of North Korea are far more culturally distinct and isolated because of non-receive of foreign broadcasting, read foreign publications or travel overseas; whereas S Korean people are open, free and globalized. Many South Koreans while, therefore, desiring reunification in theory wants to delay the process of reunification until the North Korean economy can be developed separately.
German situation was also similar to the Korean peninsula. In addition, rapid reunification might also bring the S Korean economy at the brink of collapse! In ulterior motives of reconciliation, the two Koreas have adopted an unofficial unification flag which is used to represent all of Korea when both of North and South Korea participate together in sporting events.
The background of the flag is while that represents of peace and in the centre, there is a blue outline of the Korean peninsula including the island of ‘Jeju-do’ to the south-west. The flag was first used in 1991 when the duo competed as a single team in the 41st World Table Tennis Championship in China, Japan and the 6th World Youth Soccer Championship in Lisbon, Portugal.
The unified team marched together under the flag in the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens , the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008, albeit each of them competed separately in sporting events. It is likely that the unified team will march again under the same flag in London Olympics in 2012.
Although, complying with the international political reality of WW-II, Korean peninsula now have separate entities; both Korean governments proclaim as a common goal of them that eventual restoration of Korean peninsula as a single, compacted state on 16 June, 2000, S Korean president Kim Dae Jung and N Korean president Kim Jung Il signed a treaty of unanimity.
The USA now in the unipolar world, is the superpower and reunification of Korean peninsula demands mostly on wish and interest, strategic politics of the USA and global political leadership whether wish to reunify candidly then all sorts of obstacle will demise as well as implementing reunification process would be a fact of time only!
Being mingled the military power of North Korea and economic power of South Korea altogether would be the integrated ‘Republic of Korea’ and it’s beyond any question that reunified Korean peninsula may be the ‘Regional Super Power’ of Asia!
আপনি কি আপনার জাতীয় পরিচয়পত্র এর গোপন সংকেতের
বাংলাদেশী হিসাবে আমাদের অনেকেরই জাতীয় পরিচয় পত্র আছে। অনেকে এটাকে ভোটার আইডি কার্ড হিসাবে বলেন যেটা সম্পুর্ণ ভুল। এটা ন্যাশনাল আইডি কার্ড বা জাতীয় পরিচয় পত্র।
আপনারা দেখবেন এটার নীচে লাল কালি দিয়ে লেখা ১৩ সংখ্যার একটা নম্বর আছে যাকে আমরা আইডি নম্বর হিসাবে জানি। কিন্তু এই ১৩ সংখ্যার মানে কি?
১) এর প্রথম ২ সংখ্যা – জেলা কোড। ৬৪ জেলার আলাদা আলাদা কোড আছে। ঢাকার জন্য এই কোড ২৬।
২) পরবর্ত্তি ১ সংখ্যা – এটা আর এম ও (RMO) কোড।
সিটি কর্পোরেশনের জন্য – ৯
ক্যান্টনমেন্ট – ৫
পৌরসভা – ২
পল্লী এলাকা – ১
পৌরসভার বাইরে শহর এলাকা – ৩
অন্যান্য – ৪
৩) পরবর্ত্তি ২ সংখ্যা – এটা উপজেলা বা থানা কোড
৪) পরবর্ত্তি ২ সংখ্যা – এটা ইউনিয়ন (পল্লীর জন্য) বা ওয়ার্ড কোড (পৌরসভা বা সিটি কর্পোরেশনের জন্য)
৫) শেষ ৬ সংখ্যা – আই ডি কার্ড করার সময় আপনি যে ফর্ম পূরণ করেছিলেন এটা সেই ফর্ম নম্বর।
বর্তমানে আবার ১৭ ডিজিট ওয়ালা আইডি কার্ড দেয়া হচ্ছে যার প্রথম ৪ ডিজিট হচ্ছে জন্মসাল!
বৃষ্টিস্নাতৃ বর্ষার বিধঘুটে মধ্যরজনীর পর থেকে
আর কবিতারা মাথায় ভিড় করেনা,
ক্ষণিকের কাব্য বন্ধাত্ব গ্রাস করেছিলআমায়।
তখন সোনাঝড়া সময়ছিল আমার...
কেন্দ্রীয় গ্রন্থাগারে সারাক্ষণ বইপোকা হয়েথাকা,
টিএসসি-তে রুটিনকরে আড্ডাদেয়া, ছায়ানটে দাব্ড়ে বেড়ানো প্রভাত,
শেষ বিকেলে লালপরীকে নিয়ে লালবাগের কেলস্নায় যাওয়া ছিল নিত্যদিনের বদঅভ্যাস!
লালপরী চলে যেত কোহ্ক্যাফে আর রাতকরে হলে ফিরতাম হাররোজ!
তারপর সারারাত ভার্চুয়াল জগতে মেতে থাকে হুতোম প্যাঁচার সত্ত্বা...
ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের জীবন সত্যিই স্বপ্নের মতো।
হলেথাকা ছাত্রদের অর্থউপার্জনের সহজ উপায় টিউশনি করণ!
আমিও করতাম।পাশাপাশি অনুবাদক হিসেবে রাজসিক একটা ভাবে থাকতাম!
ভালই ছিলাম... ... অতঃপর কয়েক মাসের বেকারত্বের দেয়াল ভেঙ্গে
সার্ভিস লাইফের অংকুরোদগম! খুব ভাললাগতো তখন!
বন্ধুমহল নিয়ে জম্পেশ আড্ডার ম্যারাথন চলত প্রতিবিকেলে।
তারপর আস্তে আস্তে পারিপার্শ্বিক প্রত্যাশার চাপ
ধীরে ধীরে গ্রাসকরতে থাকে একলা থাকাএই আমায়!
চাহিদা আর যোগান রেখার ঢালে দুলতে থাকে আমার ভঙ্গুর অর্থনীতি।
আমার অজান্তেই, অতিসন্তর্পণে ভাললাগা, ভালবাসা, ছোট ছোট আবেগ
হারাতে থাকে তার আপন ঠিকানা।
আমি টের পাইনা। ভালবাসার শাক্রিয়াময় সময় গুলো চোরাবালির মতো
বাস্তবতার কঠিন আঘাতে নীল হতে থাকে! আমি টের পাইনা!!??!
দু'জন দু'জনার, দু'সময়ে, দুরের দু'স্থানে,দুঃসময়ে!!
ম্যাকিয়াভেলির শয়তানির এ অস্থির সময়ে
কৌটিল্যার অর্থশাস্ত্র জাস্ট্ ফালতু মনে হয়!
জীবনের ম্যাট্রিক্সময় জিরোসাম গেইম থেমেআছে চরম অসময়ে!
এমবিএ(ফাইন্যান্স, ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়।
এই মর্তে নারীর ভালবাসা ছিলনা,
আমি পাইনি, সর্বস্ব উজাড় করে দেবার দেবীও দেখিনি দুনিয়ায়!
দেখেছি দশমের সপ্তমে এক ঊষাবেলায়,
রূপময় হাতছানিতে দেবীর প্রেমনিলয়!
বিভোরে ভেসে গেছি লখীন্দরের মতো
দিকহীন যেদিন আমি তোমার ভেলায়... ... !
নারীর ভালবাসা প্রথম ছুঁয়েছিল আমায়।
এমবিএ(ফাইন্যান্স, ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়।