The Korean Peninsula has yet to break free from the threat of war, what with the theory of "a 2003 Korea Crisis" currently shaking up society. The year 2003 is the deadline for the completion of light-water reactors promised to North Korea, and also the year when North Korea will have to open up its nuclear facilities for inspection according to the Geneva Agreed Framework. North Korea, miffed about the delay in the light-water reactor construction, is demanding compensation from the US for not keeping its promises. As for the US, it is threatening the socialist country with no less than military sanctions if it does not cooperate in nuclear inspections.
With the '2003 Crisis Theory' gaining momentum, Peace Network (www.peacekorea.org) has suggested an alliance among social and civic groups tentatively called 'Alliance for Prevention of Crisis on the Korean Peninsula.'
Jeong Wook Shik, representative of Peace Network, says, "Despite strong censure from the international community, the Bush administration went ahead with its withdrawal from the ABM treaty. The same administration has no reason to exercise caution when it comes to breaking the Geneva Agreed Framework. We might not agree with North Korea, the US or the South Korean government on a lot of things, but we can still garner agreement and support for the cause of preventing war."
Meanwhile Lim Dong Won, special envoy to North Korea, released a joint press statement on April 6, claiming, "The two Koreas have agreed to respect each other in commensuration with the historical June 15 Joint Declaration, and to prevent the build up of tension on the Korean peninsula." The visit also produced agreements on connecting the Donghae and Gyeongui Railways, constructing Gaeseong Industrial Complex, facilitating tourism on Mt. Kumkang, and continuing with the reunion of separated families. Thus, the visit is considered to have restored North-South ties, recently frozen by George W. Bush's 'axis of evil' speech.
During Bush's visit to South Korea in February, Kim Dae Jung spoke up by saying that "whether from the North or South, all Koreans regard themselves as one people." And the statesmen of North and South Korea reaffirmed their commitment to the June 15 Joint Declaration to "join forces as one Korean people to resolve the issue of national reunification in an autonomous manner." All these declarations reveal the firm resolve of the Korea people towards peace. However, repeated declarations also remind us of the reality in which resolve and longing alone will never be enough to overcome the threat of war and establish peace and national reunification on the Korean peninsula.