Within the last year, incredible steps have been made for the peaceful reunification of Korea. The historic summits between Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea State Affairs Commission and Workers Party of Korea and Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea highlight the desire within Korea for reunification.
The meetings of Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in with the leaders of the United States, Russia and China in the past year also show renewed support amongst the international community for reunification. What stands in the way of this, one of the most important geo-political issues in the Asia-Pacific since the end of World War Two?
Both halves of Korea approach each other with mutual respect for their similarities and differences. The DPR Korean policy for reunification, the ten point programme for reunification of the country, commits the north to “leaving the existing two systems and two governments as they are”.
The only aggression present within Korea is from the imperialist troops who occupy the southern section and threaten the north. While these are led by the United States, it sadly includes New Zealand troops. Last year, Foreign Minister Winston Peters even called for a strengthening of aggression against the north, saying that “far greater pressure to bear on the North Koreans” was needed.
As part of this increased pressure, the New Zealand Government deployed more troops to Korea solely to threaten the DPRK, increasing the likelihood of war. In a country that has a long history of colonisation by imperial Japan, the occupying powers have simply shifted to the US imperialist bloc, including Australia and New Zealand in obedience of Washington
The troops are ‘required’ to enforce sanctions on the DPRK, themselves an economic form of warfare. While we are proud of New Zealand’s nuclear-free history, we
New Zealand has excellent relations based on win-win cooperation, mutual respect and non-interference with countries like China, Viet Nam and Cuba. Applying this principle to Korea would benefit both nations.
The division of Korea and its continued occupation by foreign troops is a disgraceful legacy of World War Two. Since the division of Korea, the peninsula has seen a bloody war that cost millions of lives, including just under 2 million Korean civilians. 47 New Zealanders were also killed for a conflict which had nothing to do with our country.
To prevent such tragedy from occurring again, the New Zealand military needs to respect Korean sovereignty and their right to peaceful development and self-determination. Korean issues should be determined by the Korean people and the Korean people only. All NZ military engagement on the Korean peninsula only serves war-mongering and imperialism. We in New Zealand need to do everything we can to withdraw our military and end the economic warfare. NZ out of Korea!