by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:
The president of South Korea Moon Jae-in is currently in Vladivostok for the East Asian Economic Summit (EEF), chaired by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. September 6-7.
A high level North Korean delegation has also been sent to Vladivostok.
President Moon Jae-in was slated to meet Vladimir Putin shortly after his arrival on September 5 (local time).
The holding of the Moon-Putin talks had been requested by Moscow following a prior meeting at the Blue House in Seoul between president Moon Jae-un and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation (SCRF). .
The Republic of Korea’s presidential office confirmed that Patrushev also held talks with his counterpart Chung Eui-yong, director of the Blue House (Cheongwadae) National Security Office for President Moon Jae-in.
While the Moon-Putin Vladivostok talks have been officially confirmed, in all likelihood, the two delegations (North and South Korea) will also meet behind closed doors, with president Vladimir Putin potentially playing a historic role in promoting a bilateral DPRK-ROK understanding, with a view to averting a US led war.
It is important to note that president Putin had previously warned the Trump administration that “continuing hostility between the US and North Korea was close to deteriorating into a “large-scale conflict” and said the only way to de-escalate tensions was through talks”. (Daily Express, September 5, 2017)
Also of significance, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe and President Putin will also be meeting in Vladivostok on September 6, on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
Moreover, two of the three signatories of the 1953 Armistice agreement (namely the DPRK and China) will be present at these meetings.
The US is not a member of the EEF. Several important US business interests will nonetheless be present. Has an observer mission been sent by Washington?
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Towards a Bilateral North-South Peace Treaty
What should be envisaged is the eventual signing of a bilateral Entente between the DPRK and the ROK, with a view to establishing Peace on the Korean Peninsula. In other words, the “state of war” between the US and the DPRK (which prevails under the armistice agreement) should in a sense be “side-tracked” and annulled by the signing of a comprehensive bilateral North-South peace agreement, coupled with cooperation, trade and interchange.
In this regard, what underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 64 years.
The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. More recently it has deployed the so-called THAAD missiles, which are also directed against China and Russia.
The US is still at war with North Korea. The armistice agreement signed in July 1953 –which legally constitutes a “temporary ceasefire” between the warring parties (US, North Korea and China’s Volunteer Army)– must be rescinded through the signing of a long-lasting peace agreement.
The US has not only violated the armistice agreement, it has consistently refused to enter into peace negotiations with Pyongyang, with a view to maintaining its military presence in South Korea as well as shunting a process of normalization and cooperation between the ROK and the DPRK.
The fundamental question to be addressed is the following: How can the 1953 Armistice agreement be replaced by a Long-lasting Peace Agreement given Washington’s persistent refusal to enter into negotiations?
If one of the signatories of the Armistice refuses to sign a Peace Agreement, what should be contemplated is the formulation of a comprehensive Bilateral North-South Peace Agreement, which would de facto lead to rescinding the 1953 armistice.
This proposed far-reaching agreement between Seoul and Pyongyang would assert peace on the Korean peninsula –failing the signing of a peace agreement between the signatories of the 1953 Armistice agreement.
The legal formulation of this bilateral entente is crucial. The bilateral arrangement would in effect bypass Washington’s refusal. It would establish the basis of peace on the Korean peninsula, without foreign intervention, namely without Washington dictating its conditions. It would require the concurrent withdrawal of US troops from the ROK and the repeal of the OPCON agreement.
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