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Arms Control_ Negotiations and the Korean Peninsula

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					                                                         ABSTRACTS 245




            Arms Control, Negotiations and
                the Korean Peninsula

                                                Ronald F. Lehman II


   For most of the world, the Cold War is over. The empire that was
the Soviet Union has collapsed with most of the resulting fifteen
independent republics seeking ties to the West and exploring paths
to its values-democracy, free markets, and the peaceful resolution
of disputes. World security has been enhanced further by the
strengthening of human rights, international trade, and the rule of law.
   The Korean Peninsula is not barred from the opportunities pre-
sented in this new era, nor free from the necessity to respond to its
challenges. Until recent months, North Korea was perhaps the one
country least likely to respond positively to these new possibilities.
Two agreements between North and South Korea concluded in
December 1991 on reconciliation and cooperation, and on establish-
ment of a denuclearized peninsula, however, are significant. The
signature by North Korea on January 30, 1992, of a nuclear safe-
guards agreement with the IAEA and its ratification of that agreement
on April 10 also represents a step in the right direction. Concluding
agreements, however, is only a first step; they must also be im-
plemented fully both in letter and in spirit. The Korean peninsula’s
participation in a new security environment will be guaranteed only
through actual implementation of effective and credible inspections
in North Korea under both the bilateral inspection regime and the
 IAEA agreement.
   Early implementation of bilateral inspections, under the non-
nuclear agreement, is important to complement and strengthen IAEA
inspections. The bilateral inspection regime should provide additional
confidence that North Korea is not continuing to pursue a nuclear
weapons program to conclusion.
246   THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


   Today’s picture of the Korean peninsula is a challenging one.
Much work has been done that could improve the chances for
stability and security in this historically tense region. Agreements
reached by the North and South, coupled with numerous other
multilateral and bilateral efforts, have paved the way for improved
relations and a safer, more promising environment for the Koreas.
Progress by the two Koreas on the issue of proliferation could
provide an important precedent for South Asia and the Middle East
and set the stage for a more secure and prosperous Korean
peninsula with great regional and global influence. Failure could
increase the dangers feared by every nation.
                                                RONALD F. LEHMAN II 11




          Arms Control, Negotiations
          and the Korean Peninsula

                                              Ronald F. Lehman II


   For most of the world, the Cold War is over. The empire that was
the Soviet Union has collapsed with most of the resulting fifteen
independent states seeking ties to the West and exploring paths to
its values-democracy, free markets, and the peaceful resolution of
disputes. The Warsaw Pact has been dissolved. Its former members,
today no longer communist, have joined with its former Cold War
adversaries to form a North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) to
enhance security and stability. A once-divided Germany is now a
united Germany within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO). The reduction of nuclear weapons by the two great Cold
War powers (one of which is now many states), to include the
elimination of an entire class of weapons, has accelerated. Political
transformation and the need for economic growth have spurred
cooperation even in the face of considerable turmoil.

Arms Control Movement

   The Korean peninsula has not been immune to these new trends.
In the last decade, the Republic of Korea (ROK), an increasingly
self-confident democracy, has made extraordinary economic ad-
vances. Seoul’s diplomacy has built upon its political and economic
success. Relations with the Russian Federation have been normal-
ized, and interchange with China has grown. South Korea has
become an influential participant in global political and economic
12 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


affairs. Pundits are already speculating about the major role a united
Korea could play on the world scene.
    On the northern half of the Korean peninsula, however, the
communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has only
begun to exhibit to the outside world even small changes. For almost
half a century, the Marxist dictatorship in Pyongyang has derived its
“raison d’etre” from the cult of one individual, Kim II Sung-the same
Kim II Sung whose invasion of the South was resisted by US-led
United Nations forces during the Korean War. North Korea, one of
the world’s most militarized regimes, remains capable of striking
south even today. The DPRK continues to introduce ballistic missiles
into the Middle East and, worse, has sought the capability to produce
nuclear weapons.
    Despite its partly self-imposed isolation, the DPRK has become
more visible as a threat to international security. The end of the
superpower confrontation and the defeat of the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait in the Gulf War have increased the international community’s
unwillingness to abide aggression and state support of terrorism, as
the recent sanctions against Libya for failure to cooperate in the
investigation of the bombing of the Pan Am 103 airliner demonstrate.
In this rapidly evolving international environment, few regimes re-
main willing to stand firmly alongside Pyongyang. Fear of the con-
sequences of nearly complete isolation probably helped lead the
 DPRK to accept the two-seat approach to Korean membership in the
 United Nations. A seat in the UN has, however, only underlined the
 irony of North Korea’s continuing to operate outside international
efforts at cooperation. Sadly, the DPRK has failed to recognize that
 its frequently confrontational posturing stands in contrast to the
 predominant security trends of recent years.
    The risk of a global war has been reduced greatly. World security
 has been enhanced further by the strengthening of human rights,
                                       f
 international trade, and the rule o law. Fewer and fewer nations
 accept initiation of the use of military force as legitimate. Peacemak-
 ing in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia has been
 facilitated. International peacekeeping in such troubled areas as El
 Salvador and Cambodia is making headway. Many nations have
 shared in these achievements. Multilateral fora such as the UN, the
                                                 RONALD F. LEHMAN II 13


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and NATO have also
made invaluable contributions towards ensuring that the transforma-
tion from the old world order to the new continues.
   Yet optimism should not be excessive. The transformations under-
way, leading to a reshaped international order, do not have a
guaranteed outcome. The challenges posed by the end of the Cold
War and the victory in the Gulf remain great. Equally challenging are
the threats posed by the continued pursuit of weapons of mass
destruction-nuclear, chemical, and biological-and the means to
deliver them, by numerous countries around the world. In the Middle
East and South Asia, as well as on the Korean peninsula, time to
prevent the emergence of new nuclear powers may be running out.
The disintegration of the nuclear-armed empire that was the Soviet
Union adds another, new dimension to the nuclear proliferatian
danger by threatening the uncontrolled spread of nuclear technology
and materials around the world.
   The Korean peninsula is not barred from the opportunities pre-
sented in this new era, nor free from the necessity to respond to its
challenges. Until recent months, North Korea was perhaps the one
country least likely to respond positively to these new possibilities.
Two agreements between North and South Korea concluded in
December 1991 on reconciliation and cooperation, and on establish-
ment of a denuclearized peninsula, however, are significant. The
signature by North Korea on January 30, 1992, of a nuclear safe-
guards agreement with the IAEA and its ratification of that agreement
on April 10 also represent a step in the right direction. Concluding
agreements, however, is only a first step; they must also be im-
plemented fully both in letter and in spirit. The Korean peninsula’s
participation in a new security environment will be guaranteed only
through actual implementation of effective and credible inspections
in North Korea under both the bilateral inspection regime and the
IAEA agreement. Such concrete actions help the world determine
whether or not obligations are being met. Although North Korea has
sought to avoid or delay inspections, they are committed to them
under both the IAEA agreement and their bilateral agreement with
the South. The obligations undertaken late last year by North and
14 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


South Korea in their two important agreements are significant. The
first, on “Reconciliation, Non-aggression, and Exchanges and Coop-
eration,” was produced at the fifth round of North-South Korean
talks, which took place from December 10-1 3, 1991, between Chung
Won-Shik, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea and Yon Hyong
Muk, Premier of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In this
joint accord, the North and the South pledge to resolve political and
military confrontation and achieve national reconciliation. A pledge to
“transform the present armistice regime into a firm state of peace”
is included. They agree to establish a joint political subcommittee to
discuss the means by which these aims will be reached and im-
plemented. The parties also pledge not to use armed force against
each other and to respect the North-South military demarcation line
specified in the 1953 Military Armistice Agreement. They agree to
establish a joint military committee to discuss and implement steps
to achieve military confidence-building measures and arms reduc-
tions. The agreement names such steps as: “mutual notification and
control of major movements of military units and major military
exercises, the peaceful utilization of the Demilitarized Zone, ex-
changes of military personnel and information, phased reductions in
armaments including the elimination of weapons of mass destruction
and surprise attack capabilities and verification thereof.” The two
sides also agree to establish a telephone hotline between their
 military authorities to prevent “accidental armed clashes and avoid
their escalation.” A joint military subcommittee is to be established
to assist in implementation of the provisions on non-aggression and
 resolution of military confrontation.
    The agreement’s provisions for mutual exchange and cooperation
 are no less significant. They call for economic, scientific and cultural
 exchanges between the sides; free inter-Korean travel, correspon-
 dence and contracts; and joint domestic and international economic
 undertakings. Once again, committees are to be established to
 oversee and implement the arrangements.
     Equally important as, and an essential complement to, the recon-
 ciliation agreement is the second agreement, the “Joint Declaration
 for Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Concluded during the
 third round of nuclear talks in Panmunjom on December 31, 1991,
                                                 RONALD F. LEHMAN II   15


this agreement states that the North and South will not test, manu-
facture, produce, possess, store, deploy, receive or use nuclear
weapons. Perhaps the most important aspect of the agreement is
that it also prohibits possession of. nuclear reprocessing and uranium
enrichment facilities. In addition, for the purposes of verification,
North and South agree to conduct inspections “of objects chosen by
the other side and agreed to by both parties.” As in the case of the
December 13 accord, the parties agree to establish a committee, in
this case on nuclear control, to ensure implementation of the decla-
ration. This Joint Nuclear Control Commission has met several
times, but has not yet agreed to a verification regime. If this
agreement is fully implemented and the DPRK complies with its
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations (as the ROK is
doing), nuclear suspicions in the region will be greatly reduced.
   These two agreements are the first official bilateral accords be-
tween the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic
of Korea since the two states were founded in 1945. This alone
would be a major milestone. As bilateral accords they also signal
that the two countries desire to address their differences, in greater
part, by themselves. This is a responsible approach and one that
needs to be encouraged. In order to see real progress, the two
states must build an atmosphere of trust and confidence where little
has existed before. Because of its subject matter and global
implications, however, the declaration for denuclearization of the
Korean peninsula will undoubtedly receive wider attention.
   For those with arms control experience in Europe, the content and
structure of the reconciliation accord appear familiar in many as-
pects. Many of the steps identified in the agreement have been
undertaken by other states, particularly those participating in the
CSCE. Many of them are considered regularly in the framework of
the UN. At the same time, some measures and steps of the Korean
accord are unique. They appear well tailored to the situation on the
peninsula.
   Military confidence-building measures, such as those contained in
the December 13 accord between North and South Korea, are also
integral to the CSCE process. Since the signing of the Helsinki Final
Act in 1975, the CSCE states have been negotiating and adopting
16 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs). The CSCE
began, as North and South Korea have proposed to do, with such
measures as notification of military maneuvers. Later, the CSCE
states adopted the 1986 Stockholm Document which included im-
proved notification provisions, annual forecasts of military activities,
mandatory observation programs of certain military activities and, for
the first time, a CSBM inspection regime. In the 1990 Vienna
Document, the CSCE states agreed to such CSBMs as information
exchanges on military budgets, military forces and equipment; an
evaluation regime to check force and equipment data; an air base
visitation program; and consultation mechanisms regarding unusual
military activities and hazardous military incidents. The Vienna Doc-
ument was updated and improved in early 1992. There is now a
computer-based CSCE communications network to assist in the
implementation of agreed measures. Non-aggression declarations in
the European context have also been included as part of a negoti-
ated package. For example, building on a 1986 CSCE non-use of
force declaration, the nations of NATO and the then Warsaw Pact
Treaty Organization agreed in 1990 to a joint declaration on friendly
relations.
   In the past decade, Europe has been the focus of a sizeable share
of bilateral and multilateral arms control. The 1987 Treaty on the
Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF)
and the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) were historic
breakthroughs for the US and the former Soviet Union, with lasting
effects for European and global security. In the conventional field,
the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), negoti-
ated within the framework of the CSCE, represents a foundation
stone for building a new architecture of stability and security for
 Europe.
   It should be noted that agreements in Europe did not come easily
or quickly. The CSCE includes agreements on human rights and
 political and economic freedom as well as security matters. The CFE
 Treaty, for example, had its origins in the Mutual and Balanced Force
 Reductions Talks, which began in 1973 but did not produce an
 agreement. The climate in which these security agreements were
 negotiated was rarely positive; the artificial and hostile division of
                                                 RONALD F. LEHMAN ti   17


Europe cast a constant and dark shadow over the negotiations for
nearly two decades. Yet, ultimately, efforts to produce a conventional
arms control agreement were successful. Much of the European
success is owed to a careful, broad, step-by-step process.
   In CSCE, participating states continue to adopt new measures on
security, human rights and economic cooperation and have en-
hanced the process through institutionalization and regular high-level
meetings. New CSCE bodies include a Conflict Prevention Center in
Vienna, a Warsaw-based Office of Democratic Institutions and
Human Rights, and a CSCE Secretariat in Prague. In addition, CSCE
Economic Forum will convene periodically in Prague as well.
   This is not to say that the Koreas should choose the European
model or the model established by the US-Soviet experience. They
appear to be charting a course relevant to the Korean situation and
consistent with other regional and international security efforts. The
main objective is for the Koreas to continue making steady progress
on implementation of their joint accords.
   Nevertheless, some elements drawn from the European experi-
ence, such as the military activity notification measure, appear
suitable for implementation on the Korean peninsula. The provision
to discuss improving use of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) grows
naturally out of the Korean experience. As a conflict prevention or
crisis management tool, the creation of an accidents hotline between
the DPRK and ROK militaries reflects a history that began even
before the US-Soviet “Hotline” Agreement of 1963 and has continued
after the US-Soviet Dangerous Military Activities Agreement of 1989.
The provision to consider “phased reductions in armaments, includ-
ing the elimination of weapons of mass destruction” included in the
December 13 accord is particularly ambitious. The December 31
agreement to denuclearize the peninsula seeks to address the
question of nuclear arms, but concerns remain about chemical and
biological weapons. The Republic of Korea and the DPRK may find
bilateral measures necessary to complement international efforts to
eliminate non-nuclear weapons of mass destruction, including chem-
ical and biological weapons.
   Considering the great imbalance of forces (in favor of the North)
and the number and proximity of forward-deployed DPRK forces,
18 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


conventional arms negotiations may be worth pursuing. Satisfactory
agreements in this realm, especially with respect to conventional
forces, will have to be based on a detailed mutual understanding of
the force balance in all its aspects (not just numbers), a precise
identification of objectives, and a comprehensive package to secure
them, including effective verification measures.
   In covering the spheres of economics, hurhan rights and security,
these joint Korean accords represent a balanced approach to ad-
dressing security problems between the states. Arms control, confi-
dence- and security-building measures, and dialogue can help
manage confrontation, but the elimination of military confrontation on
the Korean peninsula will require fundamental political change, which
can be promoted only by this broader approach to security.
   The last six months have seen remarkable developments in the
dialogue between North and South Korea. Active dialogue between
the two sides can serve to generate measures of cooperation and
provide milestones to measure achievement. As with the nuclear
agreement, however, the fact of dialogue should not be an accept-
able alternative to the results of dialogue. Talk must be transformed
into positive action.

Nuclear Issues

   The North-South nuclear accord, which calls for a peninsula free
of nuclear weapons should be considered on its own merits. The
importance of the new Korean bilateral accord is more clearly
appreciated if it is viewed in connection with: (1) the North Korean
nuclear program and Pyongyang’s long delay in meeting its NPT
safeguards obligations; (2) international efforts to prevent nuclear
proliferation, particularly on the peninsula; and (3) its relationship to
North Korea’s January 30 signature and April 10 ratification of an
IAEA safeguards agreement.
   North Korea has sought to accumulate nuclear expertise for more
than two decades. North Korea is also nearing completion of an
unsafeguarded facility that appears to be a reprocessing plant.
Although it had denied any unsafeguarded nuclear activities for many
years, the DPRK recently acknowledged that it completed one
                                                    RONALD F. LEHMAN II 19


reactor in 1986, and has two others under construction. Available
information further indicates that the first reactor is well suited for the
production of plutonium, and began operation in 1987. These facili-
ties could constitute the essential elements of a nuclear weapons
program. In December of 1985, North Korea acceded to the NPT.
This established Pyongyang’s obligation to place all of its nuclear
material under IAEA safeguards within eighteen months. It signed
such a safeguards agreement only in January of 1992, and the
agreement was ratified only in April.
   North Korea’s past failure to meet its freely assumed obligations
fueled growing suspicion about its unsafeguarded nuclear activities.
North Korea has been the only NPT party with a significant nuclear
program that did not implement a full-scope safeguards agreement
in a timely way as required by the NPT. For example, North Korea
has an agreement with Russia to construct four nuclear power
reactors. The Soviet Union had made fulfillment of that arrangement
conditional on North Korean implementation of IAEA safeguards as
required by Pyongyang’s adherence to the NPT. Russia continues to
follow this policy.
   The more other nations have learned about North Korean nuclear
activities, the more concerned they have become. The North Korean
nuclear program is perhaps the greatest emerging threat to security
in Northeast Asia today and carries with it the danger of export of
nuclear materials and/or technology by the North to other areas of
the world.
   Over several years, many counties, e.g., the United States, Japan,
China, the Soviet Union (and now Russia), have registered their
concerns about North Korean nuclear activity and the risks posed
by it for nuclear proliferation on the peninsula and for serious
instability in Northeast Asia and elsewhere. At the same time, many
of these countries, through single or combined efforts, have contrib-
uted to the welcome thaw in North-South relations. An international
consensus is emerging, specifically in multilateral organizations such
as the UN and the IAEA, on taking further steps for curbing prolif-
eration of weapons of mass destruction. This consensus includes
preventing proliferation on the Korean peninsula.
20 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


    The United States has been active in securing peace and stability
in the region and in challenging nuclear proliferation everywhere.
The US military presence and its defense ties with South Korea and
other Asian-Pacific nations are widely viewed as a bedrock of Asia’s
security structure. Although elements of the US-South Korean mili-
tary alliance may be changing, the US commitment to the security
of South Korea remains firm. In an effort to transform and strengthen
this alliance, the US launched, in coordination with South Korea, its
“East Asia Strategy Initiative” in 1990. This initiative entailed, among
other things, some reductions in US troops based on South Korean
territory and began the transition of the US Forces in Korea from a
leading to a supporting role in ROK defense matters. A 1991
 assessment of the security situation on the Korean peninsula led
 Washington after consultation with Seoul to freeze future reductions
 pending clarification of North Korean activities in the nuclear area.
This move strengthened confidence within the US-ROK alliance and
 provided a clear message to the DPRK.
    In addition to its continued security commitment, the US engages
 in intensive arms control consultations with the ROK, including on
 the issue of nuclear proliferation on the peninsula. The results of
 these consultations, together with a series of US and ROK policy
 initiatives, contributed to the achievement of the North-South agree-
 ments, including the denuclearization accord between the ROK and
 the DPRK.
    On September 27, 1991, President Bush announced a new global
  policy halting deployment of ground-launched and sea-based tactical
  nuclear weapons under normal circumstances. In November, South
  Korean President Roh Tae Woo announced his non-nuclear policy
  as follows: he committed the ROK not to “test, produce, possess,
  store, deploy or use” nuclear weapons and to forego possession of
  any nuclear reprocessing or enrichment facilities. The content of this
  policy is clearly visible in the DPRK-ROK accord. In December and
  January, both South Korea and the US made important statements
  regarding the issue of nuclear weapons. On December 18, 1991,
  President Roh declared that there were no such weapons in the
  Republic of Korea. In Seoul on January 6, 1992, President Bush,
  mindful that the US has a “neither-confirm-nor-deny” policy, said that
                                                   RONALD F. LEHMAN II 21


in response to anyone who doubted President Roh’s declaration,
South Korea, with President Bush’s full support, had offered to open
to inspection all of its civilian and military installations, including US
facilities.
   As the bilateral effort to deal with the nuclear question continues,
a parallel multilateral effort has been underway. North Korea took six
years to sign its nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA even
though the NPT obligated them to do so in 18 months. Implementa-
tion of that agreement is the next step. As this is written, inspections
of suspect facilities in the DPRK have still not occurred. These
inspections must be conducted in a timely and cooperative manner
to remove international suspicions about the North’s activities.
   Early implementation of bilateral inspections, under the denucle-
arization agreement, is important to complement and strengthen
IAEA inspections. IAEA inspections will be essential in dealing with
the accountability of fissile materials and could contribute to detect-
ing undeclared nuclear activities. While IAEA safeguards have
proven themselves to be an effective deterrent against the diversion
of nuclear material, the specific conditions on the peninsula and the
provisions of the bilateral accord make an effective bilateral inspec-
tion regime essential. The bilateral inspection regime should provide
additional confidence that North Korea is not continuing to pursue a
nuclear weapons program to conclusion.
   On February 17, 1992, President Roh signed the two December
1991 accords for the Republic of Korea. In doing so, he warned that
the agreements would be “meaningless if not translated into action.”
On February 19, 1992, the ROK and DPRK Prime Ministers ex-
changed signed copies of the accords and proclaimed their entry into
force. Then agreement was reached to establish the Joint Nuclear
Control Commission and to have its first meeting on March 19, 1992.
On March 14, the North and South issued a joint statement that called
for “joint efforts” to establish an inspection regime within “around”
two months and to implement inspections 20 days thereafter.
   Although IAEA inspection of a small reactor has occurred, given
the grave concern in the international community over North Korea’s
nuclear weapons ambitions, heightened again by Iraq’s recent efforts
to defy UN Security Council resolutions, early movement on bilateral
22 THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEFENSE ANALYSIS


and multilateral inspections would serve the DPRK well in its efforts
to reduce its isolation. The incentives are there. Japan has made
clear that it will not normalize relations until the nuclear question is
resolved. The United States has explained that higher level contacts
and a path toward greater interchange is blocked so long as the
North does not allay the concerns of the international community that
it is seeking nuclear weapons. Parallel progress on economic and
political issues with South Korea is dependent on progress in
resolving nuclear concerns.
    It is the North alone that has ability to decide which direction to
go-toward nuclear weapons and further isolation or away from them
and toward increased participation in the international community. In
the next few months, we will know whether the DPRK will permit the
necessary multilateral and bilateral inspections to give us greater
confidence that the North is complying with its agreements. Unfortu-
nately, until there is fundamental political change in the North, we
will never be absolutely certain that the DPRK is not continuing a
smaller, covert nuclear weapons program hidden from inspectors.
   Today’s picture of the Korean peninsula is a challenging one.
Much work has been done that could improve the chances for
stability and security in this historically tense region. Agreements
reached by North and South, coupled with numerous other multilat-
eral and bilateral efforts, have paved the way for improved relations
and a safer, more promising environment for the Koreas. The next
step is implementation and confirmation through effective inspections
and greater openness that obligations are being fulfilled. Progress
by the two Koreas on the issue of proliferation could provide an
important precedent for South Asia and the Middle East and set the
stage for a more secure and prosperous Korean peninsula with great
 regional and global influence. Failure could increase the dangers
feared by every nation.

				
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