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Peace in the Korean Peninsula lies with the creation of 'Koryo Union'

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08th-Apr-2018       
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M A Hossain :
Finally the international community seems to get its sense back on the issue of resolving the existing political standoff in Korean Peninsula. In the past, I have repeatedly said undue pressure and illogical sanctions on the DPR Korea would bring counter productive result. As a defence analyst, I can clearly understand the sentiment of a patriotic leader like Marshal Kim Jong Un. First of all let me clarify, to me Korean people, be it the peoples of the Republic of Korea, or the peoples of DPR Korea are friends. Bangladesh has historic relations both the Koreas. As a key summit, which I am seeing as a summit of beginning of a new era of prosperity and peace in the Korean Peninsula is scheduled for next month. This article is written with an honest desire of offering a mutually respectable formula to the leaders of both the Koreas.
Ever since division of Korea in 1950, Republic of Korea (ROK) is talking about unification of Koreas, while DPR Korea is demanding re-unification of Korea. This is the major obstacle in finding a lasting peace formula. I don't think the people of DPR Korea would go under the administration of Seoul while the people of ROK won't accept the leadership of Pyongyang. In my judgment Korean people definitely should be brought under a single umbrella keeping two political systems for two of the Koreas. Meaning, a 'Koryo Union' comprising Republic of Korea and DPR Korea is the only workable solution. Under the Koryo Union, there will be a common military force to ensure sovereignty of both the Korea as well assure peaceful coexistence with the neighbouring countries like Japan, China and beyond. Republic of Korea can utilize the huge skilled and semi skilled manpower of DPR Korea; while Pyongyang can explore its massive mineral and natural resources with the technical collaboration of China, Japan and ROK which definitely would transform DPRK into a developed nation within the span of maximum 7-8 years. On the other hand, ROK can establish Koryo Union Special Economic Zone both in ROK and DPRK under mutually agreeable proportion. The Koryo Union can have common airline, common shipping agency and even common currency. This common currency would be an additional one, keeping the existing currencies of both Koreas in circulation. While DPRK's Won and ROK's Won would be a local currency while currency of the Koryo Union would emerge as an international currency. In this case we can cite the example of Chinese Yuan and Foreign Exchange Certificate (FEC) or the Britain's model. While being in EU both British Pound and EU's EURO are in circulation in Britain. For many years existence the two currencies never create any problem in the UK.
Creation of the Koryo Union will help both the member countries of the union in reducing their defence budget. Meaning both side will have fund available for socio-economic development. Currently DPRK has approximately 22 million members in the Korean Peoples Army (KPA). They are well trained, fully equipped and above all absolutely dedicated to their motherland. On the other hand Republic of Korea has around 300thousand members in his army who to are equally capable as the KPA members. But defence expenditure of the ROK is much higher. Because they also have to bear the burden of paying costs to approximately 14 thousand soldiers from US defence forces. In addition to this, ROK are rather compelled in buying military equipments worth billions of dollar each year. Formation of the Koryo Union will most certainly relieve ROK from this huge expenditure. Not only that! Because of the tension in the Korean peninsula, countries like Japan even are compelled in spending billions of dollar in defence sector every year. Should there be no such burden, countries like Japan or ROK would be most beneficiaries. Now the main question, which may even jeopardise the much expected peace process is, United States and Western country's undue demand of denuclearization of DPRK. I personally don't believe, Marshal Kim Jong Un is going to accept this. DPRK is already a nuclear power. Accepting this fact, if ROK and the US will sit with DPRK, definitely can anticipate a very pleasant outcome.
Congratulation to the inhabitants of the Koryo Union.  
(The author is a defence and political analyst and worked in the United Nations).

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