Japan Institute for National Fundamentals
http://jinf.jp/

Policy Proposals

2009.09.24 (Thu)

Japan Should Be Prepared to Respond to Emergency Situation in North Korea

Policy Proposals from JINF

 

September 11, 2009

 

Japan Should Be Prepared to Respond to Emergency Situation in North Korea
--- Promote Freedom Unification by ROK
to Prevent China’s Control of the Korean Peninsula ---

 

Policy Proposals
1. Japan should adopt the promotion of freedom unification by the Republic of Korea (ROK) as its strategic goal and be prepared to respond to an emergency situation in North Korea.
2. Japan should endorse the vision of freedom unification offered by U.S. President Barack Obama and ROK President Lee Myung-bak on June 16, 2009, which seeks “peaceful reunification on the principles of free democracy and a market economy.”
3. Japan, the United States and the ROK should expand their strategic talks at government, military and private expert levels to prepare for an emergency situation in North Korea.
4. At their strategic talks, the three countries should consider how Japan should cooperate with the United States and the ROK upon their military advancement into the North and how the United States and the ROK should cooperate with Japan in securing safety of and rescuing Japanese abductees in the North.
5. While the ROK is the primary party to the freedom unification, Japan and the United States should proactively support ROK proponents of the freedom unification to propel the trilateral friendship to new horizons.

 

 A medical life limit of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has come into sight. Within several years, he could die or become incapable of working due to serious illnesses. Since early 2009, indications of Kim’s sense of urgency have emerged, including the start of the process of nominating his successor and the enhancement of the National Defense Commission.
 A dictatorship changes after the death of the dictator, as indicated by the Soviet Union after Joseph Stalin and China after Mao Zedong. In North Korea, no major change came after the death of Kim Il Sung because by that time his son, Kim Jong Il, had already taken effective control of power.
 After Kim Jong Il’s death, North Korea could plunge into an emergency situation, a chaos in which the government may lose control of the country. In preparation for such a development, U.S. and ROK military advancement into the North and Chinese military intervention have been contemplated. The Korean Peninsula is entering the era of drastic changes rather than continuing the status quo.
 Desirable for Japan will be the expansion of free democracy on the Korean Peninsula and the eradication of extraordinarily anti-Japanese policies. It is ideal for people on the Peninsula to implement these measures voluntarily, peacefully and promptly.
 The problem is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In a bid to maintain its totalitarian control system, the CCP has made aggressive efforts to block the expansion of freedom domestically and externally.
 In North Korea after Kim Jong Il, the CCP may attempt to secure its influence in a manner counter to Japan’s national interests through such measures as the creation of a CCP-controlled regime. Japan should contemplate its policies based on such strategic environment.
 On June 16, the U.S. and ROK presidents specified a joint vision to pursue “peaceful reunification on the principles of free democracy and a market economy.” U.S. and ROK forces are preparing for their advancement into the North upon a chaos. A unified Korea under the ROK’s auspice should meet Japan’s national interests as long as the ROK maintains the U.S.-ROK alliance, the Japan-ROK Basic Relations Treaty and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.
 Regrettably, it is unlikely that North Korean people who seek freedom after the current extreme suppressive regime collapses can prevent the CCP’s intervention, maintain domestic security and build a free democracy by themselves.
 Only the ROK government may (1) maintain the philosophy of free democracy, (2) maintain security to contain subversive elements and (3) be recognized internationally as a legitimate body to govern the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
 Therefore, the promotion of the freedom unification by ROK will be a strategic goal to meet Japan’s national interests.
 Under a China-controlled North Korean regime, the Chinese army would use military facilities and other key infrastructure such as ports, airports, and expressways during a war on or around the Korea Peninsula. Japan’s support responding to an emergency situation in North Korea must be specified as being linked to the freedom unification of the peninsula by the ROK. Japan cannot support a two-stage reunification plan that might tolerate a China-controlled government in North Korea.
 With this point in mind, Japan should accumulate efforts to realize the best scenario. If Japan takes irresponsible actions to avoid its sacrifices and burdens, the Japan-U.S. alliance may weaken. This could allow the United States to consult with China and tolerate a China-controlled North Korean regime in disregard of Japan. If Japan, the United States and the ROK adopt the expansion of free democracy on the Korean Peninsula a common strategy and get prepared to respond to an emergency situation in North Korea, they may be able to prevent CCP’s hegemony in East Asia. The future of the Japan-U.S. alliance depends on responses to an emergency situation in North Korea.