SDD2021

Borderless Security Crises and Multilateral Responses

Plenary Session1

Advancing the Korean Peninsula Peace Process and Role of Arms Control

Background

In order to attain peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, the Korean government has steadily pursued the Korean Peninsula Peace Process, a peace mechanism that has significantly reduced the risk of war on the peninsula. This mechanism has contributed to ROK’s national security goals of attaining peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue and establishing permanent peace on the peninsula.

North Korea’s participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February 2018, followed by three inter-Korean summits in April, May, and September 2018, as well as the US-North Korea summit in June 2018 have ushered in a new environment conducive to peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, by signing “The Inter-Korean Agreement on the Implementation of the Historic Panmunjom Declaration in the Military Domain,” the two Koreas agreed on an action plan to prevent accidental military clashes and to implement confidence-building measures and, thereby, establishing a foundation for a “Korean Peninsula without war.”

However, certain domestic and external factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and intensification of US-China strategic competition, have slowed down the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration. In spite of these adverse developments, including complications in inter-Korean relations, have not resulted in a military clash, leading to more stability on the peninsula than ever before. Recently, there have been positive signs that the Korean Peninsula Peace Process will receive a significant boost as showcased during the ROK-US summit in Washington in May 2021, when the two leaders declared that their diplomatic approaches to North Korea will be based fundamentally on the Singapore Summit Joint Statement and the Panmunjom Declaration.

This session aims to review the current security environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula, identify obstacles to the Korean Peninsula Peace Process, and further analyze the challenges that stand in the way of the peace process. In particular, this session will examine the possibilities of complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, establishment of a peace regime, and arms control between the two Koreas. It will also analyze how peace can be attained through the mutual interactions among these three vectors. Lastly, the session will discuss the roles of neighboring countries and areas of cooperation with the international community in order to establish sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Key Topics of Discussion

Review the Korean Peninsula Peace Process and examine the regional security environment, as well as obstacles to the peace process

Set out tasks to move the Korean Peninsula Peace Process forward

Seek ways to advance the Korean Peninsula Peace Process through inter-Korean arms control

Discuss roles of neighboring countries and the international community in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula