그러나 새 정부 들어와 남북관계가 순탄치 않다. 새 정부가 지금처럼 6.15공동선언을
경시한다면 지난 10년간의 남북 화해협력의 성과는 유실될 수도 있다. 북핵문제 해결과
북미관계가 진전되는 데도 남북관계 경색이 지속된다면 긴장이 고조될 뿐만 아니라,
6자회담에서 우리의 입지도 축소될 것이다. 그렇게 되면 우리 민족의 운명을 다른
나라들의 손에 맡기는 우를 범할 수 있다.
대외 경제여건이 좋지 않은 상황에서 새 정부가 국정의 최우선 순위로 생각하는
경제 살리기를 위해서라도 남북관계를 진전시켜야 한다. 긴장이 높아져 국가신용등급에
영향을 주는 일은 없어야 한다.
지금은 2차 북핵위기 이후 북핵문제를 해결하고, 남북관계를 비약적으로 발전시킬
절호의 기회이다. 최근 호전되고 있는 북핵문제 상황은 새 정부에게 남북관계를 복원할
기회를 제공하고 있다. 새 정부가 이 기회를 놓치지 않기를 기대한다.
Foreign experts specializing in the Korean peninsula assess the 2000 Inter-Korean
Summit as the very incident in which the people of Korea have determined their
own destiny for the first time in history. The June 15 Joint Declaration is
Korean people’s great journey that has launched the era of reconciliation and
cooperation, ending the half-century long hostility between two Koreas. The
Joint Declaration is an action statement to facilitate the implementation of
the 1991 Basic Agreement.
Thanks to the Joint Declaration, inter-Korean talks have become institutionalized.
Exchange and cooperation in economy, society, culture and sports have been facilitated.
Progresses in humanitarian affairs such as the re of separated families have
relieved deep-rooted grief in the hearts of Koreans. Military tension between
the two has also significantly eased, while peace on the Korean peninsula has
been further promoted. Enhanced inter-Korean relations after the June 15 Summit
has raised the status and the role of Korea in Northeast Asian politics. In
other words, the past decade has been “the years bringing hope to Koreans.”
Since the launch of the new administration, however, the inter-Korean relations
have not been so smooth. If the new administration continues to neglect the
June 15 Joint Declaration, the significant achievement we have made in the past
10 years in terms of South-North reconciliation and cooperation may be lost.
If inter-Korean relations continue to grow sour, while North Korean nuclear
issue and the US-DPRK relations make progresses, it will not only exacerbate
the tension between two Koreas, but also reduce our influence in the six-party
talks. In such case, we may commit the mistake of leaving our destiny in the
hands of other countries.
Furthermore, in order for the new administration to achieve its primary aim
to revitalize national economy in the midst of unfavorable international economic
conditions, the inter-Korean relations have to be improved. We shouldn’t make
the mistake of escalating tension, which will bring negative impact on Korea’s
In order to further improve inter-Korean relations and to promote peace on
the Korean peninsula, we who have gathered to commemorate the 8th anniversary
of the June 15 Joint Declaration, declare as follows:
1. In order to ease the tension between two Koreas, the government first
of all has to respect and inherit the sprit of the June 15 South-North Joint
Declaration. Along with the October 4 Declaration, the June 15 Joint Declaration
is a historic document on which both leaders of two Koreas have signed in person
and put into practice. If the new government disregards the very document jointly
signed by two summits, how can two Koreas continue building trust?
2. We recommend the incumbent government quickly initiate providing food
and fertilizer aid for North Korea without any condition. In order to discuss
and resolve such urgent humanitarian issues as food and fertilizer aid and re
of separate families, the inter-Korean talks should be resumed as soon as possible.
At the same time, North Korea should stop condemning South Korea and cooperate
to restore the inter-Korean relations.
3. The inter-Korean cooperation is desperately needed in the six-party talks
to resolve North Korean nuclear issue and settle peace on the Korean peninsula.
In particular, to establish unification-oriented peace regime on the Korean
peninsula as agreed through the September 19 Joint Statement of the six-party
talks, the active cooperation should begin now without delay. In addition, two
Koreas should work closely to build a regional body to promote peace and security
of Northeast Asia.
Now we have a golden opportunity to resolve North Korean nuclear issue and
improve inter-Korean relations. The current favorable developments in North
Korean nuclear situation present the new administration a chance to restore
inter-Korean relations. We hope that the new government does not let the chance
June 12, 2008
Kim Dae-jung Peace Center & Participants of the Event
Commemorating the Eighth Anniversary of
the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration