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A New Move for Peace

Year:1958 Issue:1


Author: by CHI LUNG

Release Date:1958-03-04

Page: 6,7

Full Text:  

The Chinese People's Volunteers in Korea will pull out this year. This opens a new avenue for the peaceful settlement of the Korean question. What are the prospects? The whole world is watching anxiously to see whether the United States and the other countries with troops in Korea will follow suit.

ON February 5 this year, the Government of the Korean Democratic People's Republic made a fresh effort to settle the long-deadlocked Korean question. In an important statement, it proposed:

1. that all foreign forces be withdrawn from North and South Korea simultaneously;

2. that within a definite period following the withdrawal, nation-wide free elections be held in Korea under the supervision of a neutral nations organization;

3. that consultations be held between North and South Korea on an equal footing on their economic and cultural relations, the holding of nation-wide elections and other problems; and

4. that the armed forces of North and South Korea be reduced to the minimum within a short period of time.

Two days later, on February 7, the Chinese Government declared its full support for these proposals.

China's Peace Initiative

These developments heralded the momentous step taken by the Chinese and Korean Governments on February 19. In a joint statement signed by Premier Chou En-lai and Premier Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang on that day (the full text is published on pages 21-23. - Ed.), they announced that the Chinese Government, after consultations with the Korean Government, had proposed to the Chinese People's Volunteers (C.P.V.) that they take the initiative in withdrawing from Korea. The C.P.V., concurring fully with the proposal, have decided to withdraw completely from Korea, by stages, before the end of 1958. The first stage is to be completed prior to April 30.

This series of events demonstrates once again the brotherly relations between the Chinese and the Korean peoples. It also highlights China's unremitting efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Korean question and to ease tensions in the Far East.

The Korean question should be settled by the Koreans themselves. Foreign interference has no justification whatsoever. This is a principle that will not be denied by any fair-minded person who respects international law. This is the stand of the Korean people. The Chinese people have always adhered to this view.

But this inalienable right of the Korean people to manage their own affairs has been flouted by the United States. The world remembers only too well those dark days of 1950 when the United States, after aiding and abetting the Syngman Rhee clique in unleashing an aggressive war against the Korean Democratic People's Republic on June 25, immediately sent its bomber squadrons into action on June 26. On the following day, the United States announced its armed intervention in Korea and started its dirty war on the peninsula. Ever since its forces moved into Korea, the United States has apparently been determined to stay on for good. The past few years have provided ample proof of this. The United States categorically rejected, one after another, all the demands and proposals advanced by the Governments of Korea, China and the Soviet Union that the U.S. withdraw its armed forces.

U.S.-Created Deadlock

At the very inception of the Korean armistice negotiations, the United States adamantly refused to include the question of withdrawing all foreign troops on the agenda. Immediately following the armistice, it set out to obstruct the implementation of Paragraph 60 of the Armistice Agreement which provides:

Within three months after the Armistice Agreement is signed and becomes effective, a political conference of a higher level of both sides be held by representatives appointed respectively to settle through negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korea question, etc.

Then came the Geneva Conference of 1954. Once again the United States turned down the Korean-Chinese proposal that all foreign troops withdraw from Korea. It even had the audacity to demand that the C.P.V. - who were in Korea to help a distressed neighbour repulse foreign aggression - withdraw while allowing the U.S. forces to occupy South Korea.

Repeated proposals to withdraw all foreign troops and settle the Korean question peacefully were made by the Korean-Chinese side in the years following the Geneva Conference. All were arbitrarily rejected by the United States.

More than four years have elapsed since the armistice. But the Korean question remains deadlocked. The stubborn refusal of the United States to withdraw its armed forces is the root cause of the deadlock.

While maintaining its troops in South Korea, the United States has been tightening its political control and pursuing its wanton economic plunder in that part of the peninsula. In the meantime, the U.S. side has time and again violated the Armistice Agreement. After gradually ousting the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission from South Korea, the United States recently shipped atomic cannons and new-type rockets into South Korea - in violation of Paragraph 13-d of the Armistice Agreement which provides: "Cease the introduction into Korea of reinforcing combat aircraft, armoured vehicles, weapons, and ammunition...."

All this goes to show that the United States is trying to maintain its colonial rule in South Korea by armed force; to prevent the peaceful unification of that country; and to turn South Korea into an atomic base to serve its aggressive designs.

It is therefore clear that the key to ending the deadlock in Korea and creating a stable peace is the withdrawal of all foreign troops. Only when this is done will the Korean people be able to solve their own problems free of outside interference and obstructions and effect a peaceful unification of their homeland.

A New Avenue Is Open

The Korean-Chinese peace initiative has opened a practicable way to break the U.S.-created deadlock in Korea. When the C.P.V., in 1950, crossed the Yalu River to help the Korean people resist U.S. aggression, they had to do so in order to defend their own country, to safeguard peace in the Far East and the world. In pursuit of the same goal of peace, the C.P.V. have now decided to take the initiative in withdrawing from Korea and to set an example for others to follow.

Under these circumstances, what possible justification can there be for the United States to keep its troops in South Korea? And can there be any need for the other countries comprising the "U.N. forces" in Korea to retain their troops in a country so far removed from their homelands-an undertaking involving grave risks because of possible new adventures on the part of the United States and the Syngman Rhee clique?

The C.P.V. have not attached any conditions to their withdrawal. This in itself is a significant move to foster mutual trust among nations. A favourable situation has been created. If all foreign troops leave Korea, the Koreans themselves, free of U.S. interference, will be fully capable of conducting talks between the North and South, effecting a peaceful unification of their homeland and turning the armistice into a stable peace.

Certain circles in the United States, however, are trying to impose conditions for withdrawing American troops. They want the Korean-Chinese side to accept supervision of the Korean elections by the United Nations which is a belligerent in the Korean War. They even say that the United States will not withdraw its forces until after elections are held. Such arguments are designed either to excuse the United States for refusing to withdraw its troops, or to facilitate its intervention in Korea's elections with bayonets. If the United States is to pursue this line of argument, its imperialist designs will be exposed in an even more glaring light. It will become even more difficult for the United States' followers to continue toeing the American line on the Korean question, and will land Washington in further political isolation.

Serious Test for the U.S.

Should the United States and the Syngman Rhee clique take the C.P.V.'s withdrawal as a sign of weakness and stick to a die-hard line, they will become even more discredited in the eyes of the world. And, if they are so foolhardy as to think that this is a chance for new adventures, they may as well bear in mind the statement issued by the General Headquarters of the C.P.V. on February 20:

Should the U.S. imperialists and their followers dare to trample on the Korean Armistice Agreement and again unleash a war of aggression in Korea, the Chinese people will, provided the Korean people and Government so desire, dispatch without hesitation their best sons and daughters across the Yalu River once again to fight, together with the Korean People's Army, against the enemy and smash their attack.

In the world today, peaceful co-existence has become an irresistible tidal demand. In Korea, withdrawal of all foreign troops is the people's pressing need. The Korean question cannot be left unsettled for long. The positive steps taken by the Korean and Chinese Governments and the decision of the C.P.V. are timely. They are of great practical significance.

All peace-loving countries and people are warmly commending the Korean-Chinese efforts. The Soviet Government, in a statement issued on February 20, expressed support for the Korean-Chinese proposals and measures. It further called for a meeting of the countries concerned to discuss measures conducive to rapprochement between both parts of Korea. The Korean-Chinese efforts are producing ever greater repercussions in favour of the peaceful settlement of the Korean question and the relaxation of international tension in general.

"Now is a time," as the joint Sino-Korean statement of February 19 pointed out, "when the United States and the other countries participating in the U.N. forces are faced with a serious test. If they have any sincerity for the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, they should likewise withdraw all their forces from Korea. Otherwise, the whole world will see even more clearly that it is they who have all along been obstructing the peaceful unification of Korea."

The Chinese language is being made easier to learn with the adoption of a new scheme for a phonetic alphabet. The scheme, and its place in the long-term work of language reform, will be explained in a special article next week.
PEKING REVIEW comes out every Tuesday. The next number appears on March 11.

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