April 1, 2019
President, Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA)
Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA) hereby expresses its views on the Hanoi Summit between Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Kim Jong Un, the chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held on February 27 and 28 as follows:
1. President Trump and Chairman Kim did not adopt at this meeting an official document such as the “Joint Declaration” signed last year. We regret it a bit because we had expected a sort of document to be made.
2. However, President Trump says that: “it was a very productive two days;” and “he has a vision and it’s not exactly our vision, but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago.” Rodong Sinmun, on the other hand, reports that both leaders will “continue productive dialogues;” and “said goodbye, promising the next meeting.” This means that no decisive rift has been occurred. Indeed, some words like “talks broken off” and “resume missile launch and nuclear testing” are coming up. However, the US-South Korea large-scale military drill has been suspended, while neither launch of long-range rockets nor nuclear testing is to be conducted so far. It cannot be said that the trust between the U.S. and DPRK has broken down.
3. The reason for not having reached a signature this time is that the U.S. reportedly did not agree to the DPRK process of nuclear weapons abolition. The DPRK proposed a partial lifting of the UNSC Resolutions on the sanctions in exchange for writing up its commitment to halt permanently nuclear tests and missile launch and dismantling completely its nuclear facilities at Yongbyon in the presence of US experts (although there are some reports saying that the DPRK has demanded all sanctions off, the DPRK foreign minister says “partial.”) It is in itself a fruit of the talk that those disputing points have been made clear.
4. The DPRK Foreign Minister Ri says that “we need such a first step on the road to complete denuclearization.” Secretary Pompeo says that “I’m still optimistic…We have said to our team, since the beginning, that this would take time…to work out a very complex problem.” It is rather too optimistic to think that the two countries, which have continued military confrontation for as long as 66 years, would reach a full “détente” in one or two meetings. We expect that working level talks will be continued from now on to reach an agreement between both parties and to make a time schedule.
5. JALANA requests the two parties to act in accordance with the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes set forth in Article 2 paragraph 3 of the UN Charter and the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (July 1996) that declared the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be contrary to the international law, and then to set forward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, taking into account the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted in July 2017.
6. Meanwhile, Japanese government is reportedly satisfied with President Trump’s “no simple compromises.” Their reluctance to devote themselves to a peace and denuclearization process of the Korean Peninsula does all harm and no good. They should first give up refusing state recognition of the DPRK and then shift their policy from pressure only to a solution through dialogues.
7. Undaunted by this standstill of the US-DPRK summit, we, as a member of civil society, resolve to make further efforts for peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.