What must be done for building Peace?

In the 1930s, Yoo Gwang ryul said,” This is not only the present Gando problem but a Mongolian and Manchurian problem and not only a East Asian problem but a global problem that is in the spot light and critical like the Balkan peninsula problem during the European war. It is quite clear that the situation of the 1930s and the 21 century are different but how can we resolve the present and the future Gando problem?

1) Getting more people to know the Gando problem
The Gando Problem is not externally perceived as a peaceful and future problem. On the other hand, it is understood as something that arouses conflict and puts a dent in peace but if you take a look from the inside you will clearly know that this problem is directed to peace and an issue that must be solved for our future. Conflict must be resolved by dialog and negotiation. Leaving it under the table and ignorance will provide not solution. Therefore, for peace in Asia and mutually friendly relations among countries, we first need to recognize this issue. For the balance and peace of the northeast, wisdom for resolving problems through peaceful negotiations is needed rather than keeping this unresolved leaving possibility of new conflicts.

The initial request for peaceful negotiations should be requested to China because the Gando problem is a territorial dispute between Korea (the unified Korea) and China. This should stop here. No beating around the bush when the request is made to Japan. The conflict between Korea and China originated because Japan misused their imperialistic force in an illegal way handling things in their own convenience.

The Eulsa Treaty and the Gando Agreement was illegally signed by Japan. The Gando Agreement should have been terminated in 1910 when Japan made Korea a colony by force, the Manbong Treaty in 1915 and when there were many claims of the Gando Agreement being invalid in 1920. Also, it should have been invalid according to the Cairo, Potsdam and San francisco Treaties. Cooperaton by Japan to fix the problem that they had made is important because they have an important role in all legal and international relations. The US, participated in the Cairo, Potsdam and San francisco Treaties, is responsible too. Therefore, Korea’s sovereignty over the Gando issues should be presented to China, Japan and the US simultaneously. In the Korea China territorial dispute, the third party can play role direct and indirect role of relieving the tension of sensitive conflicts. Also, aggressive international diplomacy must be conducted for international support and informing the international society. This is not only for the Gando issues but also a method for building peace in eastern Asia.

2) Discuss mutual trust for building peace
A method to build peace is to have discussions based on mutual trust. Japan and Russia has had a long going dispute over territory that has built needless arguments and distrust. They felt the necessity for having talks based on mutual trust. Gorbachev suggested to Japan in publishing a cooperative archive. In September 29th 1992, ‘Japan Russia history of territory co-published by the foreign ministries of both Japan and Russia’ was published. This was a triumph for both countries finding something in common which lead to a deeper understanding on the interactions of Japan and Russia where this bears more significance.

This example should be taken as a model, taking account to the characteristics of the nations involved, in what cooperation and efforts are all about and this should be reflected into action to resolve the problems. According to international law, after the Palmus island arbitration in 1928, the nation wanted to have possession of the land that was in dispute. Each country abides by the traditional ‘International Law’s general rule on possession of territory’.

Recently, the IJC values the decision of the Imperial Nation ruling the area that had actual territorial disposal rights at the time of the settling of territorial disputes. Therefore, research of Korea’s international status, jurisdiction of Gando at the time and protectorate of status according to international law during the time of the Gando Agreement must be conducted. A review of the legal relation of the dependency and the protectorate, the dependency’s legal status according to international law, protectorate’s legal status according to international law and actions that exceed authorization of the protectorate needs to be conducted.

3) Territorial Sunshine Policy
Territorial issues are not merely political or diplomatic problems. They are overall problems in nation to nation relations that need to be considered. Not only to Korean and China but the political, economical, diplomatical, cultural, social and etc. that covers all aspects of the nation needs to be considered and within this process the territorial issue has to finds its place so this needs to be seen as a long term agenda that needs to be reviewed with care. The territorial issues between Korea and China can be seen as a lonely traveler in the cold winter who has a thick coat on. If the north winds blow hard, then the traveler can only hold on to his coat more tighter. But the north winds can’t merely solve the complicated problems so if there is sun light we need to make the traveler take his coat off. In a warm atmosphere, both countries must have negotiations in many areas. Territorial sun light policy is needed which can be approached by culture and economy.

Complex historical, political and international legal elements of the Gando issues should be observed. More interest in simultaneously solving two difficult problems which are solving the territorial issues in a active manner and easing tension with near countries tightening relations peacefully are needed.

4) Considering borders for the future
The changing borders need to be considered from a futuristic standpoint. Raimondo Strassoldo classified borders into ‘Nation-Building’, ‘Co-existence’ and ‘Integration’ and C. S. Momoh into ‘Zero Borderlands’, ‘Minimum Borderlands’ and ‘Maximum Borderlands’.

Oscar J. Martinez got ideas from the previous models and classified borders into 4 types: ‘Alienated borderlands’, ‘Co-existent borderlands’, ‘Interdependent borderlands’ and ‘Integrated borderlands’. In fig 1 to fig 4, you can see the degree of mutual exchange and overlapping seen in the figures according to the borders of each nation.

Reference: Oscar J. Martinez, “The Dynamics of Border Interaction: New approaches to border analysis”, edited by Schofield, Clive H, Global Boundaries: World Boundaries, Volume 1, London; New York, Routledge, 2002, p. 3.

As seen above, seeing the tendency of the border form analysed by Raimondo Strassoldo, C.S. Momoh and Oscar J. Martinez is that if there is less mutual exchange or none then this results in an co-existence or mutual dependence for safety and development of both countries and will progress to and Integrated borderland to maximize the benefits. There is a slight difference but you can see that the meaning of border changes according to time. The border for Korea and China, when relations aren’t so close it is crucial to make this area meaningful to both parties and building more trust. This will be a vital element in forming an East Asia community.

In order to make this area a more meaningful one, objectively researching and reviewing historical issues are needed. We need to solve the unsolved historical issues to eliminate conflict and building peace. To achieve this, the name, area and etc. of Gando must be redefined in the process of solving the basic problems. By doing this, both countries must think over how the new relation will turn out. They shouldn’t dwell on events that caused disputes and cause new problems that will damage relations but think over what kind of relation will be made and what options are available. After World War II, most of the border disputes in Europe were solved. A different approach mentioned previously made this possible.

Saar area, rich in coal and located on the border of Germany and France, was an important location on the border. This regional dispute was solved by planning for Europeanization of Saar. Trieste was located between Yugoslavia and Italy. The Irredentismo which was a movement for retrieving unretrieved territory made Trieste a part of Italy in 1919 and was under the jurisdiction of the UN as a Trieste free area in 1947. Tirol, located in the southern part of the Alps between Italy and Austria held a foreign ministers conference in 1969. This made this area a more autonomous in legislation and administration, making Italian and German the official language, assuring German use in schools and transcription of names of places in both Italian and German. There was much effort that was put in. In January 1995, Austria proceeded in becoming a member of the EU. The closely located Tirol and Trentino-Alto Adige borders were crossed for corporation of 2 states that gave birth to the planning of a new self governing. We should learn from this example.

5) Being open to wanting peace
To resolve these problems and keeping good relations, ensuring safety, approach other various topics like culture, science, arts, academic, sports and etc. for exchange and negotiation to resolve issues is needed rather than staying on the one topic(border) which might lead to more tension. To not show such a strong impression that you are dwelling on the return of territory, expanding exchange of various areas is important. Make sure that all things of this nature are included so there is a means of escape while having negotiations of many topics.

Also, using the understanding dissymmetry among countries is also a meaningful project. For example, Egypt request for return of territory that has symbolic significance while Israel from a safety assurance stand point observed no Egyptian tanks along their border. This understanding can result in Egypt getting sovereignty over the territory and demilitarize the conflict area. This might be a different kind of example but for the returning of Okinawa, the US needed a military base and territory was important for Japan. This is why there was possibility for negotiations. Applying this to the Northern four islands, the Russia and Japan conflict area, Japan wanted territory and Russia wanted honor, safety assurance, economical support or cooperation and etc. and this difference shows that there is a need to study what can be negotiated.

The above are ways to build peace. The question ‘Is the Gando issue’ going to occur conflict or will it be a problem for peace? This doesn’t depend on the issue itself but how this is worked out. Especially, we are in an era when many topics need to be discussed in the East Asia community. This is why resolving the Gando issue has such a big significance.

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