[R. Badamdamdin is a former Member of Parliament in the People’s Great Khural (Assembly) of Mongolia. He delivered this address to the International Leadership Conference of the Universal Peace Federation in Seoul, ROK, on Tuesday, 24 January 2012. –CanKor]
Frequent unexpected events on the Korean peninsula negatively impact the quest for stable development in northeast Asia. In easing such difficult circumstances, peaceful democratic countries in the region seek to maintain a relationship with the two Koreas, as trustful friends of the Korean people, through good communications. Mongolia is among these countries.
Mongolia has had good relations with North Korea since its founding in the 1940s. Even though the scale is not large, the relationship between the two countries has been friendly and close. In particular, as a result of efforts of non-governmental organizations, many types of exchanges such as business, individual, arts, culture, sports, and so forth, have been formed between the two nations.
The Mongolian government has expressed interest in developing a relationship between the two countries, and it has initiated several meetings for this purpose. Such state-level approaches characterize Mongolia’s support for North Korea.
It is very possible to develop mutually beneficial cooperation on various levels between the business sectors of the two countries. For instance, Mongolia has imported from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea workforce for mining, building infrastructure, urban development, and agriculture. Thanks to these laborers, Mongolia has been able to supplement its lack of construction workers. Mongolia’s agricultural sector, on the other hand, helps resolve the food issues of North Korea.
The above-mentioned cooperation is being implemented in both countries. Official visits and negotiations between both countries brought about such understanding and cooperation.
The important point is that the people of the two countries and non-governmental organizations should support the benefit of the public in both countries.
Kim Jong-il, the leader of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, died one month ago. The transfer of state power to his third son, Kim Jong-un, is rapidly progressing. In the past months, political conditions were calm in the country. Until the new leader’s political and state position, namely his leadership and administration of the party, is established, the power of the state and military sectors is expected to prevail. However, 90 percent of the state and political leaders are 80 years old or more. Thus, there are considerable challenges to be overcome. North Korea will maintain its nuclear policy and will not give up its juche, revolutionary Korean-style socialism, for the sake of its national security, which has been accepted by the United States, Republic of Korea (South Korea), and Japan.
The Six-Party Talks have focused on the disposal of nuclear weapons. Mongolia will follow its policy of contributing to the political stabilization, development, and cooperation in the region.
Many countries are paying attention to the internal situation in North Korea and its political conditions. It is important to decrease the negative impact of such internal situations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Mongolia aspires to develop its traditionally friendly relationship with North Korea, expand cooperation between both countries, and contribute to improving the economic conditions of the country. For these purposes, our country plans to provide humanitarian aid.
The nuclear ambition of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea impacts regional peace and security. In 1992 Mongolia proclaimed a one-state nuclear-weapons-free zone. With that policy, it seeks to ensure its own security by emphasizing political and diplomatic efforts. Thus, Mongolia can relate with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a unique manner.
From now on, whether Kim Jong-un is the sole leader is not a significant issue; rather, what matters is new generations of superior leadership of the country. The countries in the region should support establishing relations with such new leaders of North Korea. Foreign countries have a tendency to observe and wait. However, making immediate initiatives and engaging in negotiations is important.
The countries in the region should give direct attention to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. For the purpose of international and regional stability and security, bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations with North Korea are welcomed.