If you’ve read my other blogs on the subject of avoiding violence and war, or if you’ve read hy book, The Peace Prescription, for which I’ve been nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize (I am gratefully humble and not expecting to win the prize from among the annually expected dozens of nominees), you know how impressed I am with both war and peace.
How could anyone not be impressed with the history of wars which has killed something close to 100 million people in less than the last 100 years? How could we not be impressed with the general failure throughout the world to prevent violence and war? And, how many people have to be killed before it’s not just terrible violence, but deserves to be defined as “war”?
When it comes to peace, who could have predicted the lasting peace between Catholics and Proestants in Northern Ireland after many hundreds of years of war and killing? Who would have thought that Israel and Egypt, and Jordan and Israel, could have made peace that has lasted? How about the Cold War ending without a shot being fired between East and West to make that happen afte decades of wars and the threat of a nuclear World War III?
Then the raging civil war in Myanmar (Burma) mostly ended when the plan outlined in my book, The Peace Prescription, was followed by the warring factions shortly after that book and related blogs sere published. Granted there is still another step needed per my recent blog to get a more complete peace there.
In another recent blog I dared to say that peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is possible, and I presented further details of the peace plan introduced in The Peace Prescription book in 2009. Will that plan be used to get the results? We shall see. Everyone I have spoken with or listened to says that such a peaceful outcome is impossible. But that was what people said about all the other peaceful outcomes listed above. They were all “impossible”, but they happened.
Here is my latest “impossible” peace proposal: It’s for North and South Korea to become a single nation with internal peace. Am I tempted to join those who say it’s an “impossible dream”? No, that would not be who I am.
On the other hand, I’m hard pressed to think of any other peace that will be more difficult.
But, I am confident that all Koreans, in their heart of hearts, wish they had one country at peace, with full travel rights from North to South and vice versa; with the ability for relatives on both sides who have never met each other to do so; with the ability of all of the Korean people to trade, and prosper, with each other and with the entire world; with neither side having to be concerned that devastating war could break out at any time between the divided Koreans.
How can that happen? In the North we have no true democracy, with the third generation of a ruling family totally in control, currently led by Kim Jong-un, as First Secretary. In South Korea the current leader, in a true democracy, is South Korea’s first woman President, Park Geun-hye.
Recently, representatives of the two Koreas met, as has happened before, to avoid all-out war that could have been imminent. Creating Korea, as one country, at peace, was probably not on the agenda. Why not? Because it’s “impossible”.
If a war were fought, with the horrible destruction of Koreans killing each other and destroying property, chances are, after the war, a united country would be formed. Why not do that now, without the devastataing deaths, injuries and destruction of war?
Let’s all keep in mind that Korea once was a single, unified, mainly independent country, for centuries, until that all changed due to wars in the region and the world, starting early in the 20th Century.
Here is a 5-step plan to accomplish the “impossible”:
1. Both sides agree that the leaders of North and South can continue to lead their areas, but that a joint legislature will be started, with elections of an even number of legislators in North and South. That new legislature will be in addition to current legislatures on each side, for 5 to 10 years. Members can be members of existing legislatures. The new legislature will meet four times per year, alternating the meetings in North and South capitals.
2. The new legislature will have the job to plan, and name, a joint capital city for government in the demilitarized zone, and the job of arranging for civilian travel and trade from North to South and vice versa. Also, a joint budget to be funded equally by North and South, should be started.
3. The new legislature will have the job to plan a new currency for use both in the North and South, but the existing currencies can also continue to exist until a true single nation exists.
4. Until the chief leaders of North and South Korea agree, there would be separate elections of the First Secretary in the North and of the President in the South. Until such agreed upon time, the separate North and South legislative bodies would continue to exist. A goal should be set, such as 5 to 10 years in the future, to officially announce a single country with nationwide elections for a single national leader and a national legislature. A new flag for the entire nation should be chosen for use at that time, but the existing North and South flags shall not be restricted from use, involuntarily, by any Koreans. When a single nation exists, the North and South military units shall be under the direction of the new single and unified government.
5. The new legislature that can be formed under #1 above, with no delay, would have the job of drafting a new Constitution, to be approved by the original legislative bodies in the North and South, as well as by the new joint legislature, prior to the declaration of a single unified country.
How can this 5-point plan begin? How can all of this go from “impossible” to actuality? Only if the Korean people and leaders, both North and South, would see the amazing advantages of taking the five steps, one step at a time, to make it “possible”. Those Koreans who help make it all happen will go down, actually up, in history as the Fathers and Mothers of an amazing result for all of the Korean people and for the peace of the region and the world.
I welcome the comments of everyone, including Koreans, and Americans of Korean decent. Sure, some comments will point out how all of this is “impossible”. But what will those people say after this “impossible” result becomes just the latest of so many peaceful results that were also “impossible”, yet have happened and lasted with amazing success?
Thank you for your attention to this “impossible” blog.
Your friendly problem solver,
Dr. Ed Marshall
I enjoy reading a post that will make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
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