The Journalist Forum for World Peace which was recently attended by 100 journalists from 60 countries in Seoul, Korea was successful not because it had gathered many journalists from all over the world, but more to the consensus reached that journalists should uphold humanitarian values more than any other elements.
Following continuous threats from North Korea in the early part of the year, the Journalist Association of Korea (JAK) felt responsible for calling such a forum for solidarity in the hope that the media fraternity in the world supports South Korea in its mission to have peace with North Korea in the most harmonious way.
At the forum, President Daegu University, Republic of Korea, Hong Duckryul said, to peacefully resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula requires effort and attention from around the globe as well as both the Koreans.
He said, determination to gather strength for peace on the Korean peninsula needs world citizens to cooperate. In addition, the security of the world and specific actions to participate in the global system of cooperation should be formulated as to establish trust and peace on the peninsula.
“The most important role in this task should be given to the press. The press is the only mechanism that can handle “communication” within Korea, between the two Koreas and also at the global level.
“This is because the press is the only channel that enables rational communication through in-depth analysis of structural contexts beyond fragmented and emotional responses,” he said.
He was speaking at the forum on the topic “The role of the press in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and World Peace: “Witness of War” or “Mediators for Peace”.
Hong Duckryul added, the topics covered by the press often require ethical commitment beyond just mechanical judgement. The truth exists beyond simple facts that can be easily identified; thus finding the truth is a critical, ethical and professional task that is unique to journalists.
Journalists he said, must have an attitude of unlimited liability toward “Universal values” such as world peace while looking fairly and thoroughly at the context in a balanced manner in order to find the truth.
Deputy Editor of Strategic Planning News Desk, Chosun Daily Newspaper, Korea, Woosuk Kenneth Choi said, Korean journalists have extra burden when it comes to reporting about their own military conflicts in the home territory.
“We are still at war with North Korea. The war ended in 1953, yet neither side signed a peace treaty. The peace treaty should be signed by the two Koreas but North Korea insists signing a peace treaty with the United States of America which is like apples and orange signing a treaty. We call the North Korea to come to the table and sign the peace treaty with the South”, he said.
When North Korea tested nuclear bombs and fired missiles he added, most South Korean media condemned such actions as the global media did.
“ Yet we take very cautious steps when reporting because the Korean media does not want to push the situation to the brink of war. This is a matter of our life and death issue,” he said.
The Korean media also faces the free flow of information about military issues. The Korean media strives to find a balance between the right to know and safeguarding the national security.
However he said, the most important modus operandi is that they report within the framework of the freedom of the press because freedom of the press is the icon of democracy and they (journalists) live in a democratic society.
Deputy Director of the International News Department, The People’s Daily China, Qimin Wu in her paper said, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted the Resolution 2270 on March 2, 2016.
The resolution she said, will impose new sanctions and tightens some existing sanctions against North Korea due to the nuclear and ballistic missile-related activities that “threaten international peace and security.”
“As journalists, we have to present the truth, provide logically compelling arguments and offer our opinions and to be judged by the general public. Through several reports made by the People’s Daily, the resolution calls for all parties to ease tensions, a resolution that can advance peaceful dialogue and fully considers the humanitarian situation and people’s livelihood in North Korea,” she added.
In her paper “The Korean Peninsula nuclear issue can only be solved at the negotiating table” Qimin emphasized that China plays a unique role in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and opposes any actions that violate non-proliferation in the region or threaten regional peace and stability.
“Bring North Korea back to the negotiating table is the correct path to take here, as such it should be remembered that sanctions are a means to this end rather than ends in their own right,” she reiterated.
The reporter from Kyodo News Japan, May Graziella Masangkay said , Japan is a member of the six-party talks aimed at ending North Korea’s ambitions. The talk which also involve the two Koreans, Russia, United States of America and China have been stalled since 2008.
She said, in a bid to expand Japanese troops’ role abroad, Japan’s new security laws took effect on March 29, 2016. The legislation was enacted due to the severe security environment facing Japan including North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats.
Japan also adopted four new sanctions in February following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test and rocket launch as listed below.
- Reinstate the sanctions it lifted in July 2014 in return for North Korea’s launch of new probe into Japanese abductees
- Ban remittances to North Korea in principle
- Ban reentry from North Korea of Japan-based foreign engineers involved in nuclear and missile development
- Ban from entering Japan ships that have visited ports of North Korea.
May Graziella told the forum on the topic, “Japan’s role in denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.-end