EFFORTS to create a conducive environment for dialogue should continue in order to ease tensions in the Korean Peninsula, former Nepal Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said as he sought the help of former House Speaker Jose de Venecia and Universal Peace Federation (UPF) founder Hak Ja Han Moon.
Nepal, who recently led a delegation that held talks with government officials and top leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea), urged Asian-American groups to visit Pyongyang and help push efforts to ease tensions in the area.
According to Nepal, de Venecia and Moon could contribute in reducing tensions in the peninsula because of the goodwill they earlier built with North Korea.
De Venecia, special envoy for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, earlier urged talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try settling a mounting crisis.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in later joining the talks was seen as a possibility, as well as representatives of China, Russia and Japan, all members of the long-suspended Five-Nation Talks on the Korean issue, according to de Venecia.
De Venecia , also the head of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace; Nepal; Thomas Walsh, an American who is the president of the UPF; and Nepal parliamentarian Ek Nath Dhakal also proposed the Asian-American peace mission in “Track 2 diplomacy” to Pyongyang.
Track 2 diplomacy involves non-state actors.
De Venecia pointed out “there is no substitute for direct talks between South Korea and North Korea,” assisted by the US and China, as needed.
In 1989, de Venecia, then chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Relations of the Philippine Congress, was able to establish good relations with Pyongyang and even met North Korean founder and President Kim Il Sung.
The meeting led to Philippine-North Korean diplomatic relations and an assurance in writing by the North Korean leader not to support the Philippines’ communist New People’s Army, which was well-received by then-President Corazon Aquino and then-Foreign Secretary Raul Manglapus.
A year later, Japan’s then-Liberal Democratic Party leader visited Pyongyang, followed later by former US President Jimmy Carter.