General Baek Kun-ki is my old commander at the Special Warfare Command/Combined Unconventional Warfare Task Force (CUWTF). I also worked with him when he was the G3 of CUWTF.
I have not spoken with him in a few years but I hope he recalls all our unconventional warfare discussions in the 1990's. Dialogue can be a very important tool for assisting in internal regime change as I outlined in my 2004 strategy(Can be downloaded here https://db.tt/9T8Ak32N)
Summary is below (note that this was written in 2003-2004 when the state of the ROK/US Alliance was not at its best, thus requirement for "repair of the alliance - and of course the "Korea Questions" is the phrase from the 1953 Armistice Agreement, para 60, that recognized the Korea question as the unnatural division of the peninsula and must be solved for their to be lasting peace):
This paper proposes a long term ROK-US combined security strategy to work toward resolution of the “Korea question”: Comprehensive Engagement with Strength: Partner and Prosper. It establishes a long term end state toward which all efforts will focus. It provides a framework that allows management of the current and future crises while simultaneously allowing the ROK and US to identify opportunities stemming from current and future emerging crises that will support achievement of the long term end state. .Key Points:· Ensure that an effective defensive capability remains in place until the “Korea Question” is resolved· Method for developing a combined strategy(1) Consultations at the political and military level between the ROKG and USG.(2) Increased high level contacts.(3) Establishment of a combined planning group (Korea Strategy Group (KSG)) with permanent NSC level members that meet on a rotating basis in Washington and Seoul.
- Repair the alliance: This will take a concerted effort by the President and senior US leadership. Must come to agreement on the divergent ROK and US policies (sunshine policy versus regime change). They are not mutually exclusive if you do not use the Iraq/Afghanistan models for regime change.
- Proposed mutually acceptable strategic end state: A stable, secure, peaceful, economically vibrant, non-nuclear peninsula, reunified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.
This end state implies regime change. But it must come from within. Most importantly while the US desires regime change it has not prepared for it. Fundamental to the strategy is that near term crises must be managed (and exploited for possible opportunities) while it prepares the foundation for a post Kim Family Regime era.
General-turned-lawmaker calls for more dialogue between two Koreas
Despite the military background, Baek firmly believes in the power of dialogue to solve problems on Korean Peninsula
South Korean lawmaker Baek Kun-ki, one of leading lawmakers of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD), notes a sharp drop in dialogue between the two Koreas since 2008.
According to his data, meetings between the two Koreans in the fields of politics, military, economic development, humanitarian aid, society and culture dropped from 171 during former President Roh Moo-hyun’s term (2003-2008) to 21 times during President Lee Myung-bak’s era and 32 times in 2013-2014 under incumbent President Park Geun-hye’s administration.
“Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War book emphasizes the importance of winning the battle without bleeding from either side,” he told NK News. “War inevitably brings massive direct and collateral damage to both sides. The mental and physical damage that the Korean War has inflicted on us is still unhealed and unsolved, as was shown in the recent conflict caused by North Korea’s provocation.”
Despite his prominent military background, particularly as a former four-star commander of the Third ROK Army, he strongly promotes the power of dialogue.
“The wound that the Korean War left on our society will be healed in time when our future generations get to be the leaders of Korea. If another Korean War occurs between us, the Korean Peninsula will once again be forced to live in pain and agony for centuries. That is why we have to emphasize the need for more talks, and now is the perfect time for it.”
As much as he emphasized the need for more dialogue, he firmly believes in the military readiness of South Korean troops to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula. Being the member of National Defense Committee of the National Assembly, he has been one of most active lawmakers in prioritizing national defense.
“National defense and peace are like two sides of a coin, they always come in pairs and one can’t stand without another. The NPAD and National Defense Committee are struggling day to day to find out what is best for our troops so all of Korea may live in peace.”
Baek Kun-ki during his time as commander of the Republic of Korea’s Special Warfare Command. Courtesy of Baek’s office
(Continued at the link below)