* 이 기사는 한국 팩트체크 언론 뉴스톱의 [팩트체크] 문재인 대통령 '유엔총회 기조연설'을 번역한 것입니다. #UNAssemblyFacts
General AssemblyPresident Moon JaeIn of South Korea on Tuesday addressed the international body of nations in the U.N. General Assembly, touching on a number of issues ranging from the administration’s ambitious North Korean peace initiative to plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Here is an examination of 4 key claims brought up by the president during his speech.
This is mostly false.
North Korea has fired off ballistic missiles or other projectiles ten times since the Inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement was signed in September 19, 2018. The watershed agreement stipulates that the two Koreas not only “agreed to completely cease all hostile acts against each other in every domain, including land, air and sea that are the source of military tension and conflict,” but also “to solve all military issues through peaceful consultations … in order to prevent at all times any accidental military clash in every domain, including land, air and sea, and by immediately notifying each other when an abnormal situation arises.” The recent missile launches by the rogue regime are obvious breaches of these provisions.
The ROK Ministry of Defense has consistently sought to downplay the significance of Pyongyang’s move. In a written assessment on North Korea’s commitment to the deal in the past year, Ministry officials on the 18th noted that the although the launches “do not align with the initial purpose of the agreement,” they “cannot be seen as violations (of the agreement).”
But North Korean experts were keen to point out that the agreement, despite much fanfare, was no more than a token gesture. “Arms control deals are supposed to be mutual,” said Nam Sung-Wook, a professor of North Korean studies at Korea University. “But North Korea is definitely not sticking to the agreement.” Moon Sung-Mook, a senior researcher at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, pointed out that the 1953 armistice agreement alone is enough to prevent a military clash. “Given the recent spree of missile test-launches, the North Koreans seem unwilling to keep their promise,” Mr. Moon said.
Meanwhile Pyongyang wasted no time passing the blame to the South Koreans. Uriminzokkiri, Pyongyang’s online propaganda outlet primarily targeting South Korean readers, on Monday released an op-ed accusing the South Korean military of “violating the Inter-Korean military agreement.” “South Korean authorities are continuing provocations with their ceaseless war games and arms buildup,” the op-ed argued.
The current deadlock points to a need to establish a joint military committee as stipulated by the agreement, with high-level officials from both sides participating as members. While the measure would mark a crucial step towards building trust between the two Koreas, the idea has barely come to fruition so far.
This is true.
Multiple Sources including The Korea Defense Daily, the official daily bulletin on military news published by the South Korean Ministry of Defense, reported last Thursday that 'approximately 170 sets of remains' have been recovered in the area thus far. Moon’s 177 seems reasonably close to the estimate provided by these sources.
This is half true.
Data provided by the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff – under a mandate to report to congress annually – shows a total of 770,000 anti-personnel mines laid in the DMZ, 380,000 of which are laid near the military posts in the border barrier.
Estimates as to how long it would take to completely demine the area vary, but it seems likely that 15 years is a quite optimistic projection. A July. 21 Seoul Shinmun report quoted multiple experts as saying that it could take 200 years to clear every mine in the border under the current method – traditional demining – whereby military personnel move in and remove the mines manually. While the use of large demining vehicles can significantly expedite the operation, it is understood that the vehicles currently owned by the ROK military have been out of service for years due to budget issues.
This mostly false.
It turns out that South Korea’s national policies do not back up the ambitious short-terms plans laid out in the president’s speech. Climate Action Tracker (CAT), an independent science-based assessment consisting of two research organizations, gave South Korea a “highly insufficient” rating – along with its neighbors China and Japan – in its September. 19 evaluation report. According to the CAT, countries with the “highly insufficient” rating “fall outside the fair share range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit … If all government targets were in this range, warming would reach between 3°C and 4°C.” The result reveals that South Korea’s current and planned policy projections are still far off the Paris target level – the international gold standard of climate protection agreement – despite the administration’s purported efforts.
A 2019 edition of BP’s Energy Outlook, published February. 14, gives a clearer picture of the government’s poor performance. According to the report, South Korea’s total CO2 emissions for the year 2018 was 679.7 million tons – the fourth highest among OECD countries. Even more notable is the rapid upward trend – its carbon emissions increased by 24.6 percent between 2007 and 2017, marking the second highest in the group next to Turkey. OECD countries showed an average decrease of 8.7 percent during the same time period, making South Korea’s track record seem all the more embarrassing.
These disappointing results are attributable to South Korea’s low share of renewable energy generation – a meager 3 percent, as opposed to the OECD average of 24%, according to a report from Climate Transparency, a global partnership examining G20 country climate action. Over 70% of the country’s electricity comes from coal and nuclear power.
Experts have also questioned the validity of South Korea’s statistical standard, which conflates ‘new energy’ and ‘renewable energy’ into a single category. While ‘new energy’ simply refers to any energy source used as an alternative to fossil fuel and, therefore, has no bearing on sustainable development, it is often lumped under the same category as renewables in official government documents. Critics have attacked the resulting statistics as inaccurate and deceptive – the share of renewables rises up to 7.6 percent from a previous 3 when added up with that of new energy sources. It seems crucial for the South Korean government to follow international standards for energy measurement as they come up with more stringent policies to ensure sustainable development.