Global Campaign: End the Korean War & Sign a Peace Treaty!
Gyung lan Jung
“We appeal to the people. Now we must replace politico-military hostilities and arms races with peaceful cooperation.”
2013 marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice Agreement. Hostilities were ended in 1953, leaving numerous deaths and inestimable property damage. Since then the war has not been officially terminated.
Sixty years later, the Korean Peninsula still faces an unprecedented level of military tension – recently moving dangerously close to a state of war following the rocket launch and the third nuclear test by North Korea and sanctions by the UNSC, and verbal and military provocations by both sides. The shutting down of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, which was seen as the last forum for exchanges, dialogue and cooperation between the two Koreas, was a testament to the deteriorating relations.
We, members of global civil society, are deeply concerned that military tension and conflict in and around the Korean Peninsula have persisted and even increased in recent years. The Korean Peninsula is once again becoming a battlefield where the forces of militarism and separation intensify under the banners of the old Cold War ideology. In Northeast Asia as a whole, we see an emerging nightmare scenario of arms races and potentially devastating conflicts.
We appeal to the people. Now we must replace politico-military hostilities and arms races with peaceful cooperation. Let’s make the year 2013, the 60th year of ceasefire, a year to progress towards a new peace system by formally ending the Korean War and signing a Korean peace treaty. The Korean Peninsula should no longer be an area of conflict and dispute, but one of peaceful cooperation in which all countries of Northeast Asia, including North and South Korea, take the lead in realizing a vision of co-existence.
1) End the Korean War in 2013! From the Armistice System to a Peace System
During the Cold War period, the cease-fire agreement served as a minimum safeguard against incidents and escalation of military clashes. However, since the end of the Cold War, we see that this system is struggling to maintain even that fragile peace. The system itself has been the primary cause of huge suffering and sacrifice by the people on both sides. The tensions and conflicts on the Korean Peninsula have driven East Asia toward military conflicts and confrontation. This is why it is more important than anything else to transform the cease-fire system into a peace system to create a peaceful and humane way of life in Korea
2) Achieve a Nuclear Weapons Free Northeast Asia by Establishing a Peace System
Recently, the phrase “nuclear-have” was added to the North Korean Constitution, and it conducted its third nuclear test. The nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula means a nuclear crisis in Northeast Asia. A new approach should be taken, based on the 2005 Six Parties’ Agreement on the establishment of Working Group on Northeast Asia Peace and Security Mechanism. In this process, not only efforts to abolish the North Korean nuclear program, but also efforts to remove nuclear threats in Northeast Asia are required to achieve a nuclear-free Northeast Asia.
3) Bring Peace and Cooperation to the Rest of East Asia
Military tensions and arms races have intensified in the region due to territorial disputes. The situation became more complicated with China’s economic and military rise and the United States’ pivot to Asia/rebalancing to Asia, designed to keep China in check. East Asian naval forces are now facing a crucial turning point. Militarization of the region is being accelerated by reinforcing the US-led naval alliance and US-ROK-Japan military cooperation, by expanding military bases including Jeju (ROK) and Okinawa (Japan), and by exaggerating Chinese and North Korean threats. One possible solution is to stop naval militarization in East Asia and to transform conflicts and confrontation into cooperation and reciprocity.
Mobilization and Call for Support
Please join the Global Campaign to End the Korean War and to Complete Negotiations fora Peace Treaty!
We call on people all over the world to participate in the ‘Global Campaign to End the Korean War’ between 22 and 28 July 2013.
Common actions are suggested as below.
[Peace Action1] Give comments and endorse the Peace Declaration and circulate it widely for more endorsements.
[Peace Action2] Send solidarity photos.
[Peace Action3] Organize your own peace actions.
The Campaign can be conducted in various forms such as direct action, press conferences, performances, etc., by organizing people in their own city/town. Organizations may devote an hour, a day or a week. You may send an appeal letter to relevant governments’ embassies such as the Six-Party Talks members to urge them to restart dialogues and negotiations. Most importantly, by early August, share your campaign plans in advance and afterwards to inform the global preparatory committee or contact point of all the activities conducted.
The Global Preparatory Committee for the Global Campaign to End the Korean War and to Sign a Peace Treaty
International Peace Bureau / The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific / Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict Northeast Asia / People Solidarity for Participatory Democracy / Peace Network / Women Making Peace
Huisun Kim (People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy)
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org P.H. +82-2-723-4250
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy http://www.peoplepower21.org/English
Peace Network http://www.peacekorea.org/
Women Making Peace http://www.peacewomen.or.kr/index.php?mid=wmp_eng_Introduction
Global Partnership for Prevention of Armed Conflict Northeast Asia
The Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific http://www.asiapacificinitiative.org./
International Peace Bureau http://www.ipb.org/web/
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The views and opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Peace X Peace.