ACTION ALERT: Civil Society Calls for Diplomacy to Deal with Korea Nuclear Crisis
September 14, 2017
Basel Peace Office & The Korea Herald & Abolition 2000
Launching a "preventive" military attack against North Korea would not resolve the nuclear threat in the region, it would only "make matters much worse." 110 organisations and over 200 civil society representatives from 44 countries are calling on the US and North Korea to step back from the brink of war in North East Asia and adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war. We call for the immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting, and to resolve the underlying conflicts.
Civil Society Calls for Diplomacy to
Deal with Korea Nuclear Crisis
Basel Peace Office
(September 13, 2017) -- The risk of a nuclear war has re-entered the political arena in the past few weeks, with North Korea undertaking missile tests and a nuclear test, President Trump making provocative threats against North Korea, and Kim Jong-un retaliating with similar threats.
President Trump has questioned whether diplomacy can work. Many parliamentarians and civil society actors are responding with a definite Yes: Diplomacy is the only option.
Launching a 'preventive' military attack against North Korea would not resolve the nuclear threat in the region, it would only 'make matters much worse' according to Senator Ed Markey, Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), who led a United States bipartisan delegation to Korea and Japan at the end of August.
Markey, who also serves as the ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs, says that "Talking with North Korea is not a concession -- it's the only way to reach agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to reinforce that our military strength is there only to deter aggression and defend against attack." (See 'Preventive' war against NK will make matters worse, Korea Times, August 22. Read story below.).
Other PNND members around the world have been adding their voices to those calling for a diplomatic solution. See US (and other) legislators call on President Trump to step back from the nuclear brink and EU High Rep offers to help a diplomatic solution in Korea.
Civil Society Appeal
The United States and North Korea should step back from the brink of war in North East Asia, and instead adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war, according to an appeal sent yesterday to these two governments, and to the UN Security Council, by members and affiliates of the Abolition 2000 global network to eliminate nuclear weapons.
110 organisations and over 200 additional civil society representatives from 44 countries endorsed the appeal. It highlights 'the increasing risk of war – and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident or intent,' calls for 'immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting,' and urges 'the UN Security Council to prioritise a diplomatic solution to the conflict.'
Endorsers of the appeal include parliamentarians, mayors/city representatives, scientists, academics, business leaders, medical professionals, veterans, educators/teachers, Nobel Peace Laureates, Right Livelihood Award laureates (the 'alternative Nobel Peace Prize'), religious leaders, artists, nuclear victims, lawyers, women's organisations, youth, former UN officials & diplomats, NGO leaders and other civil society campaigners.
'Diplomacy with North Korea has worked in the past, and could succeed again if the security concerns of all countries in the region are taken into consideration,' said Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation (PNND) and coordinator of the appeal. 'This could include negotiations for a North East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, which appears to have cross-party support from the three key countries -- Japan, South Korea and North Korea.'
'We support the call for a negotiated settlement of the dispute between Korea and USA, Japan, South Korea and neighboring countries with a view to secession of nuclear testing in the interests of humanity and protection of the planet,' said Ela Gandhi (South Africa), Grand-daughter of Mohandas Gandhi and Co-President of Religions for Peace.
'We support this call for diplomatic approach for North Korea,' said Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and member of Women Cross DMZ, a group of women who walked from North Korea to South Korea in support of peace. 'As we experienced during our visit to North Korea, the people want peace not war.'
'I feel sad for the ordinary folk who live in North Korea,' said Karipbek Kuyukov(Kazakhstan), a second generation victim of nuclear tests and Honorary Ambassador of the ATOM Project. 'We [in the USSR] went through that too. We thought having weapons of mass destruction means being stronger and more powerful, but it is like an illusion. It is like carrying a huge rock up a steep mountain.'
The appeal also opposes any pre-emptive use of force by any of the parties, calls on all parties to refrain from militaristic rhetoric and provocative military exercises, and welcomes the offers by the UN Secretary-General and the European Union Foreign Minister to assist negotiations to resolve the conflict.
The Basel Peace Office, an active member of Abolition 2000, joins others in the Abolition 2000 network to promote this appeal for diplomacy. See also Diplomacy with North Korea has worked before and can work again.
ACTION: We invite you to endorse an Appeal of Abolition 2000 Members for a diplomatic approach to address the Korea nuclear crisis. Please sign here.
Copyright 2017 Basel Peace Office, All rights reserved.
The Basel Peace Office and our partner organisations: Abolition 2000, Global Security Institute, Middle Powers Initiative, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Swiss Physicians for Social Responsibility (Swiss IPPNW), UNFOLD ZERO and the World Future Council.
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Seminar fur Soziologie, Petersgraben 27
Basel 4051, Switzerland
'Preventive War against NK
Will Make Matters Worse': US Senator
Jung Min-kyung / The Korea Herald
(August 22, 2017) -- A senior US senator said Tuesday that the United States will closely cooperate with South Korea to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table and ruled out a preventive war as a way to solve the issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula.
"The US can only peacefully resolve the threat of a nuclear North Korea by pursuing a bold realistic strategy in close concert with allies in (South) Korea and Japan," US Sen. Edward J. Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts and ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific Affairs, said during a press conference in Seoul on Tuesday.
"We must acknowledge that a preventive war cannot solve this problem and (would) make matters much worse," he said.
Markey said such action is not a solution to the current tensions surrounding the Korean Peninsula and vowed the US Congress would make certain the US president seeks its permission when making decisions.
"Talking with North Korea is not a concession -- it's the only way to reach agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and to reinforce that our military strength is there only to deter aggression and defend against attack."
The visit here from a US bipartisan delegation led by Sen. Markey comes amid heightened cross-border tensions in the wake of the annual South Korea-US Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise that kicked off Monday. The five-member delegation includes Sens. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon, and Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, along with two members of the House of Representatives, Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, and Ann Wagner, a Republican from Missouri.
"We have undertaken this mission because we all believe that North Korea is rapidly accelerating the level of nuclear weapons, and ballistic missiles pose an unacceptable risk to the US and to its allies, and to the entire world," Markey said. "The US and allies must remain indivisible and ready to respond to aggression with overwhelming force -- Kim Jong-un is certainly homicidal, but not suicidal."
The US lawmakers acknowledged the importance of preventing a second Korean War on the peninsula, saying it could cost "the lives of millions of people here."
"We are prepared for war, but are not preparing for war," said Wagner. "This delegation is committed to the de-escalation (of tensions on the Korean Peninsula)."
The bipartisan team also underlined China's role in using its economic clout on North Korea to bring about the hermit state's denuclearization. Markey said the delegation would return to Washington with the goal of constructing stricter legislation that targets nations maintaining economic and trade ties with the North.
"North Korea's trading partners must intensify economic pressure to bring North Korea to the negotiating table," Markey said. "That starts with getting China to cut off the flow of oil to North Korea. That is the one sure way to have a decisive impact on North Korea's decision-making."
In line with its plans, Markey stressed a "two-track approach" in which Washington and Seoul cooperate in leading negotiations with Pyongyang. "We must begin direct discussions with North Korea on two closely coordinated tracks," he said.
"On track one, the US would lead direct negotiations toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. On track two, the Republic of Korea would lead direct negotiations toward social, cultural and intergovernmental relations necessary for the long-term well-being for the people on both sides of the border."
The US delegation met with President Moon Jae-in on Monday and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Tuesday to discuss several issues, including the North's weapons program, the shuttered inter-Korean industrial park and North Korean defectors here. The lawmakers will head to Dandong, in China's Liaoning province near the North Korea border to discuss North Korean issues with Chinese officials.
Appeal for a Diplomatic Solution in North East Asia
The Abolition 2000 members and affiliated networks listed below, representing peace and disarmament organisations from around the world, call on the United States and North Korea to step back from the brink of war in North East Asia, and instead adopt a diplomatic approach to prevent war.
We call for the immediate commencement of negotiations to prevent a military conflict from erupting, and to resolve the underlying conflicts. Such negotiations should take place both bilaterally and through a renewed Six-Party framework involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States.
The escalating tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities makes a diplomatic solution of vital importance and the highest priority. The increasing risk of war -- and possibly even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation, accident, or intent -- is frightening.
More than three million citizens of Korea, China, USA and other countries lost their lives in the Korean War from 1950-1953. Should a war erupt again, the loss of lives could be considerably worse, especially if nuclear weapons are used. Indeed, a nuclear conflict erupting in Korea could engulf the entire world in a nuclear catastrophe that would end civilization as we know it.
In supporting diplomacy rather than war, we:
1. Oppose any pre-emptive use of force by any of the parties, which would be counter-productive and likely lead to nuclear war;
2. Call on all parties to refrain from militaristic rhetoric and provocative military exercises;
3. Encourage China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States to consider the phased and comprehensive approach for a North-East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone with a 3+3 arrangement*, which already has cross-party support in Japan and South Korea and interest from the North Korean government;
4. Encourage China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States to also consider options and modalities for turning the 1953 Armistice Agreement into a formal end to the 1950- 1953 Korean War;
5. Welcome the call of the UN Secretary-General for a resumption of Six-Party talks and his offer to assist in negotiations;
6. Welcome also the offer of the European Union to assist in diplomatic negotiations, as they did successfully in the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program;
7. Call on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise a diplomatic solution to the conflict.
* The 3+3 arrangement would include Japan, South Korea and North Korea agreeing not to possess or host nuclear weapons, and would require China, Russia and the USA agreeing not to deploy nuclear weapons in Japan, South Korea or North Korea, nor to attack or threaten to attack them with nuclear weapons.
Endorsers of the Appeal for a diplomatic solution in North East Asia: Organisations:
Abolition 2000 UK (UK)
Albert Schweitzer Institute (USA)
All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force (USA)
Anglican Pacifist Fellowship of New Zealand (NZ)
Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace (New Zealand)
Artistes pour la Paix (Canada)
Artsen voor Vrede -- Flemish IPPNW (Belgium)
Association Des Medecins Francais Pour La Prevention de la Guerre Nucleaire -- IPPNW France (France)
Association of World Citizens (Germany)
The ATOM Project (Kazakhstan)
Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition (Australia) Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America (USA)
Basel Peace Office (Switzerland, International)
Beyond Nuclear (USA, International)
Blue Banner (Mongolia)
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – CND (UK)
Canadian Pugwash Group (Canada)
CND New Zealand (New Zealand)
CND Scotland (Scotland)
Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
Coalition for Peace Action, New Jersey (USA)
Coalition for Peace Action, Pennsylvania (USA)
Colorado Coalition for the Prevention of Nuclear War Committee of 100 (Finland)
Connecticut Peace and Solidarity Coalition (USA)
Cymru Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Wales) Denman Island Peace Group (Canada)
DPRK Friendship and Cultural Society (Australia)
Earth Action (USA, International)
Earthcare not Warfare (USA)
Economists for Peace and Security (USA)
Edinburgh Peace & Justice Centre (Scotland)
Edinburgh CND (Scotland)
Environmentalists Against War (USA)
European Environment Foundation (Switzerland)
Frauen für den Frieden – Women for Peace (Switzerland) Gandhi Development Trust (South Africa)
Gensuikyo -- Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan) Grandmothers for Peace (USA, International)
Green Party of Washington State (USA)
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action (USA)
Harrison fellowship of Reconciliation (USA)
Hokotehi Moriori Trust (Rekohu, Chatham Islands)
Human Survival Project (Australia, International)
IALANA (International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms) Italy Section (Italy)
IALANA Germany – Vereinigung für Friedensrecht International Fellowship of Reconciliation -- Austria
Iona Community (Scotland)
Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Ireland)
Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms
Ke Aupuni O Hawaii (The Hawaiian Kingdom) (Hawaii) Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy (USA)
Leo Club of Sunflower Saidpur City (Bangladesh)
Mankato Area Peace vigil (USA)
Medact (IPPNW UK) Nuclear Weapons Group (UK) Network of Spiritual Progressives (USA)
Nobel Peace Prize Watch (Norway)
Norwegian Peace Council (Norway)
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (USA)
Nuclear Free Local Authorities (UK)
NZ DPRK Society (New Zealand)
One People One Planet (New Zealand)
Oxford Network for Global Justice and Peace (UK) Pacific Institute of Resource Management (NZ) Pax Christi International (Belgium, international) Pax Christi Metro New York (USA)
Peace Action Manhattan (USA)
Peace Action NY State (USA)
Peace Depot (Japan)
Peace Foundation – Te Taupapa Rongomau o Aotearoa (NZ) Peace People (Northern Ireland)
Peace Union of Finland (Finland)
People for Nuclear Disarmament (Australia)
Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (Republic of Korea)
Phoenix Settlement Trust (South Africa)
Physicians for Social Responsibility/IPPNW (Switzerland) Portland Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA)
Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Italy, International)
Quaker Peace and Service Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) Religions for Peace (USA, International)
Religions for Peace Canada (Canada)
Rideau Institute (Canada)
Scientists for Global Responsibility (Australia)
Shining Bangladesh Foundation (Bangladesh)
Soka Gakkai International New Zealand (NZ)
STOP the War Coalition (Philippines)
Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (Sweden)
Swedish IALANA (Sweden)
Swiss Lawyers for Nuclear Disarmament (Switzerland)
Trident Ploughshares (UK)
Tri-Valley CAREs (USA)
United Religions Initiative (USA)
Uniting for Peace (UK)
Forum voor Vredesactie -- Peace Action (Belgium)
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA)
Western States Legal Foundation (USA)
Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA)
Women for Peace Germany (Germany)
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, German Section (Germany)
WILPF Scottish Section (Scotland)
Seattle Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA)
World Beyond War (USA, International)
World Future Council (Germany, International)
Yorkshire Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
Youth for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka).
Zone Libre (Mexico)