nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

USA must declare an end to the Korean war – to bring peace to the peninsula

To Secure Peace Between the Koreas, US Must Declare an End to the War, Christine Ahn, Truthout, September 24, 2018,A historic opportunity to end the seven-decade Korean War is suddenly within reach. The world witnessed world-class peacemaking between North and South Korea last week at the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared “a Korean Peninsula free of war” and “a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.” But peacemaking between the two Koreas alone is not enough: The success of this process also rests on progress between Washington and Pyongyang, and particularly on the signing of a peace treaty to end the Korean War.

To a packed audience of 150,000 North Koreans wildly cheering on their feet on September 20 at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, President Moon affirmed, “We have lived together for 5,000 years and been separated for 70 years. We must live together as one people.”

At their summit, Kim and Moon announced a long list of actionable stepsthey will take to improve relations, from establishing a reunion center for divided families to reopening the Mt. Kumgang tourism center and the Kaesong industrial zone — two inter-Korean development projects from the previous Sunshine Policy years that were shut down as relations worsened between the two Koreas during the previous two hardline administrations. The defense ministers also agreed in a separate military agreement to reduce military tensions by downsizing the number of guards near the Military Demarcation Line, the border dividing North and South Korea in the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) established by the Armistice Agreement in 1953. The Korean leaders also agreed to de-mine a village in the DMZ surrounding the border between North Korea and South Korea.

As part of the Pyongyang Declaration by the two Koreas to transform the Korean Peninsula “into a land of peace free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threats,” Kim committed to “permanently dismantle the Dongchang-ri missile engine test site” in the presence of international inspectors, and “the permanent dismantlement of the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon.” But this would depend on “corresponding measures” by the United States “in accordance with the spirit of the June 12 US-DPRK Joint Statement.”

Trump last month canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, saying North Korea had not made “sufficient progress” toward denuclearization. North Korean leaders, however, say the United States hasn’t honored its end of the Singapore Declaration in which the first two items were to improve relations and establish a peace process. Denuclearization came third, and the repatriation of the remains of US service members was a last added item.

Pyongyang has already made several concessions: It has halted missile and nuclear tests, begun to dismantle the Sohae missile launch site and destroyed the Punggye-ri nuclear test in the presence of foreign journalists, released three detained Americans, and repatriated the remains of US service members from the Korean War. The United States, meanwhile, has halted one joint military exercise after Trump’s spontaneous announcement at the press briefing following his meeting with Kim. But these joint exercises could easily be resumed.

North Korea has made clear that denuclearization will require a peace process that includes concrete steps toward a Peace Treaty, as promised in the 1953 Armistice Agreement signed by the United States, North Korea and China. James Laney, a former US ambassador to South Korea under Clinton, has argued, “A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy.”

But North Korea is unlikely to unilaterally surrender its nuclear weapons without improved relations. We knew that the Clinton and Bush administrations were close to waging a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang, but now Bob Woodward’s book Fear has also confirmed that even President Obama weighed a first strike on North Korea. Kim has seen what happened to Iraq, Libya and Iran, not to mention his own country’s experience of a devastating US bombing.

Most Americans have no idea that in just three years, the Korean War claimed over 4 million lives. The US dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea, more than it did in the rest of the Asia-Pacific in WWII combined, and it used 33,000 tons of napalm in Korea — more than in Vietnam. Curtis LeMay, a US Air Force general in the Korean War, testified, “We burned down just about every city in North Korea and South Korea … we killed off over a million civilian Koreans and drove several million more from their homes.” The US’s indiscriminate bombing campaign leveled 80 percent of North Korean cities, killing one out of every four family members. The bombing of homes was so devastating that the regime urged its citizens to build shelter underground.

On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended in a stalemate with a ceasefire. Military commanders from the US, North Korea and China signed the Armistice Agreement and promised within 90 days to return to negotiate a peace settlement. Sixty-five years later, we are still waiting for that Peace Treaty to end the Korean War.

A peace treaty would end the state of war between the United States and North Korea, taking the threat of a military conflict off the table. A ceasefire — a temporary truce — is what has defined the US-North Korean relationship.

One tangible step that the Trump administration can take that the North Koreans would view as a “corresponding measure” is to declare an end to the Korean War……….https://truthout.org/articles/to-secure-peace-between-the-koreas-us-must-declare-an-end-to-the-war/

Advertisements

September 26, 2018 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: