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Call to End the Korean War

 

    “When nations and peoples allow themselves to be defined by differences, the gulf between them widens.  When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp.”   President Barack Obama
                                                                                                         Prague April 5, 2009

 

          As a nationwide coalition of Americans of Korean descent and other concerned Americans, we applaud President Obama’s call to a foreign policy that emphasizes diplomacy and negotiation, and hope that this will bring about a lasting peace on the Korean peninsula. An Armistice Agreement signed by the United States in 1953 called for a peace treaty and removal of all foreign troops from Korea. No treaty has been signed and we spend tens of  billions of dollars each year in  maintaining provocative military exercises and military buildups in South Korea, as well as stationing some 28,500 U.S. troops in dozens of posts and bases.

          We call upon President Obama to make the signing of a peace treaty with North Korea (DPRK) a top priority of United States foreign policy. In addition, moving toward normal diplomatic relations would be a practical step toward resolving differences over nuclear proliferation and arms control, human rights, and economic reform. Relationship builds trust and understanding and provides a forum for further dialogue.

          The United States divided Korea and plays a unique role in its peace and reconciliation. Recent hearings by the South Korean Truth and Reconciliation Commission has revealed that our government was present at or played a part in massacres during the Korean War. The best way to atone for past mistakes and console the souls of the millions who died in the horrific fighting in the 1950-1953 period is to build a permanent peace, justice and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.

         We urgently request that the Congress and the Obama Administration address the peace treaty issue as soon as possible so that more than 70 million people living on the Korean peninsula and their families here in the United States can at last be freed from the fear of war. Only then can other major regional and global problems be resolved.

          It is time to end the Korean War.  As James Laney, former U.S. ambassador to South Korea, recently said in Seoul:

"... One item should be at the top of the agenda, however, in order to remove all unnecessary obstacles to progress, that is the establishment of a peace treaty to replace the truce that has been in place since 1953. One of the things that have bedeviled all talks until now is the unresolved status of the Korean War. 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."

          Therefore the following organizations, scholars of Korean Relations and individuals stand together for:

1. A permanent peace settlement on the Korean Peninsula through an official end to the Korean War with a peace treaty.
2. Establishment of a new U.S. policy toward Korea, based on normalized relations and a greater respect for the fundamental human rights of Korean people to self-determination, peace, human security, and development.

 

Co-Signing Initiators

National Association of Korean Americans (NAKA)
National Committee for Peace in Korea (NCPK)
National Lawyers Guild, Korean Peace Project
North American Network for Peace in Korea (NANPK)
Veterans for Peace, Korea Peace Campaign

National Associations, Organizations, and Community Based Organizations


Agglobe Services International, Plymouth, Minnesota and Fairfax, Virginia
Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK)
American Friends Service Committee, National
American Friends Service Committee, Peace & Economic Security Program, New England
American Friends Service Committee - Hawai'i Area Program
ANSWER Coalition, Hudson Valley, New York
Asia Pacific Freeze Campaign, USA
Boston Korea Friendship Association, Boston, Massachusetts
CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, New York City, New York
Code Pink: Women for Peace, Washington, DC
Congress for Korean Reunification in USA (CKR)
DMZ-Hawai'i / Aloha 'Aina, Hawaii
Eclipse Rising, Zainichi Koreans in the Bay Area
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Nyack, New York
Forum For Peaceful Reunification Of Korea, Los Angeles, California
Good Friends, USA: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
International Action Center, National
June 15 Korean American Committee for Peace and Unification of Korea
Korea Policy Institute, Los Angeles, California
Korea Truth Commission, Three Rivers, California
Korean American Cultural Center of Virginia
Korean American League, Michigan
Korean American National Coordinating Council, New York City, New York
Korean Americans for Korea Democratic Labor Party, Torrance, California
Korean Americans United for Peace (KAUP), San Francisco Bay Area, California
Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Oakland, California
Korean Peace Network, USA
Korean Society of Maryland
Koreatown Immigrant Worker Advocates (KIWA), Los Angeles, California
Malu 'Aina Center of Nonviolent Education and Action, Honolulu, Hawaii
Nanum Corean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, Queens, New York
Oakland Institute, Oakland, California
One Korea LA Forum, Los Angeles, California
Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunification in USA, Glendale, California
Peace Action and Peace Action Education Fund, Silver Spring, Maryland and National
Proposition 1: Convert Industry from Nuclear Arms to Humanitarian Aims, Washington, DC
Sahngnoksoo, Seattle, Washington
Tri-Valley CARES, Livermore, California
United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), USA
United Methodist Church, Global Ministries
US-DPRK Medical Science Exchange Committee, Rochester, Michigan
Women of Color Resource Center, Oakland, California
Women for Genuine Security, San Francisco, California
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section
Women's International League for Peace & Freedom, DC Branch
YouthSpeaks, San Francisco, California

Businesses & Media
Hodgepictures, Half Moon Bay, California
Korean Center, San Francisco, California
Korean Quarterly, St. Paul, Minnesota
Korea Report, Washington, DC
DMZ/38, Los Angeles, California
Minjok Tongshin, Los Angeles, California

Korea Scholars
Bruce Cumings, Professor, University of Chicago
Henry Em, Professor, New York University
Cynthia Enloe, Professor, Clark University
Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor, Lewis and Clark University
Ramsay Liem, Professor, Boston College
Katharine Moon, Professor, Wellesley College
Peter Rachleff, Professor, Macalester College
J.J. Suh, Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Grace Jeanmee Yoo, Professor, San Francisco State University
Theodore Jun Yoo, Professor, University of Hawai`i at Manoa
Ji-Yeon Yuh, Professor, Northwestern University