There are hopes that the victory of Moon Jae-in, the moderate candidate in South Korea’s presidential election, may become a turning point in the relentless escalation of tensions by the Trump administration. Every US president since the 1950s has considered launching military strikes against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. But this time, the danger became even more ominous when the White House sent more heavily-armed vessels to the region and convened an emergency meeting with 100 Senators on the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
Threats of war and aggression against sovereign states, including the DPRK, are completely outside the rules of international law. The US is not the world’s policeman, though it is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, and its reckless aggression endangers peoples and states around the globe. Even a limited direct military confrontation with North Korea by the United States could kill millions (including 230,000 US citizens who reside on the Korean Peninsula) and threaten nuclear and regional war that could draw in Japan, China and Russia.
The road to war against the DPRK must be blocked, in favour of peaceful alternatives. The new political balance of forces in the South could help open the door to resume diplomatic efforts to finally achieve a binding peace treaty to replace the 1953 Armistice agreement which ended the “hot” phase of the Korean War. Most serious observers of the region also agree that genuine security guarantees, including the suspension of U.S.-South Korea military exercises and removal of U.S. troops from the South, could lead to a freeze of the DPRK’s nuclear and long-range ballistic missile program.
We call on the federal government to oppose U.S. threats against the DPRK, and to stand up for peace, for international law, and for negotiated political solutions.