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Strive for peace, not war in Korea


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

We face so many problems, issues and challenges, both personal and in the larger society, all at the same time. But let us not forget the situation in Korea.

Just as Donald Trump finds it difficult to condemn outright right-wing hate and violence at home, so he keeps the fires of hatred burning against a country with its proverbial back against the wall.

North Korea is no peaceful, free country. But it has great national pride, and understands the fate of countries opposed by the U.S. that gave up their “nuclear option” — Iraq under Saddam Hussein and Libya under Gadhafi. Pushing this small, poor nation against the wall, blocking its major sources of income by sanctions, and threatening destruction will not bring it to the negotiating table. These are the tactics of bullies, and the result could be an unimaginable war.

Right-wing governments in South Korea have pressed hard against the North. More liberal ones have successfully followed a “sunshine policy” of increased trade, allowing visits between families separated for more than a half century, and more.

Currently the U.S. has joined South Korean soldiers in bi-annual war games that increase tensions and distrust. Although on Aug. 17, South Korean President Moon Jae-In stated: “There will be no war on the Korean peninsula,” as Seoul could overrule U.S. military action, the North Korean threat against Guam has upped the ante.

In their recent statement: “Women from Guam, US, and Asia-Pacific Region Call for Peace and Diplomacy” (https://tinyurl.com/ybtdlpln) join peace activists in calling for dialogue, nonviolent communication and a “freeze for a freeze” — stopping the U.S.-South Korea military exercises in exchange for freezing North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. “End the Korean War with a Peace Treaty,” they urge, “de-militarize the DMZ, and help heal and reunify the Korean people and peninsula.”

We agree.

Anna Gyorgy

Traprock Center for Peace & Justice