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KOREA 2018: WAR OR PEACE?

A POTENTIAL TURNING POINT IN HISTORY
 
 
 
 
On June 12, 2018 history was made.   For the first time ever the top leaders of America and North Korea held a summit meeting.  President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un signed a comprehensive document (joint statement) in which North Korea agreed to move toward ending its nuclear weapons program in return for a final peace treaty with America.   After the summit, Trump held a lengthy press conference outlining what was discussed at the summit. Read the full transcript of the press conference here. Watch the press conference here. Watch the video about peace Trump  played to Kim Jong-un here.
 
This a start but it is a fragile start.   Nothing final was agreed here.  People of good will should support this process.  The alternatives are disastrous.   The potential is huge.  Korea is great nation with an ancient heritage.  Now is the time to end 60 years of conflict.
 
Today North and South Korean leaders are working for peace.

Summit of April 27, 2018.
 

 
Today North Korea has atomic weapons that can hit Japan and possibly California.   There are reports that it could deploy a satellite-based EMP bomb that could literally wipe out any part of America by knocking out modern electronics.   (This would not even need to be very accurate.)   Tomorrow North Korean ICBMs will likely be able to hit any city in the US.
 
On the ground even a conventional war would be a bloodbath and could knock out a good part of the world's electronics manufacturing capacity doing devastating damage to the world economy.
 
These are the stakes.
 
Today, for the first time in history an American President has agreed to meet the leader of North Korea to avert a total disaster.   Donald Trump is a controversial figure.  However, he is not the issue here.  Peace is.
 
Thus, we support all reasonable measures by President Trump to end this crisis.
 
The good news is that huge success could lie ahead.   Many Americans are not aware that there has never been a peace treaty ending the Korean War.
 
We believe now is the time to end the Korean War and remove all nuclear weapons from both North and South Korea.
 
We are not going to discuss the whole sorry history of US Korean relations but we do need to point out that there is plenty of blame for the current mess on both sides.

Few people in the West realize the extent to which the Korean War devastated North Korea. More bombs were dropped on Korea from 1950-1953 than on all of Asia and the Pacific islands during World War II. The United States launched a brutal assault on North Korea from the sky. They bombed 18 out of 22 North Korean cities. 81% of North Korea's cities were reduced to flame and rubble. And 30% of North Korea's population was lost.

LESSONS FROM THE FAILURE OF THE 1994 AGREEMENT

In 1994, the Clinton Administration signed an Agreed Framework that froze Pyongyang's nuclear program and aimed to normalize US- North Korean relations.

Under the terms of the 1994 framework, North Korea agreed to freeze and dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for the full normalization of political and economic relations with the United States. This meant four things: By 2003, a US-led consortium would build light-water reactors in North Korea to compensate for the loss of nuclear power. Until then, the US would supply the north with 500,000 tons per year of heavy fuel. The US would lift sanctions, remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism and – perhaps most importantly – normalize the political relationship, which is still subject to the terms of the 1953 Korean War armistice. And finally, both sides would provide “formal assurances” against the threat or use of nuclear weapons.

But on almost all of its own pledges, Washington failed to follow through.

The light-water reactors were never built.

No action was taken to formally end the Korean War.

And this only worsened under President George W. Bush. In 2002, the Bush administration’s Nuclear Posture Review listed North Korea as one country the US might have to use nuclear weapons against, while its 2002 National Security Strategy listed the north as a “rogue” regime against which the US should be prepared to use force. (The Conversation). It also didn't help that George W. Bush called North Korea an "axis of evil" in his 2002 State of the Union Address.

North Korea did indeed eventually "violate" the agreement but only after American violations of almost all aspects of the agreement.

PRIORITIES FOR 2018

SERIOUS INCENTIVES FOR LASTING PEACE

First, America should be committed to formally ending the Korean War.  Second clear economic incentives for peace must be created.  It is not enough to end the sanctions.  A $ 100 billion fund must be created for investment in North Korea.  This could be paid for by China, South Korea and other nations.

Finally, obviously clear verification systems must be put in place.

A big sticking point will be the time table.  What comes first?  We don't propose to get into all the details.  What we can say is that it is ridiculous for America to demand immediate total North Korea disarmament prior to serious negotiations.

We believe peace can be achieved.   We even believe it could lay the groundwork for a peaceful unification of the Koreas.

The President of South Korea has done an outstanding job of reaching out to end a disaster.

The people of South Korea want peace.  They do not share the imperial delusions of all too many of America's foreign policy elite.

For the very first time in history the top American and North Korean leaders are going to meet.   This is long overdue.  All reasonable people should support efforts for peace.


This is the best chance we have for peace.  Let's not go back to the past.

And let's make sure the future does not look like this.

Peace is possible in 2018.

Korea is an ancient land of culture and beauty

Since its occupation by Japan in 1905,

it has been in a time of troubles.

2018 could be a time of rebirth for all Koreans.

 


LINKS

Trump Kim Jong Un Summit in Singapore

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America
and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit (Whitehouse.gov)

Transcript of Press Conference by President Trump (Whitehouse.gov)

Video of Press Conference (YouTube)

The action-movie style trailer Trump says he played to Kim Jong-un (YouTube)

Progressive Priorities for Singapore Summit (Congressman Ro Khanna)

Statement by President Moon Jae-in on the North Korea-U.S. Summit

North Korea

Democratic People's Republic of Korea Official Website

South Korea

Korea.net

Agreements

Agreed Framework Between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 1994

Why the US’s 1994 deal with North Korea failed – and what Trump can learn from it (The Conversation, 7-19-17)

 

Trump-Kim Jong-un Peace Talks

2018 North Korea–United States summit (Wikipedia)

The Trump-Kim summit is back on. What can we expect? (CBS This Morning VIDEO)

Kim’s Letter to Trump. The Singapore Summit Is On, Without the Signing of a Formal Peace Agreement? (Global Research, 6-1-18)

Trump deserves credit for Korean thaw (CNN Politics)

 

North and South Korean Peace Talks

North and South Korean Peace Efforts Explained (New York Times, 5-4-18)

Intra-Korean talks: What peace means for markets (Aljazeera, 4-30-18)

North and South Korea pledged to make peace. Here's what it actually means (USA Today, 4-27-18)

North and South Korea Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms (New York Times, 4-27-18)

North Korea Would Benefit Most, by Far, From Peace on Peninsula (Bloomberg, 4-24-18)

 

History of the Korean War

Korean War (Wikipedia)

Division of Korea (Wikipedia)