US and North Korea: Three Steps to Peace

Posted by Janet Tuckers on May 13, 2017 under Pre-Convention Discussion | Be the First to Comment

US and North Korea: Three Steps to Peace (  5/8/17)

Statement of the Peace and Solidarity Committee of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism

1) The United States immediately reduce tensions by ceasing threatening rhetoric and aggressive military posturing, and commit to a political resolution of differences.  This includes canceling the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system, a major escalation.

2) The United States agree to the Chinese and international proposal that the US and South Korea suspend joint military maneuvers and that North Korea suspend its nuclear weapons and missile program simultaneously.  This will de-escalate the crisis and allow for the resumption of the six-party talks for a nuclear free Korean peninsula.

3) The United States enter into direct negotiations with North Korea to sign a peace treaty officially ending the Korean War of 1950-53, and establish normal diplomatic and trade relations.

Background

The United States in cooperation with China can easily improve the tense situation on the Korean peninsula by rejecting military action and adopting a policy of diplomacy and reconciliation.

Korea was annexed by Japan before World War I.  Then Korea was divided at the end of World War II as Soviet troops moved into the North and US troops into the South, prior to accepting the Japan’s surrender.   The people of Korea wanted and still want reunification. Kim Il Sung, the leader of the Korean Workers Party in the North, was also an outstanding leader of the resistance to Japanese imperialism and thus a national hero.  In any fair, democratic national election, it was clear that Kim Il Sung would be elected president of reunified Korea.  To prevent this and protect US interests, the US appointed Syngman Rhee as President of South Korea.

Rhee suppressed popular political opposition and launched border attacks on the North. North Korean responded with an all-out military assault in 1950.
US bombing of North Korea created massive destruction, nearly demolishing all of North Korea, and there were millions of Korean casualties in the war.  This ended in an armistice in 1953. There was no permanent peace treaty, because the US refused to negotiate directly with North Korea.

Today the North Korean government’s central demand is a peace treaty ending the war and recognition as an equal among nations.  In the 1990s, North Korea suspended its enriched uranium and possible nuclear weapons program in exchange for assistance with different types of energy production.  This cooperation ended in 2001 when the Bush administration labeled North Korea as part of the “axis of evil.”

The North Korean government has reasonable proposals to work towards peace and deal with the nuclear weapons issue.  However, as long as it is confronted with a hostile US retaining “all options” including pre-emptive and nuclear war, North Korea will continue to develop its military strength that it sees as self-defense.  If the United States drops its refusal to negotiate directly with North Korea and moves towards normalized relations, the crisis would be ended quickly.  The Korean people do not want war. The American people do not want war. It is up to realists and progressives in the United States to demand enactment of the three steps to peace.

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