North Korea and the US have had a history of hostile foreign policy dating back to the Korean war. Through repeated instigation, the tensions between the two nations have faced frightening escalations and North Korea now possesses nuclear warheads. It is beyond time that US foreign policy with North Korea be marked with peacefully intentioned diplomacy and careful negotiation, not crude threats or hostile treatment.
Troublingly, as a peace treaty was never signed after the Korean war ended in 1953, North Korea is still technically at war with many nations, a fact that Peace action believes must be addressed as a first step towards peace. North Korea will not give up its nuclear weapons if it still feels it must defend from invasion from countries it is still at war with. A peace treaty, which South Korea has called for, would officially declare an end to the war and be a large step towards deescalation of tensions in the region.
Though we applaud efforts by the Trump administration to open diplomatic paths towards denuclearization, we believe that the maximalist approach that has been taken will not succeed. The Trump administration will be unable to agree to one deal that sees North Korea relinquish all of its nuclear capabilities no matter the sanctions relief; it has been tried and it has failed. We call on our government to push towards a diplomatic solution, first through small, verifiable steps towards denuclearization, such as dismantling certain facilities in return for some sanctions relief.
Chronology of U.S.-North Korean Nuclear and Missile Diplomacy – Arms Control Association, July 19, Kelsey Davenport
Peace With North Korea Should Be a Priority for US Progressives – Truthout, July 1 2019, Christine Ahn
North and South Korea Push to End Korean War, but U.S. Remains Wary – New York Times, Choe Sang-Hun
After 65 years of ‘armistice,’ it’s about time to end the Korean War – CNN, Frank Aum and S. Nathan Park