Washington, D.C. — December 12, 2017 — In response to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson proposing direct talks with North Korea without preconditions, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement:
“At long last, the administration has dropped the unattainable precondition that North Korea agree to denuclearize prior to negotiations. This more realistic posture could be just what we need to deescalate tensions and jumpstart the diplomatic process. North Korea would be wise to accept this olive branch and agree to come to the negotiating table without delay.
“The successful Iran nuclear agreement was only possible because the U.S. and Iran were willing to come to the negotiating table without preconditions. The Iran agreement also couldn’t have worked without a mutual effort to set aside past differences and work step by step to find common ground. The same could be said for any future nuclear agreement with North Korea.
“While this is a critical step towards deescalation and a diplomatic process to address the crisis, both the U.S. and North Korea need to show restraint. Threats, insults, and aggressive military posturing must be left by the wayside as we continue to pursue good faith negotiations. The administration should accept South Korea’s request for a delay in joint military exercises, which could widen an opening for talks.”
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States’ largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to international conflicts. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.PeaceAction.org.