Promote Diplomacy with North Korea
“The Only Realistic Option”
On June 28, 2017, six experts on North Korea including former Secretary of Defense William Perry and former Secretary of State George Shultz sent a letter to President Trump expressing their belief that diplomacy is “the only realistic option to reduce dangers resulting from the current high state of tensions and prevent North Korea’s ongoing development and potential use of nuclear weapons.”
The successful nuclear agreement with Iran is a prime example of the efficacy of nuclear diplomacy, even with an adversary. Since it’s implementation in January 2016, the Iran accord has been keeping us safe by verifiably blocking all of Iran’s potential pathways to obtaining nuclear weapons. The same focused diplomacy could and should be applied to talks with North Korea.
While the Trump administration has rightly pivoted towards diplomacy to address the crisis, multiple signs suggest it may be heading to the negotiating table with a list of demands rather than a real willingness to engage in sustained negotiations. North Korea has made clear that it will only participate in good-faith diplomacy that involves incremental and reciprocal steps towards complete denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, who argued for launching a first strike on North Korea shortly before his appointment, has been pushing an approach that would demand that North Korea completely denuclearize before the U.S. relieves any of the sanctions. If Bolton’s approach is adopted, diplomacy could fail and the administration could pivot back towards war.
War with North Korea should be avoided at all costs. Even a limited military strike would very likely lead to all out war with North Korea, which would imperil millions of lives. South Korea’s capital city of Seoul and the surrounding area has a population of roughly 25 million people, who are all in range of North Korea’s significant artillery. A study from 2012 estimated that 64,000 people could be killed by artillery in the first day of fighting. The U.S. has roughly 28,500 soldiers stationed in South Korea, some of whom would be in range of the North’s artillery, and many of whom would be called upon to fight. Since much of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal is hidden, a preemptive strike would very likely fail to take out all of the North’s nuclear capabilities, so North Korea could decide to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
It’s time to try diplomacy without preconditions. Successful diplomacy is about open-minded dialogue, not making demands. Peace Action is lobbying Congress, helping to shape the media narrative, and mobilizing grassroots activists to support diplomacy and oppose war with North Korea. Click here and take action today to urge your members of Congress to join our call for direct diplomacy with North Korea, and against further threats of war.
Related Blog Posts
Everybody, Especially Congressional Democrats, Take a Deep Breath and Follow the President’s Lead (President Moon’s, Not Trump’s)
This article was originally published on Common Dreams. So it turns out U.S. President Donald Trump is inept at international diplomacy. Who knew? Well, pretty much everybody knew, or at least suspected. But he’s not always wrong about everything (more on that in a bit). The ridiculous video, overblown self-aggrandizement, off-the-cuff declarations of policy that […]
Washington, D.C. — June 12, 2018 — On the news of a successful first meeting between sitting leaders of the U.S. and North Korea at the summit in Singapore, with a statement in which the countries agreed to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and security guarantees for North Korea, leaders of the Korea Peace […]
This article was syndicated by Peace Voice, and originally published on Counterpunch. John Bolton and Mike Pence must have known what they were doing. President Trump’s national security adviser and Vice President could not have been oblivious that advocating a “Libya model” for North Korea’s denuclearization would go over badly with North Korean leader Kim […]
Washington, D.C. — May 24, 2018 — President Trump cancelled the planned June 12 summit meeting with Kim Jong-un today in a letter to the North Korean leader. Kevin Martin, President of Peace Action, slammed the president and his administration for undermining the critical peace process. “I can only channel the immortal Casey Stengel, manager […]
This article was originally published on Common Dreams. North Korea’s cancellation of talks planned between North and South Korea is cause for concern, as is its suggestion that the U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled for June 12 could meet the same fate. But the greater causes for concern are the U.S.-South Korea war drills and a U.S. negotiating […]
Washington, D.C. — April 26, 2018 — In response to the Senate narrowly voting to confirm Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director for Policy and Political Affairs at Peace Action, released the following statement: “In confirming Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, the Senate just empowered an anti-diplomacy hawk to […]
This article was originally published on CommonDreams.org, and also ran in Counterpunch, Antiwar.com, and Hankyoreh. By Dr. Simone Chun and Kevin Martin History will be made this week with the summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. With a second summit between Kim and President Donald Trump looming […]
Washington, D.C. — March 22, 2018 — In response to President Trump’s announcement that John Bolton will take over as national security advisor effective April 9, 2018, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement: “You would be hard pressed to find anyone who’s ever held public office in the U.S. who […]
Washington, D.C. — March 13, 2018 — In response to news of Rex Tillerson’s firing and C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo taking his place as Secretary of State, Jon Rainwater, Executive Director of Peace Action, released the following statement: “By tapping Mike Pompeo to be Secretary of State, Trump is handing over the reigns of U.S. […]
Syndicated by Peace Voice, this piece was originally published on Antiwar.com. It was also published in the Bainbridge Island Review. The developments regarding Korea this week are astonishing. We may be witnessing a breathtaking outbreak of peace, when not very long ago a nuclear war seemed possible. Now that the Koreas have gotten the diplomatic […]