Saturday, August 12, 2017

Start Bilateral Negotiations Now - Open Letter To President Trump from Korea Policy Institute

Open Letter To President Trump from Korea Policy Institute : Start Bilateral Negotiations Now

Dear President Trump:

We at the Korea Policy Institute, aghast at the prospect of war in Korea, in the region, and reaching possibly over the Pacific to Guam and to the shores of the United States, call upon your administration to engage the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) in bilateral negotiations that would immediately halt military posturing by both sides which threaten to erupt in nuclear conflagration.

On the heels of highly inflammatory threats being hurled back and forth between your administration and North Korea, the Ulchi Freedom Guardian war game, starting August 21, 2017, is fraught with danger.  A miscalculation on either side could set us on an irreversible path to war, possibly nuclear war in which millions are projected to perish in the first hours of fighting, and which would turn much of the region into an uninhabitable nuclear wasteland.

The D.P.R.K. perceives the war games as a threat to its sovereignty and has thus offered to freeze development of its nuclear weapons and missiles if the United States and the Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) will stop their joint war exercises. It is thus within the reach of your administration to halt that country’s progress toward towards fitting its ICBMs with nuclear tipped warheads without relying on other countries to solve the problem, and without going to war.

The D.P.R.K.’s aforementioned offer of a freeze and the U.S. State Department’s recent offer to open dialog with the D.P.R.K., should it hold off on further testing of its nuclear weapons, indicates that there is will on both sides to pull back from the brink of war.  That is sufficient ground for diplomacy to take root. Indeed, where other U.S. presidents have failed, you have the rare opportunity to succeed in achieving a durable peace with North Korea.

We support the goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.  However, it is increasingly clear, as in the case of Korea, if one country is to give up its nuclear weapons, all nuclear states, big and small, must do so.  Peace in Korea, secured by diplomacy and normalized relations, is necessary if the goal of denuclearization is ever to be realized.

In the interim, the D.P.R.K. regards its weapons programs as a deterrent to what it perceives as hostility from the United States stemming from the unresolved Korean War, exhibited by the U.S. – R.O.K. annual war games and most recently by the deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea.  We therefore call upon your administration to:

Cancel all war games, including Ulchi Freedom Guardian and Key Resolve-Foal Eagle,
Negotiate a freeze of the D.P.R.K.’s nuclear weapons and ICBM testing,
Remove THAAD from the R.O.K.
Normalize relations with the D.P.R.K.

The United States, as the most powerful of nuclear states, is uniquely positioned to provide the leadership needed to create a truly non-nuclear world.  We thus call upon your administration to negotiate an agreement with the D.P.R.K. whereby the United States and the D.P.R.K. will set an example for all nuclear states to follow by signing on to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, ratified by the United Nations on July 7, 2017, and which calls for treaty members to eliminate their nuclear weapons.

Sincerely yours,

Board of Directors, Korea Policy Institute

Marty Hart-Landsberg, Christine Hong, Haeyoung Kim, Paul Liem, Juyeon Rhee, JT Takagi, Ji Yeon-Yuh

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