ACTION ALERT: Petition to Halt US Korean Wargames

January 28th, 2021 - by Colonel Ann Wright, Veterans for Peace and Hyun Lee, Korea Peace Now

387 US, South Korean, and International Organizations Urge Biden Administration to Suspend US-South Korea Joint Military Exercises

Colonel Ann Wright, Veterans for Peace and Hyun Lee, Korea Peace Now

 (January 27, 2021) — Today, a statement endorsed by 110 US, 197 South Korean, and 79 international civil society organizations was sent to the Biden administration urging the suspension of annual combined military exercises with South Korea in order to restart diplomacy with North Korea.

In the statement, the groups note these “costly and highly provocative war exercises” — which are based on operation plans that reportedly include pre-emptive strikes and “decapitation measures” against the North Korean leadership — heighten military and political tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

As such, they are a major obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing 70-year-old Korean War. Suspending these war drills will be a major confidence-building measure and create the conditions for genuine diplomacy with North Korea in order to finally resolve the security crisis on the Korean Peninsula.

“These war drills are expensive, provocative, and consistently provoke North Korea to take military actions in response,” said Retired US Army Reserve Colonel Ann Wright of the Korea Peace Campaign of Veterans for Peace. “If the United States’ goal is to reduce tensions, not increase them, then suspending these military exercises will be an important step forward.” 

Hyun Lee of Women Cross DMZ and Korea Peace Now said, “The majority of citizens on the Korean Peninsula want peace talks, not war drills and military confrontation. It’s their lives that are at risk from the possibility of military exercises leading to mistakes and accidents that may cause disastrous military confrontation.”

Individuals can add their voices to the call for suspension of military exercises by signing this petition. [See full petition below.]

Organizing groups are Korea Peace Campaign of Veterans for Peace; Korea Peace Network; Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network; Peace Treaty Now; Women Cross DMZ; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Civil Peace Forum; Korean Women’s Movement for Peace; and South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration.

The Statement:  January 26, 2021

We, the undersigned civil society organizations in the United States, South Korea, and around the world, call on President Biden to suspend the annual US-South Korea (ROK) combined military exercises. Suspending these costly and highly provocative war exercises will be a crucial step toward re-starting genuine diplomacy with North Korea (DPRK). It will remove a formidable obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing 70-year-old Korean War and allow all parties to focus on other intractable global issues facing our nations today, such as creating a nuclear weapons-free world and resolving the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In the mid-1950s, just after the Korean War, the US and ROK began combined military exercises in South Korea that prepare for war with North Korea. In the 1970s the drills developed into large-scale exercises that mobilize considerable weapons, equipment and the deployment of US troops stationed in both South Korea as well as US bases outside the Korean Peninsula.

Since the 2000s, they have been based on operation plans that reportedly include pre-emptive strikes and “decapitation measures” against the North Korean leadership. Due to their scale and provocative nature, the annual US-ROK combined exercises have long been a trigger point for heightened military and political tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

For years these combined military exercises have involved the use of B-2 bombers (which are designed to drop nuclear bombs), nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines, as well as the firing of long-range artillery and other weapons. They not only increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula, they have cost US taxpayers billions of dollars and have caused irreparable harm to local residents and the environment in South Korea.

At a time when the world is facing urgent humanitarian, environmental, and economic crises, these military exercises divert critically needed resources away from our capacity to provide true human security such as healthcare, a sustainable environment, and other priorities. Furthermore, they heighten geopolitical tensions and risk re-igniting a hot war on the Korean Peninsula, which would have catastrophic consequences for millions of people.

We want peace talks, not war drills and military confrontation. We urge the Biden Administration to resolve the root cause of the conflict between the United States and North Korea — the unresolved Korean War — which has driven a dangerous arms race, harmed the most vulnerable people through punishing sanctions, and enforced the tragic separation of hundreds of thousands of Korean families. Continuing to rely on isolation, pressure, and threats to force North Korea’s unilateral denuclearization is a recipe for failure.

Suspending the combined military exercises will be a major confidence-building measure toward renewing diplomacy to resolve the longstanding 70-year-old conflict with North Korea and, ultimately, achieve permanent peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.


US Organizations (110)

Action One Korea

Alliance for Global Justice

American Friends Service Committee

ANSWER Coalition

Augusta Women in Black

Beyond War and Militarism

Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security

Center for Political Education

Channing and Popai Liem Education Foundation

Chicago Area Peace Action

Citizens Academy for Korean Americans

Coalition of Koreans in America

Code Pink

Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach

Community Organizing Center

Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles

Environmentalists Against War

Family Mediation Center, Inc.

Fellowship of Reconciliation

Franklin County Continuing Political Revolution

Georgia WAND Education Fund

Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space

Good Neighborhood Church

Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Greater Brunswick Peace Works

Ha:n Ministry of United Methodist Church

Hawai’i Peace and Justice

Heung Coalition

International Action Center

Jeannette Rankin Peace Center

Jewish Voice for Peace

June 15 US Committee for Reunification of Korea

Justice Is Global

Korea Peace Network

Korea Peace Now Grassroots Network

Korea Policy Institute

Korean American Civic Action

Korean American National Coordinating Council

Korean American Network for Democracy

Korean Americans for the Progressive Party of Korea
Korean Peace Alliance

Kaua`i Alliance for Peace and Social Justice

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee


Massachusetts Korea Peace Campaign

Massachusetts Peace Action

Maui Peace Action

Mennonite Central Committee US Washington Office

Military Poisons

Minjung Solidarity of New York

MLK Coalition Of Greater Los Angeles

Nabi USA – Los Angeles

Nabi USA – Washington DC

National Association of Korean Americans

National Institute of Hahmsokhon’s Philosophy

National Lawyers Guild at Northeastern University

New Jersey Peace Action

New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy

New Hampshire Peace Action

Nodutdol for Korean Community Development


Olympia Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Pacific Asian Network Alliance

Pan Korean Alliance for Reunification USA

Parallax Perspectives

Peace Action USA

Peace Action Maine

Peace Action New York State

Peace Action of San Mateo County

Peace Action of Wisconsin

Peace and Freedom Party

Peace 21

People for Truth and Hope North Carolina

Philadelphia New Voice

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Popular Resistance

Presbyterian Peace Network for Korea

Sasase Chicago

Seattle Evergreen Coalition

Show Up! America

Solar Workers Union

Support Committee for Korean Prisoners of Conscience USA

Taos Environmental Film Festival

United Methodist Church Northern Illinois Conference

Through Design LLC

United for Peace and Justice

Union del Barrio

United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society

United Methodist Women

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

Veterans For Peace

Veterans For Peace New York City Chapter 34

Veterans For Peace Twin Cities Chapter 27

Veterans for Peace Hawai’i Chapter 113

Veterans For Peace Los Angeles

Veterans For Peace Phil Berrigan Memorial Chapter

War Prevention Initiative

Western New York Peace Center

Western States Legal Foundation

Win Without War

WNC 4 Peace

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Maine

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Greater Philadelphia Branch

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom US

Women Against War

Women Cross DMZ

Women for Genuine Security

Woorimadang Chicago

World BEYOND War

South Korean Organizations (197)

4.16 ERI

4.27 Era Research

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Gyeonggi Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Gyeonggijoongboo Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Seoul Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Incheon Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Jeonnam Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Jeonbuk Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration Jinju Branch

South Korean Committee on June 15th Joint Declaration, Youth & Students Headquarters

615 Civic Chorus

Gangjeong International Team

Association of Gangjeong Villagers against the Jeju Navy Base

Gangjeong Peace Network

Kaesong Tourism Center

The Frontiers

Gyeonggi Women’s Associations United

The Human Rights Forum of Persons With Disabilities, Gyeonggi

Gyeonggi Christian Action for Justice and Peace


Goyang Paju Young Korean Academy

Gwangju Jeonnam Professors and Researchers Association in Korea


Gwangju Jeonnam University Student Progressive Alliance

Gwangju Jeonnam Democratic Movement Association

Gwangju Cimin Action

Gwangju Alliance Progress Movement

Ulsan Parents’ Association Hope for Education

Gwangju Alliance Popular Sovereignty

National Sovereignty Coalition Cheju Headquarters

Gunsan Citizens’ Society to Reclaim the Land from US Forces in Korea

Korea Refarmer Association

Central Theatre Company

Solidarity for USFK Comfort Women’s Human Rights

Gimje Justice Peace Action

Let’s go

Hope Union

Green Party Korea

Green Korea United

Korea NGO Council for Cooperation with North Korea

Association of Dokdo Sarang

Association of Bereaved of Independence Merit

Donghak-Chondogyo Network for People

My Sister’s Place

The Academy of Mongyang

Media Christian Solidarity

Office for the Promotion of National Unity

The Center for Historical Truth and Justice Jeonbuk Regional Council

Minjok Jajoo Pyonghwa Tongil Gwangju Jeonnam Jiyeok Hoe-ui

Korea Democratic Street Venders Confederation

Minbyun Lawyers for a Democratic Society

Association of Professors and Researchers for Democracy and Equality

Gospel Senior Ministry


People Making Jeju a Demilitarized Peace Island

Movement For One Korea

Movement For One Korea Gwangju and Jeonnam regional headquarters

Daegu Women’s Association

Okedongmu Children in Korea

Medical Aid for Children

Urinuri Peace Corp.

 (Incheon Movement for One Korea

Jeonbuk Corporation Action for One Korea Inc., Assoc.

NGO for Prisoners of Justice Peace and Human Rights

Korea International Peace Forum

Unification Korea Leader Association

The Corea Peace 3000

Peace Railway

Corporation of Hope Plant for Labor

Networks for Green Transport


Work of Commemoration for the Righteous Army in Honam Region in the Late Period of Chosun

Jeonbuk EDU-Madang Inc., Assoc.

Anti-THAAD Gimcheon Civil Action Committee

April Revolution Association

Samsung Union

Tongil Euibyung

New One

Jeonbuk Christian Action for Life Peace & Justice

Life and Peace Forum

West Sea Five island Peace Movement Headquarters

Columban Mission Society Korea

Seongjugun Nongminhoe

No THAAD Seongju

Sejong People who make Reunification of Korea

Seongju Soseongri Villagers’ Association against THAAD

Suwon Women’s Association

Civil Peace Forum

Anarchist Eouyelldan

Friends Of Asia

Asia Citizen’s Network for Peace

Action One Korea

Yangsimsoo Huwonhwe

Martyre Yong Chan-Yang Memorial Association

Korean Women’s Movement for Peace

Civilian Military Watch

Living with Jesus

Osan Migrant Work’s Center


Ulsan Women’s Association

Ulsan Alliance For Progressive Movement

The Won-Buddhist Emergency Committee to Guard the Sacred Site at Seongju

Lee Seok-gyu Democracy Labor Ardent Sprits Memorial Foundation

Human Rights Education Center – Deul

Incheon Nosamo


Incheon Network for Peace & Welfare

The Korean Council for Justice and Remembrance for the Issues of Military Sexual Slavery by Japan

Korea Foundation for Free Press

Solidarity for Independent Peaceful Reunification of Korea

Order of Friars Minor


Korea Teachers’ Union

Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union Ansan

Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union Jeju

Korea Peasants League

Jeollabuk-Do League, Members of Korean Peasant League

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Gyeonggi Regional Council

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions Incheon Regional Council

Korean Congederation of Trade Unions Jeonbuk Regional Council

Korea Urban Poor Association

Korean Women Peasants Association

Korea Women’s Alliance

Korea Youth Movement Union Nalda

남 (Jeonnam Alliance For Progressive Movement

Jeonbuk Edu Madang


Jeonbuk Institute of Future Education

Jeonbuk People Movement

Korean People Early Childhood Education and Childcare Solidarity Meeting

JBUNIV One Korea

Jeonbuk Youth for One Korea

Solidarity for Peace and Human Rights

Jeonbuk Peace Council

Justice Party in Jeonbuk

Jeju Youth Group for Unification

Jeju Peace Human Rights Center

Power of Good Citizens

The Progressive Party

The Progressive Party Geoje-si Committee

The Progressive Party Gyeongnam Committee

The Progressive Party Gimhae-si Committee

The Progressive Party Boseong-gun Committee

The Progressive Party Sungnam-si Sujeong-gu regional committee

The Progressive Party Incheon Committee

The Progressive Party Jeonbuk Committee

The Progressive Party Jeju Committee

The Progressive Party Changwon-si Seongsan-gu Committee

Jinbo College Student Network

Chamsari Munhak

People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

Changwon Jinbo

Changjak 21

Korean Catholic Federation for Justice

Candle Revolution Party

Booklight Solidarity for Completion Candlelight Revolution

One Korea Tree

The Council Democracy for Unification

Korean Reunification Society Research Institute

Unification and Peace

The Happy March For One Korea

Youth Group for Unification

Pax Christi Korea

People Who Protect Pyeongtaek Health and Life

Young Korean Academy Pyeongtaek

Pyeongtaek Youth Platform Pum

Pyeongtaek Peace Center

Pyeongtaek Peace Citizen Action

Pyeongtaek Cooperative Social Network Social Cooperative

Peace Network

Women Making Peace

Peace Ground

Peace Wind

Gyeonggi Solidarity for Statue of Peace

Peace Mothers of Korea

Prayer Meeting for Korea Peace and Reunification

Peace Treaty Movement

Peace Treaty Movement, Incheon

Franciscan Friary

Peace Momo

YMCA (YMCA 10,000 Committee for Korea Peace and Reunification, Jeonju

Reconciliation and Reunification Committee, the National Council of Churches in Korea

Korean Peace Network Against Military Bases

Federation of Korean Trade Unions

Korea University Advancement Association

Hankuk Theogical Semiary

Writers Association of Korea

Korea Alliance For Progressive Movement

Korea Youth Solidarity

YMCA (Nation Council of YMCAs of Korea

YWCA (National YWCA of Korea

YMCA (YMCA 10,000 Committee for Korea Peace and Reunification

Korea Vietnam Peace Foundation

Young Korean Academy

KT (KT Democratic Comrades

International Organizations (79)

6.15 Japan Committee

6.15 Overseas Committee

Aksi Lilin Jakarta, Indonesia

Alliance of Progressive Canadians

Article 9 Canada

Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests

ATTAC Hungary Association

Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN)-Canada

Belgium Korea Friendship Association

Cameroon for a World Beyond War

Canada-Philippines Solidarity Organization

Catholic Council for Justice and Peace, Japan

Center for Peace Education, Philippines

Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Cambodia

China Anti-Japanese History Memorial Association

Code Pink Canada

Coop-Anti-War-Café, World Beyond War, Germany

Democratic Congress of World Koreans Australia

Frente Anti-impèrialista Internacionalista, Spain

Friends of “Comfort Women,” Australia

Global Korean Democratic Association, Laos

Global Uchinanchu Alliance, Okinawa

I Hagan Famalao’an Guahan, Guam

Independent and Peaceful Australia Network

Independent Guåhan, Guam

June 15 Overseas Committee for Reunification of Korea, Canada

Just Peace Committee, Canada

KILUSAN Para sa Pambansang Demikrasya (Movement for National Democracy), Philippines

Korea Peace Now! Women Mobilizing to End the War

Korea Truth Commission Canada

Korean-Canberran Action, Australia

Korean Democratic Women’s Association, Japan

Korean Honam Association, Australia

Korean Peace Action Global Network

Korean Taekwondo Association, Brazil

Korean Youth & Student Council of 6.15 Japan Regional Committee

Le Mouvement de la Paix, France

Maison de Minjok, France

Marrickville Peace Group, Australia

Minju Forum, Canada

No Harbour For War, Canada

No to War – No to NATO Network

NPO Samcheonri Railway, Japan

Okinawa Women Act Against Military Violence

Osaka Minju Yonhap

Pacific Peace Network, Australia

Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (Unity of Women for Freedom), Philippines

Pax Christi Aotearoa New Zealand

Pax Christi Asia Pacific

Pax Christi Australia

Pax Christi Philippines

Peace Action Wellington, New Zealand

Peace and Neutrality Alliance, Ireland

Peace Boat, Japan

Peace People, Northern Ireland

Peace Philosophy Centre, Canada

Peace Treaty Now!

Peace Women Partners, Philippines

Philippine Women Network on Peace and Security

Pivot2Peace, Canada

Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian, Guam

Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group, United Kingdom


Shannonwatch, Ireland

Solidarität der Korianer in Europa (Solidarity of Korean People in Europe

Stop the War Coalition Philippines

True Colors Coalition, Philippines

United Church of Canada

United Church Rural Ministry Network, Canada

Veteranos Por la Paz España (Veterans For Peace, Chapter #1005), Spain

Veterans for Peace ROCK, Okinawa

Victoria Peace Coalition, Canada

Women Against Nuclear Power, Finland

Women for Peace, Finland

Women for Peace, Sweden

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

World Beyond War New Zealand

World Beyond War Spain Youth for Nationalism and Democracy, Philippines