Korea’s Curse of a Never-ending War

July 24th, 2022 - by Walt Zlotow / AntiWar.com & Alice Slater / Common Dreams

Peace Coalition Ponders 70-Year
Search for End to Korean War

Walt Zlotow / AntiWar.com

(July 22, 2022) — Peace activist Alice Slater of New York addressed the West Suburban Peace Coalition Educational Forum via Zoom Tuesday night on the topic: North Korea and Nuclear Weapons.

Slater, who joined the peace movement in 1968 to support Sen. Gene McCarthy’s quest to unseat President Johnson and end the Vietnam War, has focused her career on eliminating nuclear weapons. A board member of World Beyond War, Slater worked with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for promoting successful negotiations birthing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Her focus Tuesday dealt with the now 72 year long Korean War which the US refuses to sign a peace treaty over though hostilities ended 69 years ago. As with many international crises, the US imposes draconian economic and political sanctions; then refuses any negotiated relief till its target gives in to every US demand. With Korea that requires North Korea to give up its entire nuclear program of roughly 50 nukes and now ICBM’s that could reach the US.

But North Korea has learned well the lesson of duplicitous US conduct following end of nuclear programs by both Libya and Iraq only to be subjected to regime change and war as their reward. Don’t expect North Korea to give up its nukes anytime soon; indeed ever. Till the US understands that, it may well extend the Korean War for another 70 years.

Slater urged attendees to visit koreapeacenow.org and join the effort to achieve the long overdue end to the Korean War which, while inactive for decades, has the potential to erupt like a slumbering volcano.

In particular, contact your representative and senators to support H.R. 3446, the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act.

I first learned about the Korean War as a six-year-old in 1951. Here I am 71 years on, still pondering the folly of this unresolved, unnecessary US war that killed millions. Its end would be a neat item to check off my bucket list. But first, it needs to be on Uncle Sam’s.

Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.

North Korea, Perpetual Victim of
The US Military-Industrial Complex

Alice Slater / Common Dreams

(February 1, 2022) — North Korea’s demands for an agreement to eliminate their nuclear weapons are:
•   to end the truce and sign a peace treaty, finally ending the Korean War after nearly 70 years,
•   to stop the war games on its borders, and
•   to lift the punishing sanctions that are so destructive to the health and wellbeing of its people.

It seems hard to believe that in these possible End Times in the midst of a global pandemic with an endless succession of catastrophic climate disasters and thousands of nuclear weapons poised and pointed in the US and Russia, ready to destroy life on earth, we are beset by a bought, corrupted mainstream media that assaults us with the “wrongdoings” of Russia and China, and most recently North Korea, with barely a mention in their assaultive reporting of how the US might be the cause in the matter.  Nor do they report on the many remedies that have been rejected by the United States in its drive for global domination.

Instead of promoting the critical opportunities we must now seize — all nations and peoples of the world — to work cooperatively to save Mother Earth, the western news reports serve up a steady daily diet of the harm that could be inflicted upon an innocent United States, echoing shades of the dreadful 1950s McCarthy Era in a new Cold War II and maybe World War III.

North Korea is a case in point.  Recent reports in The New York Times noted a series of renewed missile tests by North Korea and reported that for the first time, a veto in the UN Security by Russia and China blocked additional harsh sanctions proposed by the US on that poor, struggling nation.

In its report, the Times quoted John Delury, professor of history at Yonsei University, South Korea as saying “no amount of sanctions could create the pressures that covid-19 created in the past two years. Yet do we see North Korea begging and saying, ‘Take our weapons and give us some aid’… the North Koreans will eat grass,” he said, rather than give up their nuclear weapons. But this callous evaluation ignores the long, sorry history of failed negotiations between the US and North Korea.

North Korea has been testing its missiles and developing nuclear weapons since it walked out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1973 claiming that the US had singled it out as a target of a pre-emptive nuclear attack and had threatened it with a blockade and military punishment. It now has about 40 to 50 nuclear weapons of the 14,000 nuclear weapons on the planet today, with 13,000 of them in the US and Russia, and the remainder in China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, and Israel.

North Korea was the only nuclear-armed country to vote in the UN Committee for Disarmament in favor of negotiations to go forward on the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

At that historic meeting where the nations of the world voted 122 in favor of negotiations on a new treaty to ban the bomb, India, China, and Pakistan abstained and the US, Russia, UK, France, Israel, and all the states under the US nuclear umbrella voted No. This unique affirmative vote of North Korea, trying to get the world’s attention for ending the isolation and punishment it has suffered over the years, went totally unreported in the press.

During the negotiations with Trump and South Korea, in 2019 North Korea was willing to agree to forego its nuclear bomb program if it could get a peace treaty instead of the truce it has been living under since 1953, faced with 38,000 US troops situated near its border conducting war games with South Korea, not to mention the cruel and killing sanctions that deny food, fuel, medications to its people.

Trump, in his desire to look good and get a deal, offered to withdraw 10,000 of the US troops stationed there all these years. Both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress blocked him from making that deal, Biden never followed up, and Kim is waving his missiles again to get our attention.

North Korea’s demands for an agreement to eliminate their nuclear weapons are to end the truce and sign a peace treaty, finally ending the Korean War after nearly 70 years, stop the war games on its borders, and lift the punishing sanctions that are so destructive to the health and wellbeing of its people.

This would finally allow free travel back and forth from the US and South Korea that has been so heartbreaking for separated families that haven’t been able to cross the line to visit and see relatives and friends for decades.

Alice Slater, author and nuclear disarmament advocate, is a member of the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War and UN NGO Representative of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

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