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ACTION ALERT: The Winter Olympics Shows a Path to Peace


February 7, 2018
Athletes for Peace / Veterans for Peace

Commentary: As former and current atheltes, we value the Olympic spirit and tradition of bringing men and women from diverse nations together for peaceful competition and performance. The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. We therefore call upon the US Olympic Committee to fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process.

https://www.veteransforpeace.org



ACTION ALERT: Athletes for Peace:
Open Letter to the US Olympic Committee

Veterans for Peace

(February 2018) -- As former and current atheltes, we value the Olympic spirit and tradition of bringing men and women from diverse nations together for peaceful competition and performance.

The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. We therefore call upon the US Olympic Committee to fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process.

We in the United States have a special responsibility to demand diplomacy, not war, with North Korea. Let us firmly take hold of the opportunity provided by these winter Olympics to bring this long standing, dangerous and damaging conflict to a peaceful and positive resolution.

Athletes for Peace is initiated by Massaschusetts Peace Action and we invite all peace* loving organizations to cosponsor it with us and participate in a coordinating committee.

Sign the Athletes for Peace Open Letter!

The 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, offer a unique moment to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. In November 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an Olympic Truce, or a cessation of hostilities during the Winter Games, which gained the support of 157 Member States including both Koreas and future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States.

As former and current atheltes, we value the Olympic spirit and tradition of bringing men and women from diverse nations together for peaceful competition and performance. The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. We therefore call upon the US Olympic Committee to fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process.

We in the United States have a special responsibility to demand diplomacy, not war, with North Korea. Let us firmly take hold of the opportunity provided by these winter Olympics to bring this long standing, dangerous and damaging conflict to a peaceful and positive resolution.

ACTION: Find out more ways to take action during the Olympic Truce!




Olympic Truce Action: Diplomacy NOT War

Another war with North Korea would be disastrous. It could easily go nuclear. It should be unthinkable, and there are peaceful diplomatic alternatives.

For South Korea, which would bear the brunt of any conflict with North Korea, there is no military option. As a group of 58 retired US military leaders acknowledge in a letter to Trump, that military action "would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties." The people of Korea, North and South, the peoples of the region, and Americans all want peace.

The Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, offer a unique moment to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. On a very encouraging note, in November 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an Olympic Truce, or a cessation of hostilities during the Winter Games, which gained the support of 157 Member States including both Koreas and future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States.

The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. The United States should fully support both Korean governments' current efforts to restore a peace process. Veterans For Peace has issued a statement of support for these unity efforts. [See statement below. --EAW.]

In a very significant development, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has successfully persuaded a reluctant Donald Trump to postpone US-South Korea war drills that would have overlapped with the Olympics. These joint military exercises typically consist of hundreds of thousands of ground troops and such provocative scenarios as "decapitation" raids and simulate nuclear attacks.

Delaying them could pave the way for a longer-term "freeze for freeze" deal -- a suspension of military exercises for a ban on North Korea's nuclear and missile testing, and ultimately, an official end to the Korean War by replacing the 1953 Armistice with a permanent peace treaty.

Let's build on this momentum! We in the United States have a special responsibility to demand diplomacy, not war, with North Korea. An ad hoc network, the Korea Collaboration, calls for weeks of action during the Winter Olympics (February 9 - 25) and Paralympics (March 9 - 18), as well as the broader period of the Olympic Truce (February 2 to March 25).

We call on groups and individuals to organize actions or other events in your communities. These could include:

* Teach-ins, webinars, and other types of educational events, supported by fact sheets, articles, videos and podcasts. Korean-American voices need to be front and center.

* Vigils for peace, public protests where appropriate, visibility actions.

* Petition* gathering and support for the People's Peace Treaty.

* Building Congressional pressure, both in-district and in Washington, DC. Call-in Days, in-district congressional visits, high-level delegations or sign-on letters to Members of Congress calling on them to use the Olympic Truce as an opportunity to stand for diplomacy and continue to suspend US-South Korea war drills, through public statements and support for pro-diplomacy legislation, including asserting Congressional powers over war and peace, and particularly any decision to use nuclear weapons.

* Olympic watch parties: Gather friends and family in your home or a community venue to celebrate the Olympics. Add a dollop of Korean culture and cuisine, and call for peace and diplomacy. Invite your local NBC-TV affiliate (the television network of the Olympics) to cover your gathering for the local news. Watch parties can be great social media events as well. Korean- Americans should be the main spokespeople.

* Earned media coverage and social media promotion (utilizing FaceBook and Twitter memes and actions, Thunderclap, Instagram and other platforms) calling for diplomacy and peace. Use the Olympic Truce as a "hook" for Letters to Editor and Op-eds.

* Other engaging and fun, movement-building events around the Winter Olympics. Please share your good ideas.




Veterans For Peace Applauds
Korea Talks for Olympic Unity


ST. LOUIS (January 10, 2018) -- As former soldiers, including veterans who remember the horrors of the Korean War, we are delighted to hear that a delegation of athletes, cheerleaders and officials from the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) will be participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as a result of the high-level inter-Korean talks held at Panmunjom on Jan. 9. We congratulate the Korean people and their representatives.

How wonderful it is that athletes from the entire Korean Peninsula may be marching together under one flag, in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games! That will be a beautiful expression of the Korean people's strong desire for peace and reunification!

Beyond the Winter Games, we are also excited to hear that other peace-building measures have been agreed upon, including restoration of the inter-Korean military hotlines as well as resumption of political and military talks between the South and North. These measures will lessen the possibility of misunderstandings and accidental war.

It is also encouraging to hear that, at the request of President Moon of the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea), President Trump has agreed to postpone the US-ROK winter war drills until after the end of the Winter Olympics. This is certainly a necessary decision, in line with the UN General Assembly resolution adopted in Nov. 2017, calling for an Olympic Truce beginning seven days before the 2018 Winter Olympics (Feb. 9-25) and ending seven days after the Paralympics (March 8-18).

At this hopeful juncture, we call upon the US government to seize this historic opportunity to build further momentum for peace on the Korean Peninsula by commencing talks with North Korea soon, without any preconditions. We must absolutely stop any tragic resumption of the horrific Korean-US War -- possibly a nuclear war this time that would kill millions of people and imperil human civilization.

In order to pave the way for bilateral talks with North Korea, we urge the US government to discontinue its large-scale joint war drills in and around Korea, even after the end of the Olympic Games. These provocative military exercises are not "games." They are preparations for a war that should never happen.
The people of Korea, United States, and the world are eager for peace. Together, we must seize the historic opportunity afforded by the Winter Olympic Games in Korea to change the course of history.

Diplomacy Not War!

End the Korean War Now with a Peace Treaty!





People's Peace Treaty with North Korea

Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war between the US and North Korea, Veterans For Peace, joined by other US peace groups have come together to send an open message to Washington and Pyongyang that we are strongly opposed to any resumption of the horrific Korean War. What we want is a peace treaty to finally end the lingering Korean War!

Inspired by the Vietnam-era People's Peace Treaty, we have initiated a People's Peace Treaty with North Korea, to raise awareness about the past US policy toward North Korea, and to send a clear message that we, the people of the US, do not want another war with North Korea. This is not an actual treaty, but rather a declaration of peace from the people of the United States.

Our goal is to collect many tens of thousands of signatures, and to publicize the People's Peace Treaty to the people in the US as well as in the rest of the world. Please add your voice for permanent peace in Korea by signing the People's Peace Treaty with North Korea.

Please add your voice for peace by signing the People's Peace Treaty with North Korea.

People's Peace Treaty with North Korea
A Message of Peace from the People of the United States


Deeply concerned with the increasing danger of the current military tensions and threats between the Governments of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea), which may re-ignite the horrendous fighting in the Korean War by design, mistake or accident,

Recalling that the United States currently possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons, and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in the past, including the most recent threat made by the US President in his terrifying speech to the United Nations ("totally destroy North Korea"),

Regretting that the US Government has so far refused to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the temporary Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, although such a peace treaty has been proposed by DPRK many times from 1974 on,

Convinced that ending the Korean War officially is an urgent, essential step for the establishment of enduring peace and mutual respect between the US and DPRK, as well as for the North Korean people's full enjoyment of their basic human rights to life, peace and development -- ending their long sufferings from the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by the US Government since 1950,

NOW, THEREFORE, as a Concerned Person of the United States of America (or on behalf of a civil society organization), I hereby sign this People's Peace Treaty with North Korea, dated November 11, 2017, Armistice Day (also Veterans Day in the US), and

1) Declare to the world that the Korean War is over as far as I am concerned, and that I will live in "permanent peace and friendship" with the North Korean people (as promised in the 1882 US-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation that opened the diplomatic relations between the US and Korea for the first time);

2) Expres s my deep apology to the North Korean people for the US Government's long, cruel and unjust hostility against them, including the near total destruction of North Korea due to the heavy US bombings during the Korean War;

3) Urge Washington and Pyongyang to immediately stop their preemptive (or preventive) conventional/nuclear attack threats against each other and to sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;

4) Call upon the US Government to stop its large-scale, joint war drills with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, and commence a gradual withdrawal of the US troops and weapons from South Korea;

5) Call upon the US Government to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay, to lift all sanctions against the country, and to join the 164 nations that have normal diplomatic relations with the DPRK;

6) Pledge that I will do my best to end the Korean War, and to reach out to the North Korean people -- in order to foster greater understanding, reconciliation and friendship.

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