21.09.2020

International Peace Day: Civil society organizations call for end of Korean War

More than 350 South Korean and international civil society organizations, including the Korea office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, have launched a campaign calling for an end of the Korean War.

27 July 2020 - campaign launch press conference at Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul; Participants urge people across the world to join the Korea Peace Appeal to end the 70-year old Korean War. © People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

 

Although the conflicting parties signed an Armistice Agreement in 1953, there have been a number of political and military conflicts between two Koreas. The Korea Peace Appeal is an international petition set to run from 2020, the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, until 2023, the 70th anniversary of the armistice.  

 

The Korea Peace Appeal emphasizes four demands:

1. End the Korean War and establish a peace agreement.  

2. Create a Korean Peninsula, and a world, free from nuclear weapons and nuclear threat.  

3. Resolve the conflict with dialogue and cooperation instead of sanctions and pressure.  

4. Break from the vicious cycle of the arms race and invest in human security and environmental sustainability. 

 

It is time to end the Korean War  

The Korean Peninsula was liberated from Japanese colonial rule by the end of the Second World War in 1945. But it was soon divided into North and South by the Cold War, and conflict broke out in 1950, sweeping the peninsula and leaving millions dead. With countless families separated, Koreans both on the peninsula and across the diaspora have endured decades of pain. It is time to end this.  

  • 27 July 2020 - campaign launch press conference at Gwanghwamun Plaza in Seoul © People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
  • 24 June 2020 - press conference to suggest a peace campaign at Center for Churches in Seoul; photo by Jeong Taek Yong

We must not go back to the days dominated by hostility and anxiety  

In 1991, after the global Cold War ended, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) agreed upon mutual respect and non-aggression in the Inter-Korean Basic Agreement. In 2000, the two Koreas held their first summit, which opened an era of exchange and cooperation. In 2018, the first-ever summit between North Korea and the United States took place, along with three inter-Korean summits. Since the war has not officially ended, however, the vicious cycle of the last 30 years has been repeating, where trust easily turns into distrust.  

History has proven that hostile policies aimed at discrediting and forcing one side to yield have failed to resolve the conflict on the Korean Peninsula, instead only aggravating it. The Peninsula under the unstable armistice has suffered threats of nuclear war, and the tensions have fuelled a global arms race and nuclear proliferation. Without an end to the War, the denuclearization of the Peninsula will not be achieved. We call upon the governments involved to take sincere and responsible action: End the Korean War now.  

 

Lets change the Korean Peninsula from a symbol of confrontation and conflict into one of peaceful coexistence  

We envisage a future where the people of the Korean Peninsula, East Asia and the world cooperate and coexist peacefully. We hope our resources will be used for safety and happiness, for environmental sustainability and a society without discrimination, instead of preparing for war. Now, lets end the Korean War with our own hands and make a future that has escaped us for 70 years. Lets join our voices so that our passionate wish for peace reverberates around the world. 

 

 

Sign the Korea Peace Appeal here: 

https://en.endthekoreanwar.net/home 

Collected signatures will be delivered to the United Nations and to the governments of the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the United States, and the People's Republic of China. 

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