Let’s work towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,
the conclusion of a peace treaty
and an establishment of a peaceful East Asia without nuclear weapons!
Hayoung Bak / SPARK(Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea)
6th August, The 2021 World Conference against A and H Bombs
Hiroshima day - Session II : Exchange of grass-roots movements of Japan and the world
1. I’m Hayoung Bak, in charge of international solidarity at SPARK.
2. 2018 was a hopeful year for many of us. The leaders of the DPRK and the US adopted the Singapore statement, and the leaders of both Koreas issued the Panmunjom and Pyongyang Declaration, making a historical stride toward complete denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
However, denuclearization negotiations have been stalled ever since the Hanoi talks broke down in February 2019. Relations between the DPRK and the US, and between both Koreas came to a standstill.
3. Like the Trump administration, the new Biden administration has not made a breakthrough in denuclearization negotiations on the Korean Peninsula, merely maintaining the same stance when it comes to sanctions against the DPRK and its position to pre-denuclearize the DPRK, known as complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization (CVID).
While denuclearization negotiations have been suspended, ROK and the US have stepped up their preemptive offensive forces under the Tailored Deterrence Strategy, the 4D strategy and operational plans. Here, 4D strategy refers to an offensive strategy in order of detect, deter, destroy and defense. The DPRK on the other side has also matched it up by increasing its nuclear/conventional forces.
4. Should the Singapore statement and the Panmunjom/Pyongyang Declaration be buried as a relic of history, causing a blockage in our path toward denuclearization and an establishment of a peace regime on the Korean peninsula? No! We cannot let that happen.
The recent reconnection of the hotlines between the north and south gives us hope that it could lead to the development of an amicable inter-Korean relations and the resumption of dialogues between the DPRK and the US. We must set the wheel of denuclearization and the establishment of a peace regime in motion again.
5. Therefore, if the US sincerely wants to resume its dialogue with the DPRK and denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, it should reconsider the tentative agreements from the Hanoi. A recent joint report by the UK and Russia reported that capacity of DPRK to produce nuclear weapons could have been reduced up to 80% by now if the US had agreed to the terms of dismantling Yongbyuon nuclear facilities during the 2019 Hanoi summit.
6. As stated in the Hanoi tentative agreement, if the US lifts sanctions against the DPRK and the Youngbyon nuclear facilities dismantled in a simultaneous and phased manner, a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula would surely be achievable. Furthermore, if the US provides security guarantees to the DPRK, for example, by signing a peace treaty and a non-aggression treaty, and establishing diplomatic ties with the DPRK, the dismantlement of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program and a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be realized at a rapid pace
7. Ending the Korean War and the conclusion of a peace treaty would be a steppingstone for the denuclearization and peace in Japan and Northeast Asia. If a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is realized by concluding a peace treaty, military tensions in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia will be eased and the US will lose all its justifications to maintain its nuclear umbrella here in Korea. In addition, Japan’s ambition to become a military power, evidenced by its development of long-range missiles and building its capability to attack enemy bases justified under putative nuclear threats by the DPRK, will certainly lose ground.
8. The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which will be achieved with the conclusion of a peace treaty, is a premise and a steppingstone for realizing a nuclear weapons free zone in Northeast Asia. It is obvious that, without ending the Korean war and the conclusion of a peace treaty, Northeast Asia cannot move towards creating a nuclear weapon free zone.
Therefore, plans of Northeast Asia nuclear weapon free zone must include and be developed further based on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
9. Korea continues to exist under the threat of a highly likely nuclear war. The fact that the US considered using nuclear weapons against the DPRK during the 2017 US-DPRK nuclear confrontation proves this. Considering that Japan and Korea are the countries with the largest number of A-bomb victims in the world, it is absurd that they both continue to strengthen nuclear alliance with the US and have not joined or ratified the TPNW. People in Korea and Japan must urge their governments to sign and ratify the TPNW.
10. Since the 2019 Korea-Japan International Forum for denuclearization and peace held in Seoul, the Korean A-bomb victims and SPARK have been preparing a people’s tribunal to hold the US accountable for dropping nuclear bombs. With the people’s tribunal, we hope to establish international legal grounds and political legitimacy for holding the US accountable for its 76 years old war crimes, nullify any justification for the use of nuclear weapons and contribute to a complete nuclear abolishment in the world.
Much support from social justice groups of the world will be necessary in this movement.
11. We ask all of you to join us, support us, and work in solidarity with us in this movement. Together, let’s build a world without nuclear weapons. Thank you.