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Korea

In Memoriam Of Hyun Lee

Hyun was a tireless advocate for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Every generation has its leaders who build powerful movements; she was among the giants of our time. Beginning in 2018, Hyun served as the U.S. National Organizer and then the Campaign Strategist for Women Cross DMZ and our Korea Peace Now! campaign. Her ability to move an organizing and advocacy agenda was instrumental to building the Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network, which consists of more than a dozen chapters across the country. This multi-generational, grassroots, people-powered movement that Hyun helped create is what led to the first Congressional resolution calling for an end to the Korean War with a peace agreement.

Washington Has Been Asking The Wrong Question On North Korea

Despite its devastating destructive toll, the Korean War has been dubbed the “Forgotten War,” for the lack of public awareness or understanding in the US. Many Americans might be surprised to hear calls for peace on the Korean Peninsula, because we’re rarely made aware that the conflict there is ongoing, much less the US role in it. And, then again, we don’t very often hear the phrase “Korean Peninsula.” We’re more accustomed to seeing North and South Korea presented as natural antagonists, and North Korea as a virtual cartoon of an official enemy, about whom no claim is too grandiose. Into this context of myth and missing information comes a new call for a peace agreement to officially end the war. The report, called Path to Peace, was compiled by the Korea Peace Now! coalition, and we’re joined now by Hyun Lee, US national organizer for Women Cross DMZ, part of Korea Peace Now!.

Korean Peace Group Letter To UN Secretary-General: “UN Command Stop Using the UN Flag ”

More than 40 Korean as well as international peace organizations have sent an open interrogatory to UN Secretary-General indicating that the use of the UN flag by the so-called “United Nations Command” based in South Korea and Japan is not appropriate. The so-called “UN Command” based in Korea since the Korean War which started in 1950 is a ‘camouflage’ organization made by the United States by distorting the resolutions of the UN Security Council.  In addition, the right to authorize the use of the UN flag by the UN Security Council is also in violation of the UN Flag Code.

Hope For A Breakthrough In Korea

There is hope for some real progress in U.S.-North Korean relations after Sunday morning’s unscheduled meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, largely because Russia and China seem more determined than ever to facilitate forward movement. Sitting down before the talks began, Kim underlined the importance of the meeting.“I hope it can be the foundation for better things that people will not be expecting,” he said. “Our great relationship will provide the magical power with which to overcome hardships and obstacles in the tasks that need to be done from now on.”

Korea: A Brief History Explains Everything

A good starting point for understanding the ongoing conflict between North and South Korea is the agreement between the United States and Japan in 1905, known as the Taft-Katsura Memorandum, which was signed as Japan was defeating Russia in the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. In that document the U.S. agreed to the Japanese colonization of Korea in trade for the American occupation of Hawaii (which the U.S. had annexed in 1898) and the Philippines (which the U.S. had acquired as booty in 1898 at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War). Koreans were not consulted about this arrangement.

Two Koreas Begin Verifying Removal Of DMZ Guard Posts: Defense Ministry

North and South Korea began a mutual on-site verification of the trial withdrawal and disarmament of 22 guard posts (GPs) along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on Wednesday, the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) announced the same day. The verification process follows the completed demolition by November 30 of 10 GPs on either side of the DMZ as part of the two Koreas’ implementation of September’s joint military agreement. Seoul and Pyongyang originally agreed to destroy a total of 22 GPs from the area, but after withdrawing firearms, equipment, and all personnel decided to leave two standing for historic purposes.

Progress Continues On Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered a message on December 1 urging North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to pay a reciprocal visit to Seoul within the year for the promised summit meeting in the capital city of South Korea, which will be historic first for a North Korean leader. “I am certain that if denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean peace are achieved through a reciprocal visit by Chairman Kim Jong-un, all South Koreans will truly welcome that with open arms,” Moon said.

United States Blocks Inter-Korean Railway Project

The UN Command, headed by the United States, refused to allow a South Korean train to travel to North Korea for a joint North-South inspection of railway conditions for the planned inter-Korean railway. The two Koreas had planned for a South Korean train to depart from Seoul Station and travel to Sinuiju at the far northern end of the Gyeongui (Seoul-Sinuiju) railway line in North Korea, with South and North Korea conducting a joint inspection on the North Korean stretch of the line between Kaesong and Sinuiju.

South Korea’s Moon Steers Toward Unity While Wind From Washington Blows In His Face

Seoul, South Korea - South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in marked the anniversary of Korea’s independence from Japanese colonialism with a robust call for the economic integration of North and South Korea as a means to achieve “survival and development” as well as “true liberation” for the long-divided nation. The announcement – which focused on the creation of various joint projects including inter-Korean railway, energy, and economic links – sharply diverges from the United States’ insistence that all pursue a “maximum pressure” strategy to denuclearize the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

On 65th Anniversary Of Korean Truce, Activists Criticize US For Delaying Real Peace

South Korean peace and justice activists have been writing to us complaining that the United States is not responding to the positive steps being taken by North Korea before and after the meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim. Their views show a great divide between the United States and the calls for a permanent peace which includes removal of US troops as just last week the Congress passed a National Defense Authorization Act which forbids removal of US troops from Korea. The activists argue that the temporary halt in war games which practice nuclear and other military attacks on North Korea are insufficient. They want to see movement toward a real peace treaty and, they want US military forces out of Korea, permanently.

Towards Ending The 65 Years Of Armistice: Understanding The Process For Peace In Korea

July 27, 2018 marks the 65th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement which brought about a ceasefire to the Korean War. The agreement was signed by North Korean General Nam Il representing both the Korean People’s Army (KPA) as well as the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) and U.S. Army Lieutenant General Harrison, Jr. representing the United Nations Command (UNC). While the purpose of the agreement was to “ensure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved,” the effect was an unending Korean War with decades of escalating military tension on the Korean Peninsula. And a number of arrangements made on July 27, 1953 have yet to be implemented.

How ‘Deep State’ Stopped A US President From Withdrawing US Troops From Korea

With U.S. President Donald Trump once more touting his desire to withdraw the 28,500 U.S. troops currently stationed in South Korea, it is perhaps worthwhile briefly examining the last time an American president attempted to remove U.S. forces from the Korean Peninsula. U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s was ultimately stopped by congressional obstruction, the Pentagon, and the intelligence community, among others, from implementing a troop withdrawal policy he had repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign in 1976. Put otherwise, and to use 21st century Trumpian parlance: the so-called “deep state” stopped Carter from executing his plans.

Koreans Want Peace But Will US Stick To Trumps Pledges

So Donald Trump and his hawkish right-wing advisors meet with North Korean leaders, and some Democrats and liberals are criticizing what appear to be steps towards peace. What gives? Why is this so confusing? It’s confusing because the American public has been lied to for decades by Republican and Democratic administrations, who have been aided by a massive media cover up. The main players in resolving the Korean situation are not Trump, the Chinese, Russians, nor the Korean politicians. The main players are the masses of Korean people on both sides of the Cold War border that still divides their country. Hundreds of thousands, even millions, of South Koreans have been demonstrating for an end to military threats and warmongering. These huge demonstrations were barely mentioned in the American corporate news media.

Agreement Reached Between North Korea And United States, Meaning?

Perhaps you watched the forced smiles on the faces of President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as they exchanged words with Kim Yong-chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, on the grounds of the White House. Or perhaps you observed how Trump first told the press that he had read the personal letter delivered to him from Kim Jong-un, and then stated a few hours later that he had not even looked at the letter. If you felt sick to your stomach, it is not because of the omelet that you eat for lunch. There is something so grotesque going on in Washington D.C. today that it rivals the institutional decay under Louis XVI or Nicholas II.  Maybe you had solace in the suggestions that Trump might win a Nobel Peace Prize, or you read the editorials suggesting direct parallel between his daring actions and Ronald Reagan reaching out to Mikhail Gorbachev.

Toward A Truly Indigenous Peace In The Korean Peninsula

It’s time that American politicians, both Democratic and Republicans, give Koreans a chance to shape their own destiny. Last month, I took part in an international women’s peace delegation to South Korea, led by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire and Women Cross DMZ founder Christine Ahn. It was my first visit to my native Korea in over 3 years.  Everywhere I went, I witnessed the afterglow of the inspiring candlelight movement that restored democracy to the country, and sensed the deep conviction with which Koreans support the current peace process initiated by President Moon. Our delegation noted in one of its first official statements following its arrival in Korea: “What initiated the Panmunjom Declaration was the completely non-violent and peaceful civil revolution in 2016 that began with orderly marches of demonstration with warm candlelight through the winter.
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