Urge Senators: End Sanctions, Negotiate Peace With North Korea

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On July 12, 2017, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced legislation, called the BRINK Act, to increase sanctions against North Korea (DPRK). This time they are targeting banks and companies that do business with North Korea, including businesses in China. The sanctions are in response to unproven allegations that North Korea has the capability of reaching the United States with a missile. In fact, Russia sent information to the United Nations after North Korea tested a missile on July 4, 2017, showing that it was a mid-range, and not an inter-continental, missile.

Sanctions will escalate tension with North Korea, as well as China and China’s close ally, Russia. Rather than punishment and threats, which have created insecurity that has predictably led to North Korea building weapons to protect itself, US policy should be seeking de-escalation, reduction of tensions and stability in the region. President Moon, the new president of South Korea, has called for a sunshine policy with North Korea and developing an economic relationship.

We urge our Senators to rethink this approach and take a constructive approach to dealing with North Korea. This “more of the same” strategy misses a tremendous opportunity to transform the relationship with North Korea. President Moon wants constructive engagement with North Korea, including building economic ties. Below are a series of steps the US should be taking to reduce tensions with North Korea and create security in the region.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA AND TO NEGOTIATE PEACE. Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202 224 3121.

China has urged negotiations between North Korea and the United States. Their suggestion has been that the US stop its aggressive war games, which include sending B-52 nuclear bombers to practice dropping nuclear bombs on North Korea. In return, China suggests North Korea would stop its development of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) and nuclear weapons. North Korea offered similar negotiations before major US war games of mock attacks by the US and South Korea.

Instead, the United States and South Korea have continued to simulate nuclear attacks and ‘decapitation’ drills to assassinate the North Korean leadership. This week President Trump sent B-1 Lancerbombers capable of delivering nuclear weapons, releasing inert bombs near the North Korean border.  These actions are driving North Korea to develop ICBM nuclear missiles in order to protect itself from the United States.

The United States is currently building a missile defense system in South Korea, the Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense (THAAD), which is being protested by South Koreans and which President Moon believes should be reconsidered. China describes THAAD as destabilizing the region. This comes after the United States forced the construction of a new base on Jeju Island, an environmentally-sensitive region in South Korea. This was also protested daily by the residents, including local elected officials.

The history of US aggression toward North Korea is significant. During the Korean War, the country was carpet-bombed by the US killing millions of people. That war has not officially ended. It is reasonable that North Korean leadership would be concerned about further US attacks.

Diplomacy with North Korea was successful under President Bill Clinton who negotiated economic-food aid in return for stopping nuclear weapon development. This agreement succeeded until President Bush violated the agreement in 2002.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA AND TO NEGOTIATE PEACE. Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202 224 3121.

Popular Resistance urges negotiations with North Korea to reduce tensions. Some of the goals of negotiations should include:

  1. The US agrees to stop war games including practice nuclear attacks on North Korea. In return, North Korea stops development of ICBM’s and nuclear weapons.
  2. The US and North Korea negotiate a peace treaty finally ending the Korean War. Currently there is only an armistice, which is merely a suspension of fighting or a truce.
  3. The US allows South Korea to pursue its “sunshine policy” with North Korea, including opening up an economic relationship between the two nations.
  4. The US lifts sanctions and negotiates trade for essential goods, e.g. food and medicine with North Korea.
  5. The US allows South Korea to reconsider the THAAD missile system and if they decide the system should be removed, the US agrees to do so.

These steps would transform the current relationship with North Korea. They would reduce tensions and insecurities in North Korea, decrease their need to develop ICBM’s with nuclear weapons and bring them into the community of nations. These steps will also decrease insecurity from the threat of an ICBM being used to deploy a nuclear bomb in the United States.

The United States must understand that we are now living in a multipolar world and we would do well to listen to China and Russia’s call for negotiations instead of continued escalation of tensions, which is leading to insecurity in both the United States and North Korea.

CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO OPPOSE MORE SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA AND TO NEGOTIATE PEACE. Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202 224 3121.