News Release

How to Reduce Threat of Nuclear War with North Korea

CHRISTINE AHN, christineahn at mac.com, @christineahn
Founder of Women Cross DMZ, Ahn was part of the Vancouver Women’s Forum on Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula as the Vancouver Summit on Korea was meeting. Ahn, who is based in Hawaii, recently wrote the piece “In North Korea talks, Tillerson needs women at the negotiating table” for The Hill.

Her group put out a statement on the Vancouver Summit on Korea: “Instead of supporting the reduction of tensions in the Korean peninsula that began with the inter-Korean dialogue and the Olympics truce, the foreign ministers chose to further isolate and threaten North Korea.

“We urged foreign ministers to prepare the table for dialogue with North Korea. Instead, they chose to obstruct the path for peace being laid by North and South Korea.

“The U.S.-led ‘maximum pressure’ approach has utterly failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. Seventy years of sanctions and isolation of North Korea have only furthered the DPRK’s resolve to develop its nuclear arsenal.

“A maximum pressure campaign is not diplomacy that will lead to peace. Increased sanctions hurt ordinary people.

“Secretary Tillerson’s depiction [Tuesday] of commercial airline flights as potential targets of North Korea’s missile tests is reminiscent of Colin Powell’s UN presentation about Iraq’s ‘so-called’ weapons of mass destruction. This provocative effort to demonize North Korea sets up justification for even more extreme measures against DPRK, such as a naval blockade, which will be viewed by North Koreans as a war-like action.”

The Nuclear Posture Review was recently leaked. The New York Times reports: “Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms.”

ALICE SLATER, alicejslater at gmail.com
Slater is the New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War. In July, she wrote the piece “Democracy Breaks Out at the UN as 122 Nations Vote to Ban the Bomb” for The Nation.

She said today: “People should know that North Korea was the only nuclear weapons state to vote FOR negotiations to go forward on the recent nuclear ban treaty at the UN last fall.” The U.S. government lead the effort, that also consisted of other nuclear weapons states and NATO members, to try to stop the ban.

Slater cites a series of U.S. government actions to maintain its nuclear threat: “Regan rejected Gorbachev’s offer to totally eliminate the U.S. and Soviet nuclear arsenals in return for an end to the space race. William Clinton also rejected Vladimir Putin’s offer to cut our arsenals of 16,000 nuclear weapons to 1,000 and call the other seven nuclear weapons states to negotiate a treaty to eliminate this scourge, provided we didn’t place anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe, a condition Clinton rejected. In 2008 and 2015, the U.S. blocked negotiations on a treaty proposed by Russia and China in the consensus-bound UN Committee for Disarmament to ban weapons in space, an agreement which would give Russia the ‘strategic stability’ it demands in order to proceed with nuclear abolition.”