News Release

* Korea Armistice “Dead” * Why Military Exercises?

FRANCIS BOYLE, [email]
Boyle is a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and author of Tackling America’s Toughest Questions. The New York Times wrote on Friday “The North said this week that it considered the 1953 armistice agreement that halted the Korean War to be null and void as of Monday because of the joint military exercises. The North has threatened to terminate that agreement before, but American and South Korean military officials pointed out that legally, no party armistice can unilaterally terminate or alter its terms.”

Boyle said today: “Nonsense. An armistice agreement is governed by the laws of war and the state of war still remains in effect despite the armistice agreement, even if the armistice text itself says additions have to be mutually agreed upon by the parties. Termination is not an addition. Under the U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10 and the Hague Regulations, the only requirement for termination of the Korean War Armistice Agreement is suitable notice so as to avoid the charge of ‘perfidy.’ North Korea has given that notice. The armistice is dead.” See Army Field Manual: “In case it [the armistice] is indefinite, a belligerent may resume operations at any time after notice.”

CHRISTINE HONG, [email]
Professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Hong recently co-wrote “Lurching Towards War: A Post-Mortem on Strategic Patience.”

Hong said today: “The military exercises that the U.S. and South Korea just launched are not defensive exercises. As of last year, in the wake of Kim Jong Il’s death, they escalated in size, duration, and content, enacting regime change scenarios toward North Korea. The North Korean government continually refers to these war games as being extremely provocative.

“The Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’ policy toward North Korea boils down to non-engagement at the same time that it implemented its forward-deployed ‘Asia pivot’ policy, which has the U.S. concentrating its military resources in East Asia. The goal is to contain China. In retrospect, Bush made more diplomatic overtures to North Korea than Obama.

“People in the U.S. need to understand that the 1953 armistice agreement called for talks to begin three months after its signing regarding the peaceful settlement of the Korean War and withdrawal of all foreign troops. Chinese troops left soon after. U.S. troops remain six decades later, and the Korean War has never ended.

“In Korean culture, 60 years represents one life cycle. We’ve had a full life cycle of war so Korean activists are dubbing 2013 “Year one of peace.” Hong was recently interviewed on FAIR’s radio program CounterSpin.