News Release

Korean Americans Weigh in on Summit

The U.S.-North Korea summit is scheduled to be held in Singapore on June 12. For other upcoming events, see accuracy.org/calendar.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in “Democrats Childishly Resist Trump’s North Korea Efforts” about a letter from Sens. Chuck Schumer, Sherrod Brown, Richard Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Robert Menendez and Mark Warner. Kristof writes they “are on the same side as National Security Adviser John Bolton, quietly subverting attempts to pursue peace.”

For timely updates, see @accuracy Twitter list on Korea.

HYUN LEE, hyunlee70 at gmail.com
CHRISTINE HONG, cjhong at ucsc.edu
Scores of Korean American and allied organizations just released a “Statement of Unity on the Upcoming U.S.-North Korea Summit.” Lee is managing editor of Zoom in Korea; Hong is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute.

They helped organize the statement: “Since the historic April 27 summit between the leaders of North and South Korea at Panmunjom, longstanding tensions and war threats on the Korean peninsula have given way to the promise of peace and reconciliation. Soon, another historic summit, between the United States and North Korea, will take place in Singapore. The two parties, which not too long ago were on the brink of war, will finally sit down to discuss a peaceful settlement to the Korean War. All eyes of the world will be on this momentous event, which could determine not only the fate of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia but also the prospect of global peace. …

“Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means not only eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons but also denuclearizing the land, air, and seas of the entire peninsula. This is not North Korea’s obligation alone. South Korea and the United States, which has in the past introduced and deployed close to one thousand tactical nuclear weapons in the southern half of the peninsula, also need to take concrete steps to create a nuclear-free peninsula. …

“Genuine peace on the Korean peninsula, which has housed nuclear weapons in both the North and the South and has been the site of acute military tensions for decades, should set a historic precedent and lead to global nuclear disarmament. Starting with the United States, all nuclear powers should take concrete steps to create a nuclear-free world. …

“The United States and North Korea should take immediate mutual steps to prevent military conflict and alleviate tensions. They should establish and maintain a military hotline and communications channel and halt all military exercises and other provocative actions. The United States should withdraw the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. And in step with North and South Korea, which have agreed to ‘carry out disarmament in a phased manner’ in the Panmunjom Declaration, U.S. Forces in Korea should take corresponding measures to reduce its troops. …

“Past negotiations between the United States and North Korea have yielded meaningful moments of cooperation. … However, none of these agreements were implemented. As a result, mistrust between the United States and North Korea only deepened and ultimately led us to the brink of nuclear war. With each change in administration in the United States, hard-won agreements made by the previous administration were essentially scrapped as the incoming administration adopted a default anti-North Korea posture. In light of this history, we have concerns about whether an agreement produced by the upcoming U.S.-North Korea summit will actually be honored by the current and future administrations. Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal underscores this concern.”