- Barack ObamaPresident of the United States
- John Kerry (Secretary of State)Secretary of State
End the Korean War
Today, the Korean War remains the longest ongoing U.S. military conflict. The time is right to recognize the human costs of the ongoing Korean War, which was never settled with a peace treaty. At a time when many Americans struggle to pay their bills, vital U.S. dollars are directed into further militarizing the Korean peninsula. The Korean peninsula remains tragically divided, and millions of Korean and Korean American families remain separated from their loved ones. We must honor them and all those who fought in the war by replacing hostilities with genuine peace within their lifetimes.
- United States Secretary of State
- President of the United States
- Secretary of State
John Kerry (Secretary of State)
Today, the Korean War remains the longest ongoing military conflict in U.S. history. Yet this “Forgotten War” continues in profoundly damaging ways—in the form of threats of mutual destruction, periodic flare-ups that verge on war, and a massive build-up of armaments. The United States and North Korea remain technically at war. Early in 2013, military tensions on the Korean peninsula dangerously escalated close to collision. General James Thurman, the top U.S. commander in South Korea, admitted that even a “miscalculation,” on either the U.S.-South Korea side or the North Korea side, could cause “a kinetic provocation” with predictably devastating results for millions who live on the peninsula.
July 27, 2013 marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that temporarily halted the active combat of the Korean War. According to the preamble to the 1953 Armistice Agreement, which was signed by the United States, North Korea, and China, its ultimate purpose was to stop “the Korean conflict, with its great toil of suffering and bloodshed on both sides, and…[to] insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peace settlement is achieved.” This agreement directed all parties to convene a conference within three months of the signing to negotiate a “peace settlement of the Korean question.” Yet a full lifetime of war has since passed.
Sixty years later, the United States spends billions of dollars per year to maintain its military presence in South Korea. At a time when many Americans struggle to pay their bills, vital U.S. dollars are directed into further militarizing the Korean peninsula. Moreover, the Korean peninsula remains tragically divided, and millions of Korean and Korean American families remain separated from their loved ones. Korean Americans who were direct witness to the war’s devastation are now reaching their seventies and eighties (see video clip at http://www.mufilms.org/films/memory-of-forgotten-war/#.Unm4P2OxP58).
The time is right to recognize the human costs of ongoing war and to offer genuine hope to Korean Americans who yearn for a long overdue and humane end to this war. We must honor them and all those who fought in the war, including our own Korean War veterans, by replacing hostilities with genuine peace within their lifetimes. A peace accord, in this second term of your presidency, would help to ensure a legacy of true peace on the Korean peninsula.
President Obama, it is time to end the Korean War and to support a process toward genuine peace and reconciliation. Peace negotiations between the United States, North Korea, and all relevant parties are the only sustainable way forward.
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