June 15, 2018
Veterans For Peace (VFP) is very moved that the historic US-DPRK summit took place in Singapore on June 12. We welcome the Joint Statement issued from the summit in particular, and congratulate President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un for the successful summit.
The joint statement from the two leaders provides an important roadmap for achieving permanent peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We hope this statement will serve as a great turning point from the hostile relations between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the past 70 years. We urge them to pursue a maximum engagement policy of further talks in good faith, as well as mutual exchanges and cooperation, including a speedy resumption of the joint recovery and repatriation operations of the remains of U.S. soldiers left in North Korea.
It is also encouraging to note that the joint communique states that "President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK." Within hours of signing the Joint Statement, the President surprised many by announcing a suspension of the joint U.S.-ROK (South Korea) "war games," which he called "expensive" and "provocative." We applaud the bold step--much needed for reducing military tensions in Korea—as timely and necessary to pivot the U.S. policy from maximum pressure to maximum engagement. In fact, it is also a just response to the North Korean government's unilateral disarmament steps already taken, including the indefinite freeze on its testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as well as the closing of its underground nuclear test site. In addition, North Korea also released three U.S. detainees recently.
However, this historic summit for peace on the Korean Peninsula is being met with widespread skepticism by the mainstream media, who all seem to be reading from the same misguided talking points. Even more alarming is the outright criticism from many in the Congress, both Democrats and Republicans. Are they more comfortable with a dangerous nuclear standoff and continuing the costly Korean War by wasting our tax money on the unnecessary military buildups?
As a peace organization of mostly U.S. veterans that have advocated for an official end to the Korean War for a long time, we are very pleased to see the positive developments for peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula this year. We are proud of the fact that, from last November, we have worked very hard, along with other U.S. peace groups, in drafting and promoting the People's Peace Treaty with North Korea, which is an open declaration of concerned American people for peace with the North Korean people. It is quite encouraging to see more than 30,000 American people have signed this online treaty so far. This clearly shows that not only Korean people but also American people want to end the Korean War now with a peace treaty.
While we pause to celebrate the Joint Statement from the Singapore summit, we know we have much more work to do in the coming months and years. We will keep our eyes on the prize, remain vigilant, and rise above partisan politics. We also urge our members and American people to call upon our government officials to take the next bold step to negotiate and sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War—the longest U.S. war—officially, as we observe the 65th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement this July.