A South Korean civilian peace delegation of 17 people visited New York City and Washington, D.C. to meet U.S. peace groups recently, and both groups jointly held an International Conference for Korea Peace at the UN Church Center in NYC on Oct. 26.
The U.S. peace groups attending the Conference included Peace Action, VFP, World BEYOND War, Pax Christi International, etc. Major topic of the Conference was to exchange views on the current impasse in the U.S.-DPRK talks. The keynote speaker for the Korean delegation was Changbok Lee, the Chair of 6.15 National Committee of South Korea. The keynote speaker from the U.S. side was David Swanson, who serves as the Executive Director of the World BEYOND War and also on the Advisory Board of the VFP.
Mr. Lee stated that the South Korean civilian peace delegation visited the U.S. at this critical time for peace in Korea to convey the majority voice of the South Korean people to the American people. He emphasized the importance of respecting the desires and self-determination of the Korean people by the international community.
In particular, he mentioned five major points that the South Korean peace groups are advocating at this time. They are as follows:
- The June 12 Singapore Declaration from the first U.S,-North Korea Summit, which is an important blueprint for peace in Korea, should be sincerely implemented by all sides;
- The U.S. should fully carry out President Trump's open pledge to stop all U.S.-ROK joint war drills against North Korea;
- It is about time to suspend or lift the draconian sanctions on North Korea in order to encourage the North to take further nuclear disarmament measures;
- The U.S. and UN should respect the bilateral agreements of the two Korean governments and allow the inter-Korean economic cooperation and reconciliation projects to move forward; and
- The best step for implementing the Singapore Joint Declaration is to end the Korean War officially with a peace treaty first.
(Reported by John Kim, Coordinator, the VFP-Korea Peace Campaign)