With the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula at a high state,
the South Korean people are nervously awaiting the ROK-US summit.
President Yoon is state visiting the United States from 24 to 30 April. In particular, on 26 April, the ROK-US summit will take place. In addition to commemorating the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US Alliance, the strengthening of the extended deterrence commitments, economic security cooperation, cooperation in high-tech fields, support for exchanges between future generations, and cooperation on global issues are expected to be high on the agenda.
Ahead of the summit, <Korea Peace Appeal> held a press conference <The ROK-US Summit: South Koreans Concerned About Another Diplomatic Incident> on 25 April in front of the Yongsan Presidential Office. We worry that President Yoon's hardline policy on North Korea, which emphasizes only "strength" and "military power," his policy of giving up sovereignty and aligning with the US while ignoring balanced relations with neighboring countries, the diplomatic disaster with Japan will be even more permanently set at an irreparable level.
What the leaders of the United States and South Korea need to do now is to find a realistic solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. We must reduce the heightened military tensions. We have not authorized President Yoon to 'go to war'.
☮️ We want peace.
Korea Peace Appeal Campaign Press Conference
25 April 2023, Tuesday, in front of the Yongsan Presidential Office
This upcoming 26 April, South Korea and the United States will hold a summit in Washington. In addition to commemorating the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US Alliance, it seems that the visit will highlight the strengthening of the extended deterrence commitments, economic security cooperation, cooperation in high-tech fields, support for exchanges between future generations, and cooperation on global issues.
However, the people of South Korea feel uneasy about the ROK-US Summit. We are concerned about the overwhelming side effects that could happen after Yoon’s state visit to the United States. We worry that President Yoon's hardline policy on North Korea, which emphasizes only "strength" and "military power," his policy of giving up sovereignty and aligning with the US while ignoring balanced relations with neighboring countries, the diplomatic disaster with Japan, which ignored all important pending issues between the two countries for the sake of the ROK-Japan and ROK-US-Japan military cooperation demanded by the US, will be even more permanently set at an irreparable level without social consensus or sufficient public debate.
President Yoon's trip to the United States is starting on the wrong foot. The Yoon government has yet to formally protest the alleged wiretapping of the South Korean National Security Office by US intelligence authorities or even attempt to get to the bottom of it. Instead, they rushed to justify the US leak by saying there was “no malicious intent.” If the US has been wiretapping the South Korean government, the summit is virtually meaningless. This is because a reciprocal conversation or negotiation is impossible in the first place. To get the public to agree to the outcome of the summit, there needs to be convincing action, such as a formal protest of US wiretapping, a government-wide investigation, and congressional hearings.
Regarding the lethal weapons support for Ukraine mentioned in the leaked documents, Yoon publicly mentioned the possibility of such support ahead of the ROK-US summit, causing a great deal of controversy in South Korea as well as in the countries involved. Although there is a condition, it is being interpreted as an excuse for complying with the US request. There are also indications that South Korea is diverting artillery shells to Ukraine via the United States and Poland. Providing arms to a country at war is a very serious matter that cannot be left up to the president. Military intervention only creates a vicious cycle of hostility and violence. In addition, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol's remarks about Taiwan as a "global issue" led to a strong protest from the Chinese government, which froze relations between South Korea and China. We do not know what the outcome of the summit will be, given the series of issues that have emerged in recent days. Any attempt to involve South Korea in conflict must be stopped.
The ‘economic security cooperation’ that the summit is supposed to embody is also being criticized as nothing more than a US-first economic policy. The Yoon government must make it clear who the security is for and what the cooperation is for. It is unacceptable to make unilateral sacrifices and concessions of peace, cooperation with our neighboring countries, and reciprocal trade and commerce in the name of 'security' or 'shared values'.
Above all, the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula is at an unprecedented high. A vicious cycle of armed demonstrations, including large-scale ROK-US Combined Military Exercises and North Korean missile tests, is leading to a head-to-head confrontation with no way out. With all channels of communication between the two Koreas cut off, the likelihood of an accidental armed conflict is very high. Among them, ‘enhancing the quality of the ROK-US extended deterrence commitments’ has been heralded as a key agenda item for the summit, and the so-called, ‘Korean nuclear umbrella’, is reportedly being discussed as a summit agreement. If the two countries once again adopt a hardline stance and military buildup against North Korea, the situation on the Korean Peninsula will plunge into a deeper crisis. It has already been proven that ‘peace through power’ does not bring peace but only creates a vicious cycle of war risk and a nuclear arms race. This year marks not only the 70th anniversary of the ROK-US Military Alliance but also the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. After 70 years of an unstable cease-fire, the two Koreas are now on the brink of an extreme confrontation where it is unclear if even a tentative truce will hold.
What the leaders of the United States and South Korea need to do now is to find a realistic solution for peace on the Korean Peninsula. We must reduce the heightened military tensions. Now is the time to focus on the ‘prevention’ of armed conflict, not ‘deterrence’. Strengthening a military strategy that relies on the US nuclear deterrent will only increase the risk of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. The ROK-US-Japan Military Cooperation, which would deepen Cold War structures and factional confrontation in East Asia, must also be halted. With the formation of a confrontation between ROK-US-Japan and DPRK-China-Russia, it is more likely that a military confrontation over the Korean Peninsula could escalate against the will of the South Korean people or turn into an uncontrollable crisis. All military threats that escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in East Asia must cease immediately. We strongly urge the leaders of the United States and South Korea to engage in forward-looking discussions and decisions for peace on the Korean Peninsula, based on a serious awareness of the current war crisis.
We have not authorized President Yoon to 'go to war'. We cannot agree to any agreement between South Korea and the United States that would raise the risk of armed conflict and endanger everyone.
We want peace.
25 April 2023
From Korea Peace Appeal
Click here for the Korean Version
☮️ Signature Campaign to End the Korean War
Sign the Korea Peace Appeal Now 👉🏻 endthekoreanwar.net