CALL FOR OLYMPIC TRUCE ACTION:
Diplomacy NOT War
Another war with North Korea would be disastrous. It could easily go nuclear. It should be unthinkable, and there are peaceful diplomatic alternatives.
For South Korea, which would bear the brunt of any conflict with North Korea, there is no military option. As a group of 58 retired US military leaders acknowledge in a letter to Trump, that military action “would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties.” The people of Korea, North and South, the peoples of the region, and Americans all want peace.
The Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, offer a unique moment to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. On a very encouraging note, in November 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for an Olympic Truce, or a cessation of hostilities during the Winter Games, which gained the support of 157 Member States including both Koreas and future hosts of the Olympic Games: Japan, China, France and the United States.
The Olympic Truce represents an important opportunity to defuse tensions and begin the work of reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. The United States should fully support both Korean governments’ current efforts to restore a peace process.
In a very significant development, South Korean President Moon Jae-in has successfully persuaded a reluctant Donald Trump to postpone U.S.-South Korea war drills that would have overlapped with the Olympics. These joint military exercises typically consist of hundreds of thousands of ground troops and such provocative scenarios as “decapitation” raids and simulate nuclear attacks. Delaying them could pave the way for a longer-term “freeze for freeze” deal—a suspension of military exercises for a ban on North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing, and ultimately, an official end to the Korean War by replacing the 1953 Armistice with a permanent peace treaty .
Let’s build on this momentum! We in the United States have a special responsibility to demand diplomacy, not war, with North Korea. An ad hoc network, the Korea Collaboration, calls for weeks of action during the Winter Olympics (February 9 – 25) and Paralympics (March 9 – 18), as well as the broader period of the Olympic Truce (February 2 to March 23). We call on groups and individuals to organize actions or other events in your communities. These could include:
- Teach-ins, webinars, and other types of educational events, supported by fact sheets, articles, videos and podcasts. Korean-American voices need to be front and center.
- Vigils for peace, public protests where appropriate, visibility actions.
- Petition-gathering and support for the People’s Peace Treaty.
- Building Congressional pressure, both in-district and in Washington, DC. Call-in Days, in-district congressional visits, high-level delegations or sign-on letters to Members of Congress calling on them to use the Olympic Truce as an opportunity to stand for diplomacy and continue to suspend U.S.-South Korea war drills, through public statements and support for pro-diplomacy legislation, including asserting Congressional powers over war and peace, and particularly any decision to use nuclear weapons.
- Olympic watch parties — gather friends and family in your home or a community venue to celebrate the Olympics. Add a dollop of Korean culture and cuisine, and call for peace and diplomacy. Invite your local NBC-TV affiliate (the television network of the Olympics) to cover your gathering for the local news. Watch parties can be great social media events as well. Korean-Americans should be the main spokespeople.
- Earned media coverage and social media promotion (utilizing FaceBook and Twitter memes and actions, Thunderclap, Instagram and other platforms) calling for diplomacy and peace. Use the Olympic Truce as a “hook” for Letters to Editor and Op-eds.
- Other engaging and fun, movement-building events around the Winter Olympics. Please share your good ideas.
Endorsers as of 1.19.18
All Souls Nuclear Disarmament Task Force
American Friends Service Committee
Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Article 9 Canada
Beyond the Bomb
Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Charter for Compassion
Chicago Area Peace Action
City of Cape Town
Coalition for Peace Action, New Jersey
Committee for Peace and Human Rights
Diplomacy not War
Ecumenical Peace Institute/Clergy And Laity Concerned
End the Wars Committee of Peace Action WI
Fellowship of Reconciliation/USA
Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
Greater New Haven Peace Council
Historians for Peace and Democracy
Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project.
Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
Lehigh- Pocono Committee of Concern (LEPOCO Peace Center)
Maine Peace Fund
Maryland United for Peace and Justice
Maryland Peace Action Network
The North Carolina Council of Churches
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Pax Christi USA
Peace Action Massachusetts
Peace Action New Jersey
Peace Action New York State
Peace Action North Carolina
Peace Action San Mateo County, CA
Peace Day Asheville
Peace, Justice, Sustainability Florida
PeaceWorks of Greater Brunswick
People Demanding Action
Powir, People’s Opposition to War, Imperialism and Racism, South Florida
San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace
Oregon Peace Institute
United for Peace and Justice
United for Justice with Peace, Boston
US Peace Council
Veterans For Peace
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 9, Smedley D.Butler Brigade
War Prevention Initiative
Western States Legal Foundation
Win Without War
WNC 4 Peace, Asheville, NC
Women’s Action for New Directions
Women Against Military Madness
Women Against War
World Beyond War
Andrea LeBlanc, September 11th Families for Peaceful tomorrows
John Cavanagh, Director, Institute for Policy Studies
Daniel Ellsberg, author, activist and former nuclear war planner
Michael Eisenscher, USLAW
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History, American University
David McReynolds, former Chair, War Resisters International
Dr. Robert A. Scott, President Emeritus, Adelphi University
Oliver Stone, filmmaker