women and peace


Mutual Trust between North Korea and the U.S is the Way to Achieve Nuclear Disarmament in North Korea

In February 2005, North Korea (DPRK) declared that it has nuclear weapons.
The following statement from Women Making Peace, the leading women's peace group in South Korea, was sent to us by
Gyung-Lan Jung, Director, Center for Peaceful Future of Korea, Women Making Peace.

Korean women’s voice for peace on the Korean peninsula

1. Korean women, who have been hoping to see Korea become a land of peace, without war and weapons, and who have long worked for the peaceful reunification of Korea, are very concerned about the declaration that North Korea has nuclear weapons. 2005 is the 60th year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the screams of the victims still ring in our memory. We cannot accept the existence of nuclear weapons, which are fundamentally against life and peace.

2. It has been our strong position that the nuclear weapons states including the U.S. should dismantle all their nuclear weapons, and we do not believe a North Korean nuclear weapon can help in resolving the Korean nuclear problem. North Korean nuclear weapons could bring about a nuclear domino situation in neighboring countries, strengthen Japanese remilitarization, cause an arms race and aggravate tensions in Northeast Asia. If North Korea, according to its statement, does possess nuclear weapons, it must dismantle them for the “denuclearization of the Korea Peninsula.”

3. At the same time, however, for actual resolution of North Korea’s nuclear issue, we should pay attention to the background of its declaration of nuclear weapons possession. North Korea considers the Bush administration's policy as designed “to antagonize, isolate and stifle the DPRK,” and is very worried about “regime change.” We understand that North Korea considers nuclear weapons a means of self-defense, and views its possession of nuclear weapons as a self-defense measure, a position stemming from its security anxiety over the US’s hard-line policy. We should also pay attention to the parts of the DPRK statement that affirm the principles of dialogue and negotiation as the way to solve the issue, and that clarify the ultimate goal to be denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

4. We therefore oppose any economic sanctions or military attack against North Korea in retaliation for its declaration of possession of nuclear weapons. Such methods will strengthen tensions and insecurity and elevate the risk of war. The North Korean nuclear issue absolutely must be resolved through peaceful and cooperative methods. The key to resolving the nuclear problem is to create an environment of mutual trust in which there is no longer a need for nuclear weapons. The most important element is “trust”; if there is no trust, complete verification will be impossible and it will take a long time to solve the problem. It is also important to have a new environment in which nuclear weapons are irrelevant and unneeded.

5. The US needs to talk with North Korea directly, as soon as possible, to solve the DPRK’s anxieties over its security. The US pressure on North Korea - through such actions as its labeling of the North as an “outpost of tyranny,” the US Congress’ passage of the “North Korean Human Rights Act,” and the ''Proliferation Security Initiative”--should be stopped. To build trust between North Korea and the US, both countries need to agree upon a comprehensive package deal for simultaneous dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program and US compensation to North Korea.

6. As representative of the southern part of the peninsula’s “community of destiny,” the South Korean government should play a more independent and active role. From the long-term view of peace building and reunification of the Korean peninsula, the South needs to fulfill its duty of comprehensive and substantive economic assistance to the North, and to create the circumstances that will assure the security of North Korea.

7. We women of South Korea, in this “60th year of liberation” and “60th year of division” of Korea, will work to advance inter-Korean cooperation and exchanges, and to build support among the people of Korea and the international community for peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.

We believe that our determined efforts for peace are the way to overcome the pain of division and war, to put an end to the cold war legacy, and to realize a Korean peninsula where peace and reconciliation prevail. We ask the support of the international community to make this hope come true.

February 14, 2005

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