Today, as we, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea, stand with the people of Korea, we are reminded of the profound human toll of the unending Korean War. On the 60th anniversary of the armistice, the “peaceful solution” called for in Article 60, Section 4 of the July 27, 1953 Armistice Agreement has yet to be realized. Even as the wounds from the war remain unhealed, the unending war on the Korean peninsula continues to reproduce and augment conflicts in the Asia Pacific, with Korea as the clash point between continental and oceanic powers.
It is clear to us that the Armistice system does not guarantee peace and stability. Indeed, we are especially concerned that the bilateral and multilateral channels necessary for diplomatic dialogue, which we see as essential to ending the Korean War and establishing a peace regime on the peninsula, have been prematurely closed. It is also clear to us that the United States bears primary responsibility for this outcome. It has seriously undermined the global nonproliferation regime by flexing its nuclear might and buttressing its missile defense, all the while conducting massive joint war games with and selling advanced weapons systems to its allies in the Asia Pacific region, with North Korea as the ostensible primary target.
In response, North Korea continues to develop its own nuclear weapons program. The resulting cycle of war preparations, belligerent politics, and intermittent clashes, has exacted a heavy toll on life and resources and has grievously compromised human security. This is true for North Koreans who have borne the brunt of U.S. and UN sanctions as well as for South Koreans who know all too well the costs of the national security state. It is also true for Americans, who pay a steep price for the U.S. permanent war footing in Korea and elsewhere around the globe.
As scholars and researchers largely based in North America, we, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea, call for an end to the ongoing military hostilities, belligerent politics and escalating arms race on the Korean peninsula, and for a new U.S. policy towards Korea. The Korean peninsula should no longer be a target of nuclear threats and military exercises, but a genuine site of peace.
We join with others in Korea and throughout the Asia Pacific region to make the year 2013, the 60th year of the Armistice, a breakthrough year by creating the conditions for the signing of a peace agreement that will at long last bring the Korean War to an end.