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Global legislators push for diplomatic solution to North Korea threats PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Posted by Joan Russow
Thursday, 10 August 2017 10:06

by Alan Ware UN Foldzero

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'The increasing tensions and threat of military conflict over North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities makes a diplomatic solution of vital importance and highest priority,' according to Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator for Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (PNND).

'The risk of war, and even the use of nuclear weapons by miscalculation or accident, is increasing. It won't be quelled by threats and counter threats from North Korea, USA, Japan, or South Korea.'

'Legislators from the United States, Japan, South Korea and around the world recognise this threat and are responding with various calls for diplomacy and proposals for diplomatic solutions.'
 

64 members of US Congress call for diplomacy


In the United States, 64 members of the US House of Representatives have endorsed a letter to President Trump led by PNND members  John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Congressman Jim McGovern, reminding the President that military strikes without Congressional approval would violate the Constitution, and urging him to follow a diplomatic approach. 

The 64 signers represent the 64 years since the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, putting a halt to the fighting but not officially ending the Korean War or resolving the underlying conflicts.

As someone who has watched this conflict evolve since I was sent to Korea as a young Army Lieutenant, it is a reckless, inexperienced move to threaten military action that could end in devastation instead of pursuing vigorous diplomacy.” said Conyers, one of two remaining Korean War Veterans serving in Congress.

“As a daughter of a veteran of the Korean War and a member of the Military and Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee,  I will continue to demand that  President Trump provide Congress with a comprehensive strategy for deterring North Korea <that puts diplomacy and non-military strategies first,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

(See Appeal by 64 US Congress Members for diplomacy in Korea).

Legislators call for a NE Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone


In May 2010, a cross-party group of parliamentarians from Japan and South Korea proposed the negotiation of a North East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as a solution to the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. The group included a number of former Foreign Ministers as we as the current Foreign Minister Taro Kono, a Co-President of PNND at the time.

The group believed that a NE Asia NWFZ would be a more feasible approach than calling for North Korea to unilaterally give up its nuclear option. Informal discussions with North Korean parliamentarians and diplomats since then gives some reason to believe that they are correct in this analysis.

Katsyua Okada, one of the former Foreign Ministers who endorsed the 2010 proposal, has released a Model NE Asia NWFZ treaty based on the 3+3 model pioneered by Dr Hiromichi Umebayashi. This model would require North Korea, Japan and South Korea to agree not to possess nuclear weapons, station them on their territory, or threaten each other with nuclear weapons. The model would also require China, Russia and the United States to commit not to threaten or use nuclear weapons against Japan, South Korea or North Korea.

Dr Umebayashi will in September this year receive the international Nuclear Free Future Award in recognition primarily of the potential of his 3+3 NE Asia NWFZ to help resolve the nuclear crisis in the region.

“I am very pleased to receive the award for my efforts, especially for establishing a Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, but I think I should be modest because establishing such zone is an on-going endeavor being tackled by many players. I do hope this award will help strengthen people’s power as a whole toward that goal.”
 

Japanese cities and religious leaders support the NE Asian NWFZ proposal


On August 9, 2017, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, called on the Japanese government to examine the NE Asia NWFZ as a possible solution to the growing nuclear crisis. The call was made in the Nagasaki Declaration, presented by Mayor Taue at the annual event commemorating the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki. 

Mayor Taue is one of 545 Japanese heads of cities and 126 Japanese religious leaders who have given their support for the NE Asian NWFZ proposal. 
 


A number of US policy experts support the concept of a NE Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, including Morten Halperin, a high-level policy official in the Johnson, Nixon and Clinton administrations. See Promoting Security in Northeast Asia: A New Approach by Morton H. Halperin). 

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 August 2017 01:42
 

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