June 25, 2018

Reduction of Tensions in the Korean Peninsula

Tension-reducing developments in the Korean Peninsula following the US-DPRK Summit:

1) Suspension of joint US-South Korea military exercises
2) Return of remains of Korean War-era US war dead in North Korea
3) Suggestion of demilitarizing the DMZ ...
4) Talks of moving North Korean artillerary installations away from the front.
5) Cancellation of anti-US rally in Pyongyang
6) Work underway to link railway between the two sides of Korea
7) Possible performance by North Korean musical group in Washington, DC in the fall

June 20, 2018

Korea Peace Advocacy Days

More than 60 activists from 20 states gathered in DC for Korea peace advocacy days, sponsored by the Korea Peace Network, composed of U.S. peace organizations and Korean American civic organizations — on the day of the US-DPRK Summit in Singapore, a potential breakthrough in relations between the US and North Korea. 

Activists held a day-long conference at the United Methodist Building on June 11,highlighted by a keynote speech by Congressman Ro Khanner. The group held a peace vigil in front of the White House, just few hours before the start of the Summit. Then on June 12, the participants visited the Congress to advocate for the peace process in the Korean Peninsula

June 7, 2018

Korean Americans Call for Genuine Peace Ahead of Kim-Trump Summit


Ahead of the much-anticipated U.S.-North Korea summit scheduled to take place on June 12, Korean Americans are speaking out for an end to “seven decades of hostile relations” between the two countries and a “new era of peace.”

Joined by civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. and renowned social critic Noam Chomsky, 153 organizations across the United States and around the world released a joint statement today calling for a formal end to the Korean War and replacing the 1953 armistice with a permanent peace treaty to move towards establishing normal relations between the two countries.

HK Suh, Vice President of the National Association of Korean Americans, one of the forty-six Korean American organizations that initiated the joint statement, said, “Korean Americans want genuine peace on the Korean peninsula. The unresolved status of the Korean War has been at the root of the U.S.-North Korea conflict. It is our hope that when the leaders of the United States and North Korea meet in Singapore, they will pledge to sign a peace treaty and normalize relations.”

Christine Hong, of the Korea Policy Institute said, "North Korea has paved the way for this peace process to unfold, including by releasing three Korean Americans imprisoned for hostile acts in North Korea and dismantling its nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri. The time is ripe for Donald Trump to meet positive action with positive action, with the goal of creating a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and thereby setting a historic precedent for global disarmament."

Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., who endorsed the joint statement, said, “We are on the brink of resolving a seven-decade old conflict that almost turned into a nuclear war. Leaders in Washington should put aside partisan interests in the historic interest of global peace and resolve to support a peace agreement that will lead to a unified Korea and normalized relations between the United States and North Korea.”

The full text of the “Statement of Unity by Korean Americans and Allies on the Historic Inter-Korean Summit and the Upcoming U.S.-North Korea Summit” and list of endorsers can be viewed here: http://www.zoominkorea.org/statement-of-unity-on-the-upcoming-u-s-north-korea-summit/

May 1, 2018

Fast Progress on Inter-Korean Thaw After the Summit

Fast progress on inter-Korean thaw after the summit:

1) Dismantling of provocative border propaganda speakers
2) Synchronizing time zone for the two sides of Korea -- benefitting upcoming inter-Korea exchanges and commerce
3) Working towards linking railway between the two sides, enabling future continous land trip from South Korea to Europe.
4) Talks of multiple unfied sports teams at the upcoming Asian Games
5) Talks of reviving inter-Korean liason/business office at the Kaesung industrial complex
6) Working to arrange reunion of separated families during the August 15 Libereation Day period
7) Upcoming high-level military talks to reduce military tension, including making the contested and volatile sea border area in the West Sea as "peace zone" for mutual fishing activities

And ---
-- Unprecedented 80% approval rating for President Moon after the summit
-- Extensive and transparent coverage of the summit in the North Korean state media
-- Big sigh of relief for Koreans, especially those living close to the border

The Breakthrough Moon-Kim Summit

A picture speaks a thousand words .... Remarkable photo, among many, of the historic inter-Korean summit that took place at the Panmunjeom/Demilitarized Zone, symbolizing the will of the two sides of Korea to officially end the Korean War and to propel towards a long-lasting peace settlement in the peninsula.

The border crossings at the Panmunjeom reminds of the famous words "Whose land is this, if Koreans cannot move back and forth [between the south and the north] in their own land?" -- popularized after the artificial division of Korea after the World War II.

Now, Koreans have taken the bold initiative in formally ending the Korean War and breaking down barriers to a lasting peace settlement.

In normal times, all those wishing to cross the border line at the Panmunjeom need to get permission from the US commander in charge of the nominal Korean War-era UN Command role. The two Korean heads of state ignored that archaic protocol by casually stepping back and forth on the border line. In fact, during the summit, no US soldiers were in sight at the Panmunjeom.

Koreans have taken ownership of the narrative of their own future. The world should respect that and ensure that true peace prevails in the Korean Peninsula.

April 2, 2018

Spring Thaw in the Korean Peninsula

Spring thaw brings a flurry of activities in the Korean Peninsula -- South Korean musicians and tae kwon do athletes performed in Pyongyang in good will cultural exchanges in the midst of renewed inter-Korean rapprochement, while Kim Jong-un chats with South Korea's K-Pop stars and explores further summit with Russia and Japan, all while the US-South Korea military exercises are taking place in and around South Korea. The third inter-Korean summit is taking place on April 27, followed by first-ever US-DPRK summit in May. Hope a lasting peace and security for all will come out of all these developments.

February 22, 2018

Renewing Thaw in the Korean Peninsula

Ten years have passed since the last thaw in inter-Korean relations, brought about by the "sunshine" policies. This photo shows a child in South Korea painting on a railroad track that intended to connect the two sides of Korea by rail, but that never materialized due to two successive conservative South Korean governments that put cold war on the thawing relations. Now, another opportunity has risen that gives renewed hope for a peaceful resolution in the Korean Peninsula.