Need for diplomacy and new talks on North Korea: A Reflection on Political (Nuclear) Crisis North Korea/USA
Pax Christi International calls on the leaders of the United States and North Korea to cease the inflammatory rhetoric and threatening actions of last week that have raised tensions and strained relationships in the region, increasing the possibility of a cataclysmic confrontation. We call on all parties, and the international community under the leadership of the United Nations Security Council, to foster the conditions necessary for thoughtful, measured and productive diplomacy.
Both nations have undertaken aggressive actions recently which have destabilised an already precarious situation, moving the region—and the world—closer to war. The current bluster and posturing by the leaders of these two nations has added to the volatility and poisoned efforts to address the issues in a manner which is constructive and aimed at raising the possibility of security for everyone.
In the wake of the commemoration of the devastation suffered by Hiroshima and Nagasaki 72 years ago last week, we are especially appalled that these two leaders can so blithely and irresponsibly threaten the use of nuclear weapons. At a time when 122 nations have signed onto a treaty banning nuclear weapons, it is inconceivable to us that we are witnessing the kind of nuclear brinkmanship that rightfully should be relegated to the dustbin of history. We strongly urge the United States and other nuclear powers to honour their disarmament obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and plead with North Korea to recommit to the treaty. This dispute between the United States and North Korea is further evidence of how the very existence of nuclear weapons greatly increases our collective insecurity.
Where there is crisis, there is also opportunity. From its first steps toward developing nuclear weapons, North Korea has consistently demanded two things of the United States: assurances there will be no U.S.-led or condoned attack on them and recognition of The Democratic People's Republic (DPRK) as an independent nation.
It is time now to resume direct negotiations if possible in the context of the Six Party Talks* toward finally signing a peace agreement to end the war on the Korean peninsula and the suffering and isolation of the North Korean people; freezing North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests; ending provocative joint U.S.-Japanese-South Korean military exercises; and achieving mutual nuclear disarmament as part of a global drive to abolish nuclear weapons.
Pax Christi International is a movement founded on the principle of dialogue and the hard, unglamorous work of reconciliation. We hold up the testimony of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to remind the world of the horrific, unconscionable consequences of the use of nuclear weapons. We join with all those encouraging diplomacy as a path to peace.
Brussels, 14 August 2017