News Release

Korea Still at War 60 Years Since Armistice

Tomorrow, President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Korean War Veterans Memorial marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

Yesterday, Congressman Mike Honda (D-Calif.) from San Jose read a statement in Congress to mark the anniversary: “At a time when many Americans struggle to pay their bills, vital U.S. dollars are directed into further militarizing the Korean peninsula.

“It is my sincere hope that this somber milestone can serve as a call to action for us in Congress to do our part to de-escalate tensions and to work towards the establishment of a permanent and stable peace regime on the Korean peninsula. Peace negotiations between the United States, South Korea, North Korea, and all relevant parties are the only way forward.”

CHRISTINE AHN, christineahn at mac.com, @christineahn
Ahn is executive director of the Korea Policy Institute and co-founder of the National Campaign to End the Korean War. She said: “On July 27th, there will be official, state-sponsored commemorations of the Korean War, mostly honoring veterans who fought in the war. What is problematic, however, is it fails to recognize the three million Korean lives lost in the three-year war and the ongoing lives still threatened due to the unended Korean War, largely in the form of sanctions and militarization of Korea.

“Washington seems to have historic amnesia when it comes to the Korean War, aptly known as the Forgotten War, specifically with regards to the Korean Armistice Agreement, signed 60 years ago by North Korea, U.S. and China, which temporarily halted fighting. Several promises outlined in the Armistice were never fulfilled, including signing a permanent peace agreement. This means war, not peace, defines the relationship between the United States and North Korea, which we most recently saw as we came dangerously close to war this spring.

“On June 16, Pyongyang sent a request to Washington to have direct talks ‘in order to defuse tension on the Korean peninsula and ensure peace and security in the region,’ but the Obama administration has yet to respond. This week, Jimmy Carter met with John Kerry regarding a potential trip to North Korea, but after the meeting, decided against going.”