Photo courtesy of the National Campaign to End the Korean War
As the United States and South Korea military forces conducted mock bombing runs and fired their guns at unmanned aerial drones over the East Sea earlier this week, a group of federal lawmakers and community advocates urged the Obama administration to stop the war games in favor of a path toward peace.
“History has taught us that military posturing … [does] not change North Korea’s policies. Instead, North Korea views the war games as a test of its will, and has warned that it will counter them with ‘a physical response’ of its own,” said Christine Ahn, part of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, during a press conference held Monday on a grassy triangle outside the Capitol. “Our nation’s leaders can continue to choose war and division or a path of peace and reconciliation. We must urge them to choose wisely.”
The contingent, which also included U.S. Representatives Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) as well as survivors of the Korean War, urged the Obama administration to invest in dialogue and engagement with North Korea. They also said it was time to replace the armistice that ended major hostilities in 1953 with a peace treaty. Otherwise, the two Koreas, and the United States, will continue to exist in an “unending state of war,” they said.
“Further isolating North Korea from South Korea and the international community does not serve the interest of any country truly dedicated to regional stability,” said Congressmember Kucinich. He said a formal peace treaty will benefit the Korean peninsula and the United States, which currently spends more than $1 billion per year in military spending for forces on the Korean peninsula.