[Joint Declaration] 2013 Gwangju Declaration of Peace
- 2013.06.05 (11:06:59)
2013 Gwangju Declaration of Peace
In commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of the May 18 Democratization Movement we have gathered here in Gwangju from all over Asia to attend 2013 Gwangju Asia Forum and pay respect to the sacrifice and bravery that Gwangju citizens showed us for human rights, democracy and peace against militarization and state violence.
Gwangju has overcome its heartbreaking hardships from violence and now grown as a leading human rights city. The tragedy we met in Gwangju 33 years ago is an example of clash between militarization from war/division and democracy/human rights. With the May 18 Democratization Movement which led to the democratization and reunification movements to overcome division in Korea, we can see clearly that democracy, peace and reunification are deeply associated with each other.
Unfortunately, however, military tensions and conflicts are mounting in Korean Peninsula in recent days. Ceaseless efforts to eliminate nuclear threats and their positive outcomes were debased by nuclear-arming North Korea and U.S.-South Korea’s attempts to reinforce nuclear umbrella and missile defense. Dialogue between North and South Korea as well as that between U.S. and North Korea has stopped. Military threats and hostility against each other is escalating culminating in Gaeseong Industrial Complex shutdown, which was the symbol of joint reconciliation and cooperation of Korean Peninsula.
We pay attention to the fact that the most victimized ones from military conflicts are those who reside in Korean Peninsula and East Asia. History tells us the armed clash will cause everyone to be sacrificed by violence. Inter-Korean peace crises, therefore, must be surmounted by the peaceful conflict resolution. Appealing to arms must be strictly ruled out. Two Koreas and their authorities must make every effort to avoid armed conflicts and stop showing all kinds of military threats, hostility and overreaction to one another.
In this respect, we urge for talks to defuse peace crises and resolve disputes in Korean Peninsula between North and South Korea. It is essential that both sides respect each other and reaffirm their commitment to implement joint agreement to build up trust each other.
We firmly advocate collective endeavor to permanently eliminate nuclear threats in Korean Peninsula and East Asia. Military policy depending on nuclear weapon/umbrella must be discarded. On the 60th Anniversary of Armistice Agreement we demand that arms race that has been triggered in a state of ceasefire be replaced with peace agreement for the sake of termination of 60 year long Korean War.
We believe military tensions on the Korean Peninsula are closely linked with currently heightening militarization, historical/territorial disputes in all over Asia. We will realize justice and achieve peace not only in Korean Peninsula but also in all over Asia in solidarity.
17 May 2013
Participants of the 2013 Gwangju Asia Forum