[Statement] Concerns over North Korea’s Rocket Launch Test
Concerns over North Korea’s Rocket Launch Test
The situation must not revert to those days before the Panmunjom Declaration.
The ROK, DPRK and US all need to stop their military actions and instead seek peaceful solutions.
The DPRK fired an unknown projectile on 16th March. This test is thought to have failed shortly after launch, according to the ROK’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. The projectile seems to have been a new intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM), ‘Hwasong-17’. The authorities of the ROK and US previously announced that the tests on 27 February and 5 March, which the DPRK had claimed to be for ‘reconnaissance satellite development’, were also believed to be related to the development of the new ICBM. We are deeply concerned about the continued test launching of North Korea’s rockets.
The US Biden administration has been adding further sanctions against the DPRK since the end of last year, and recently conducted military exercises with F-35C fighters etc., in the West Sea. It is also reported that the ROK military is considering deploying the F-35A or launching missile tests. It is deeply concerning that these actions that could escalate military tensions continue at a time when inter-Korean and the DPRK-US dialogues have been halted without reaching any common ground. In particular, the president-elect of the ROK is further weakening the prospect for peace as he is promoting a military solution of ‘peace through strength’ and has announced the establishment of a presidential transition committee that is likely to result in the repeat of the previously failed policies on the Korean Peninsula.
The situation must not revert to those days before the Panmunjom Declaration. The recurrence of the worst crises, that might result in a threat of a nuclear war or preemptive strikes, must be prevented from looming over us. We strongly urge the ROK, DPRK and US to stop military action and military exercises, and make every effort to work towards dialogue and negotiations. Realistically, the way to achieve this is for the governments of the ROK and US, which have the military advantage over the DPRK, is for them to take the initiative in breaking the deadlock and introduce measures to restore trust, before it’s too late. It has been proven, through the still unresolved 70-year history of the Korean War and the nuclear conflict on the Korean Peninsula, that a vicious cycle of sanctions, pressure and military responses can achieve neither denuclearization nor peace on the Korean Peninsula. Now that the situation surrounding the Korean Peninsula is becoming increasingly impossible to predict, we urgently need a fundamental policy shift that prioritizes peace and cooperation.
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
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