[Statement] National Assembly-Civil Society Joint Statement marking the 3rd Global Day of Action on Military Spending
National Assembly-Civil Society Joint Statement
marking the 3rd Global Day of Action on Military Spending
Please both North and South Korea Put Down the Arms!
Today, marking the 3rd Global Day of Action on Military Spending, we came here to convey the message of peace at a time when the threat of war on the Korean Peninsula is escalating. To the people of Korea, the year 2013 marks the 60th year of the conclusion of the armistice agreement, a promise of the ceasefire. While the scars of the Korean War of 1950 are still far from being healed, we are once again facing the serious threat of war. Conflict between North and South Korea, and North Korea and the US has become more intense since North Korea launched the satellite last December; military threat and hostile activities from both sides have been escalating. The situation on the Korean Peninsula is like a ticking bomb. Moreover, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the last bastion of reconciliation and cooperation between North and South Korea, practically stopped its operation.
We express grave concerns about the current crisis and recent acceleration of the arms race between North and South Korea. Arms race over the last 60 years has intense and eventually threat of nuclear weapon is being presented. We note that threat to peace on the Korean Peninsula is not due to the lack of military power. We also take note of the fact that the biggest victim of the arms race and escalation of military tension is ourselves, the people of the Korean Peninsula.
In the midst of escalating military tension on the Korean Peninsula, we, the 15 Members of the National Assembly and the members of 24 Civil Society organizations propose the followings:
– We believe that the North and South Korean relation should not be crippled, and that the agreements between North and South Korea, which were established despite of 60 years of conflict should be kept to the end. We urge North and South Korea to refrain from using provocative rhetoric and adhere to the spirit of previous agreements between North and South Korea including July 4 South-North Joint Communique, South-North Basic Agreement, Joint Declaration on Denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, June 15 South-North Joint Declaration and October 4 Declaration. Also, both should immediately engage in a dialogue in order to resume the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. Conclusion of a peace agreement is needed as soon as possible in order to substitute current unstable armistice status to the peace system.
– We oppose the nuclear weapon, the inhumane weapon of mass destruction and believe that Korean Peninsula should be completely denuclearized. Nuclear weapon is never a panacea that maintains peace, but the most terrible weapon which will lead to the extinction of entire humankind. Both North and South Korea should start a dialogue on abandoning the nuclear deterrence policy. We urge North Korea to stop any attempt to arm itself with nuclear armaments. We also show concerns that there are voices for nuclear armament in the South Korean society. Nuclear weapons, no matter which they belong, should never be deployed upon our land, sea and the air.
– We believe that our tax money should be spent on the social welfare not on the warfare. Both North and South Korea have been spending considerable amount of money for military expenses while continuing conflict and confrontation. Military spending of South Korea is the 12th highest in the world, and the 4th highest in Asian region; North Korea has been adhering to its “military-first” policy. As we now witness with our eyes, resort to military power only triggers arms race and never resolves the conflict. We admit that there is need for certain level of military spending. However, as the resource is limited, more military spending means less for social welfare and education. We call on both North and South to make a tireless effort to confidence-building in order to cut down military spending and use their resources for what their citizens really need.
– We believe, despite of ongoing conflict and crisis, that there is no place for inhumane weapons such as cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines on the Korean Peninsula. Use and production of cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines, which indiscriminately harm civilian populations and continue to kill the people long after the conflict, are now banned by the international treaty on the grounds of its horrific humanitarian consequences. Despite of this, both North and South Korea are producing and stockpiling considerable amount of cluster munitions and anti-personnel landmines. We urge both governments to come to an agreement that both side will not use or stockpile any weapon that can harm undefined civilian populations.
At a year marking 60th anniversary of armistice agreement, the conflict between North and South Korea is more serious than ever before. Now is the time to engage in active dialogue, a time to make endeavor to make peace. We urge both governments to lower their guns pointed to each other and choose peace.
Both North and South Korea should:
– Abide by the spirit and the letter of previous agreements;
– Abandon the policy of resort to nuclear deterrence and realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula;
– Cut down their military budgets and increase welfare budgets;
– Never use inhumane weapons;
– Conclude a peace agreement and lower the arms.
April 15, 2013
Participants of the 3rd Global Day of Action on Military Spending
<Democratic United Party> Kim Ki Sik / No Young Min / Do Jong Hwan / Moon Byung Ho / Baek Jae Hyun / Bu Jwa Hyun / Woo Won Sik / Yun Hu Deok / Lee Mi Kyung / In Jae Geun / Jang Ha Na / Hong Young Pyo / Hong Jong Haak, <Progressive Justice Party> Kim Je Nam, Park Won Suk (Total 15 Parliamentarians)
Imagination for International Solidarity / Korea Reunification Society of Citizen’s Coalition for Economic Justice / The Frontiers / Korean House for International Solidarity / Korea Peace Foundation / Daejeon Women’s Association for Peace / Weapon Zero / Nonviolent Peaceforce Corea / Withoutwar / Civil Peace Forum / Jeju Peace Human Rights Center / People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy / Catholic Human Right Committee / Greeting Reunification / Palestine Peace & Solidarity in S. Korea / Peace Network / Women Making Peace / Peace Ground / Peace Museum / PyeongTaek Peace Center / Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea / Korean Women’s Association United / Korea Peacebuilding Institute / Korean Federation for Environment Movement (Total 24 NGOs)
For more information
The GDAMS website http://demilitarize.org/
The GDAMS Preparatory Committee of Seoul
(People’s solidarity for Participatory Democracy +82=723-4250, email@example.com, https://www.peoplepower21.org/English)