As an enthusiastic reader of Peace Magazine, I was a bit surprised to read the article in your Oct/Dec issue, “North Korea Today: Is there any solution?” Too much was left out.
No mention of the flattening of all major North Korean cities by the US Air Force during the Korean War—something the Koreans do not forget.
No mention of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 by which the United States (and other nuclear weapon state signatories) announced themselves to pursue fifty years ago in good faith (Article VI) the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
No mention of what happened to Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gadhafi when they, at different times, challenged US policy and/ or interests.
No mention of the July 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted by 122 countries but not the nuclear weapons states.
Is there any peaceful solution to this conflict? Of course there is.
De-escalate the conflict, use peaceful language, hold out olive branches and support the July 2017 abolition treaty just to start with. Take the Korean nuclear weapon dispute to the UN General Assembly and ask for suggestions. Get a respected international arbitrator. How about Pope Francis?
There needs to be a cultural shift. How about a North Korean soccer team playing in Washington with President Trump watching? A North Korean orchestra playing in London’s Albert Hall?
It might also show some of the good faith required if the United States stopped lending Britain the missiles on which to put our nuclear warheads. Britain would then join the ranks of the non-nuclear weapon states, by far the majority. That might be a promising indication to the world of possible future progress.
Vice-President, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, UK
A friend asked me about my experience during the missile alert. While I intend to write a longer piece about it after the trauma subsides, here’s my answer:
The experience was (and still is) life changing. It’s devastating to believe for over a half hour that you are either going to die a horrible death or try to learn to survive in a post-nuclear- war world. Nukes will be responded to with nukes, the entire world held hostage again by those in government who have lost touch with their own humanity as well as the humanity of the billions of innocent lives affected by the fear-based decisions of those foolishly entrusted to lead us.
Watch the video from that day. Listen to the stories. It’s fucking awful. I understand the need to buffer this new reality with humor, but there is nothing funny about children huddled in basements crying and screaming “I don’t want to die.”
Personally, I’m ashamed that I have been as complacent as I have been for so long. The remainder of my life will be spent working to remove the nuclear option from the table permanently and trying to bring peace to my fellow earthlings in any way possible.
Jim Lynch, Hawaii
When Donald Trump won the race for presidency, my reaction was that this was the end of the world as I know it. Nothing has dispelled my apprehension. Daily there are stories of lies and verbal sparring. I am filled with dread that this could be the start of World War III, the annihilation of us all.
I was born after the end of World War II and have led a sheltered existence in Canada all my life. This is the first time that I have started to worry about the future of the planet. A war may be brought on by a crude and bullish president who has a place of power that he is abusing by creating fear and chaos. The leader of a country has a duty to assure and persuade in a dignified way. When I speak about current events to those around me, the most common response is that there is nothing we can do. But this is wrong. It is the responsibility of all of us to act. We are all culpable if we allow bad things to happen. The solution is participation. Herbert Spencer said, “The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” If we want the world to be a better place, we have to speak up. This is the first step in making change. Take a stand.