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Working for Peace 2015

The National Campaign to End the Korean War is a U.S.-based coalition of concerned organizations and individuals including peace and human rights organizations, faith-based communities, Korean American community organizations, veterans, and progressive scholars.  We have been working since 2008 to educate the American public about the need for permanent peace on the Korean peninsula and for a policy of peace, genuine security, and engagement toward Korea.

Our activities are centered on education and advocacy work, which includes speaking to elected officials, organizing Korea Peace Days, letter-writing campaigns, holding public forums and demonstrations, and building solidarity with individuals and organizations dedicated to peace in Korea. With the approach in 2015 of the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korea into north and south, NCEKW is determined to call attention to the human suffering that is a tragic consequence of a divided Korea and to advocate for Korean self-determination in resolving the division.  As Americans, we recognize our responsibility to foster these objectives by demanding that U.S. policy toward Korea, especially the north, change from confrontation to peace-building and reconciliation. We also seek to call attention to the squandering of U.S. dollars for military expenses that maintain the continued division of the peninsula.

In addition to our public advocacy, our members have written extensively and critically about U.S.-Korea relations, provided information and analysis to key government officials, organized public activities, and produced cultural works that expose the human costs of the unended Korean War and a divided Korea.  One example is the film, Memory of a Forgotten War.  This documentary explores the costs of the Korean War from the perspective of four Korean American survivors who come from families divided by the DMZ that bisects the Korean peninsula. NCEKW has organized screenings of this film in different forums to educate the public and build support for a peaceful solution to the Korean War whose irresolution has plagued U.S.-Korea relations for six decades and remains the principal obstacle to settling current U.S.–North Korean conflicts. As former U.S. ambassador to South Korea James Laney has stated:

“One of the things that bedeviled all talks until now is the unresolved status of the Korean War. A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the questioning of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy. Only with a treaty in place will both sides be relieved of the political demand to see each move as conferring approval or not. “

To mark the 70th anniversary of the division of the Korean peninsula, we are planning activities with organizations and individuals around the country and will congregate in Washington, D.C. in July 2015.

We, in NCEKW, believe peace in Korea is achievable—and, if realized, would contribute to a human-centered vision of genuine security and stability within the larger region, including positively impacting those of us in the United States. We welcome people to learn more about our movement for peace in Korea and to work with us to end a war whose peaceful resolution is several decades overdue.