The People’s Democracy Party (PDP) of South Korea sent a Peace Expedition to the UK at the end of August, calling for a halt to the nuclear war exercises and US troops out of South Korea. They met CND representatives on 7 September and told us:
There is an urgent political situation on the Korean Peninsula. The Peace Expedition of PDP is in the UK again to oppose the joint military exercises called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian (UFG) against an invasion by North Korea.
As you know, the UFG is a large scale war exercise with 17,500 US armed forces and 50,000 South Korea troops, joined by additional troops from Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Britain. The war crisis is escalating further as a result of US troops visiting South Korea, including the US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry B Harris.
It is an extremely dangerous situation. It is only one step from a verbal war to actual war. We must stop the outbreak of nuclear war unconditionally.
People's Democracy Party is organizing a nationwide tour of South Korea, for three weeks from 8 to 29 September, together with the Central Council for People's Independent Peaceful Reunification and the Peace Treaty Movement Headquarters. Many different organisations will be co-hosting the Peace Tour as it moves round the country.
The opening ceremony takes place in Seoul on 8 September. We plan to hold various actions, including demonstration, press conferences, vigils, marches, talks, concert, and meeting whilst going round the country. We will visit 16 cities and return to Seoul for a closing ceremony.
The Peace Tour is calling for:
- No war!
- US troops and THAAD missile system out of Korea!
- For a Peace Treaty between the US and North Korea!
We invite CND to join us. Our struggle is stronger together.
CND’s message of support to South Korean Peace Tour
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK sends greetings to the Peace Tour Demonstration which is being organised across the Republic of Korea. We join you in saying war is not the answer to tensions on the Korean Peninsula and calling for dialogue.
CND is alarmed by the threat of nuclear war in North East Asia and the wider Pacific region. North Korea continues to test nuclear weapons and missiles in defiance of the international community, while the US and its allies continue provocative actions, threats and exercises in or near North East Asia and the Pacific. There is a real danger that these actions will lead to the use of nuclear weapons by intention or miscalculation.
There are no safe hands for nuclear weapons and any detonation of a nuclear device would be a humanitarian catastrophe with global impacts. Threatening and isolating the North Korean regime risks escalating the conflict rather than encouraging solutions.
We urge the UK Government to use all appropriate diplomatic, international and legal means to end nuclear threats, to push for negotiations with North Korea and a return to the Six-Party Talks involving China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and the US. Both immediate and longer term solutions are needed including creating a zone free of nuclear weapons in North East Asia, a process to address the underlying causes of regional insecurity and conflict on the Korean Peninsula, and the promotion of peace, development and cooperative co-existence and security for all peoples in the region.
We call on the UK Government to reject a military solution to the conflict and urgently use its influence to press for all involved to avoid and refrain from further provocative rhetoric or military exercises and tests.