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Faith for Peace in Korea

August 19, 2014

Peace Vigil by ecumenical groups, Washington DC July 26, 2014

By Christine Ahn |  August 15, 2014

Originally published by the Korea Policy Institute

As I stood on the podium at Lafayette Park looking out into the crowd of over 200 people, I couldn’t help but be moved to tears. Four generations of Korean-Americans had just marched from the Foundry United Methodist Church to gather in front of the White House, from children in elementary school to elders who had devoted their entire lives to working for peace and the reunification of their homelands. We chanted, “What do we want? Peace Treaty! When do we want it? Now!”

The peace march and vigil was organized by an ecumenical committee of faith leaders from the World Council of Churches, National Council of Churches of Korea, United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, United Church of Christ, among several others. The committee had organized a two-day gathering in Washington, DC on July 25 and 26, 2014 that, in addition to the march and rally, included an ecumenical roundtable, advocacy visits with the White House and Ambassador Robert King, Special Envoy on North Korea Human Rights, and an evening film screening of Memory of Forgotten War by Ramsay Liem and Deann Borshay Liem.

The occasion was the 61st anniversary of the Armistice Agreement that halted the Korean War. The United States, China and North Korea signed the Armistice on July 27, 1953 committing to replace it with a permanent peace treaty. Six decades later, we’re still waiting.

I began my rally speech by recalling President Obama’s words at the Korean War memorial last year on the 60th anniversary of the armistice agreement as he spoke to war veterans from the United States and South Korea: “Here, today, we can say with confidence that this war was no tie. Korea was a victory.”

A victory? How could a war that claimed four million, mostly civilian lives, be considered a victory? How could it be a victory to the 10 million families who are still separated by the world’s most militarized border with 1.2 million landmines? How is it a victory for the millions of North Koreans living under the harshest sanctions ever, struggling to access food, medicines and the basics to lead a life of dignity? How it is a victory for democracy where the militarization and repression on both sides of the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) has imprisoned the Korean people to live in a constant state of fear and war? We gathered in front of the White House to let President Obama know that the Korean War was far from victorious, and that the United States, as a key signatory to the Armistice Agreement, has a responsibility to end the Korean War.

We were also there to let the Obama administration know that its North Korea policy, known as “strategic patience,” has been an utter failure. A combination of military aggression and intensified economic sanctions to force Pyongyang to de-nuclearize, Obama’s policy was created on the assumption that once Kim Jong-il passed away, internal strife in North Korea would lead to regime collapse.

To the contrary, since Obama took over, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and several short, medium and long-range missiles. Experts across a wide political spectrum are calling Obama’s “strategic patience” a failure, and U.S. military experts have warned about the danger of a miscalculation. Robert Einhorn, Obama’s Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control from 2009-2013, states bluntly: “U.S. policy toward North Korea is dead in the water.”

Unfortunately, South Korean President Park Geun-hye hasn’t made any substantive changes in Seoul’s position vis-à-vis Pyongyang. While Park’s rhetoric idealizes the potential of reunification, particularly in terms of economic growth and access to North Korea’s vast mineral resources, Seoul’s policy, like Washington’s, still hinges on denuclearization and improving human rights before engagement.

That’s why the Korean American faith community, bolstered by its American allies, gathered in Washington, DC—to educate U.S. policymakers and each other on why the Korean War must end. Here are five reasons why President Obama must sign a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War:


Approximately 10 million Korean families are still separated due to the division of Korea by the most militarized border in the world. Every year, thousands of elders pass away without having seen their loved ones for over 60 years. In her Dresden speech, President Park said:

“It has been 70 long years. Last year alone, some three thousand eight hundred people who have yearned a lifetime just to be able to hold their sons’ and daughters’ hands — just to know whether they’re alive – passed away with their unfulfilled dreams.”

Whether conservative or liberal, the issue of divided families strikes a chord in the hearts of all Koreans, their families and communities. Every Korean family has a story. I shared the story of my sister who told me that when she met her in-laws, after a long evening of getting to know each other, the father disclosed to her that he actually had a family in the North, a wife and two sons, which he had left behind before the Korean War broke out. Once the border was drawn, he was not able to ever see them again. After trying for many years to get in touch with them, he gave up and re-married. He told my sister, “I still really miss them. Those are my children I left behind.” He recently died with the picture of his North Korean family in his pocket.

After a decade of family reunifications under the Sunshine Policy of former South Korean Presidents Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun, family meetings were virtually stopped by his successor, President Lee Myung Bak. Under Park, reunions have been on again, off again, but with political support from Washington, they could be revived on a regular basis. Congressional resolutions in 2001 endorsed family reunifications stating: “Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that it is the sense of Congress that… Congress and the President should support efforts to reunite people of the United States of Korean ancestry with their families in North Korea….” We should thus urge the revival of U.S. support of family reunifications.


The U.S. has come dangerously close to being unintentionally drawn into a full-scale war due to skirmishes in Korea. Last spring, the conflict spiraled dangerously out of control when, in response to North Korea’s nuclear test, Washington dispatched, in an unprecedented show of force, nuclear-capable B-52 and stealth B-2 bombers and F-22 warplanes across Korean seas and skies during war games with Seoul. In response, Pyongyang shifted its rhetoric from Seoul to Washington, threatening “merciless strikes” on the U.S. and its allies.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but the Combined Forces Command (CFC) is led by a four-star American general with wartime Operational Control (OPCON) over South Korea. U.S.-R.O.K. military exercises, which simulate nuclear attack and regime change of North Korea, not only heighten tensions with Pyongyang but also Beijing, which is using this show of force and the U.S. pivot to Asia to justify double digit annual increases in military expenditures.

The U.S. intelligence community understands that North Korea is pursuing nuclear weapons as a deterrent. Donald Gregg, former CIA Director of Korea and Ambassador from 1989-99 said:

Kim is apparently showing his intent to develop his country’s nuclear capabilities not as a threat, but as a deterrent. The country’s nuclear program has destabilized the region and prompted Japan to consider developing its own nuclear program, which highlights the need for dialogue.”

With nearly 70 million Koreans on the peninsula, the outbreak of war would be devastating. In 1994—twenty years ago before North Korea acquired nuclear weapons—the U.S. Defense Department calculated that another war in Korea would result in 1.5 million casualties within 24 hours of the outbreak of hostilities. Not only would the U.S. be drawn into war by treaty, the conflict would likely draw in other regional powers such as China, Japan and Russia. Americans don’t want to be involved in another military conflict that could be resolved diplomatically.


What most Americans don’t understand is how U.S. sanctions policy—intended to put pressure on the Kim regime—has served as a chokehold on the North Korean economy and ordinary people. The ability of the people to access the basics—from food to seeds to medicine to technology—is greatly strained by U.S.-led international sanctions against the DPRK.

There is wide consensus on how U.S.-led sanctions harm the day-to-day lives of ordinary North Korean people, from former U.S. Presidents, Nobel Peace Laureates, humanitarian workers and physicians. On his last trip to North Korea, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said:

In almost any case when there are sanctions against an entire people, the people suffer the most and the leaders suffer least.” In the case of North Korea,  Carter said that “the last 50 years of deprivation of the North Korean people of adequate access to trade and commerce has been very damaging to their economy.”

Felix Abt, a Swiss businessman and entrepreneur who lived for seven years in North Korea establishing the first-ever business school and joint business ventures, writes in his new book, A Capitalist in North Korea:“North Korea is the most heavily sanctioned nation in the world, and no other people have had to deal with the massive quarantines that Western and Asian powers have enclosed around its economy. These penalties are upsetting from a business standpoint and have only worsened the country’s prospects for developing economically… I lost a multi-million dollar contract for a project to rehabilitate Pyongyang’s water and sewage system…[because] certain types of software that were needed for the project were hit by sanctions from Washington.”


The unended Korean War provides justification for increasing defense spending and further militarization of the region. At a March 25 Senate Defense Committee hearing on the 2015 budget, the commander of the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK), General Curtis Scaparrotti, argued that while the 28,500 U.S. troops based in South Korea were “fully resourced,” he was concerned about the readiness of “follow-on” forces needed if fighting erupted, suggesting the need for more resources to Korea.

In response to heightened tensions with Pyongyang, according to journalist Tim Shorrock, a new THAAD portable defense system was deployed to Guam and plans are underway for a massive expansion in U.S. missile defense systems in Alaska and along the west coast as a “precautionary” measure against possible North Korean missile strikes.

Yet there are growing voices calling for a withdrawal of U.S. Forces in Korea—one from the libertarian Cato Institute:

” Washington should disengage from the peninsula. That requires turning security for the South over to Seoul, normalizing relations with North Korea while handing the nuclear issue to its neighbors, and leaving the two Koreas free to decide their future relationship.”
-Doug Bandow, Cato Institute

And another from a U.S. Major in the Army who graduated from West Point, was stationed in South Korea, and is now a Foreign Services Officer advising on East Asian affairs, Christopher Lee:

“Based on new fiscal realities and Seoul’s proven ability to defend its national borders, the U.S. government should immediately conduct the transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) to South Korea. The country’s robust   military force and its ongoing procurement of advanced military systems, combined with its first-rate economy, afford South Korea the ability to defend itself from most aggressors without substantial involvement of American conventional forces.”
-Christopher Lee, U.S. Major

Lee argues, “U.S. conventional forces no longer hold the same tactical value as they did during the Cold War, and America’s fragile economy cannot continue to withstand the financial drain.” He estimates that a withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea could result in savings of $100 million per month, excluding the costs of the annual joint exercises.


There is wide consensus that replacing the temporary armistice agreement with a permanent peace treaty would go a long way towards de-escalating tensions that have long plagued Korea and the region.

In a 2011 paper, the U.S. Army War College warns that the only way to avert a catastrophic confrontation is to “reach agreement on ending the armistice from the Korean War” and “giv[e] a formal security guarantee to North Korea tied to nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

Across party lines, U.S. Ambassadors to Korea since the 1980s have argued for engagement and a formalized peace process:

“…[I]n order to remove all unnecessary obstacles to progress, is the establishment of a peace treaty to replace the truce that has been in place since     1953. One of the things that have bedeviled all talks until now is the unresolved status of the Korean War…. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy.”
-James Laney, former U.S.Ambassador under Bill Clinton

[T]he current impasse, which only buys time for North Korea to develop its nuclear program, is unstable and that matters will only get worse if not addressed directly. It’s time for the Obama administration to reopen dialogue with Pyongyang.”
-Robert Gallucci and Stephen Bosworth, The New York Times 2013

“I feel similarly about Kim as I and then-President George H. W. Bush did in the 1980s about Mikhail Gorbachev when he became leader of the Soviet Union. In both cases there was a sense that the leader was someone with whom dialogue would be possible.”
Donald Gregg, former U.S. Ambassador under George H.W. Bush

Gregg believes Kim Jong-Un is someone Washington can negotiate with, not only because he was raised and educated in Europe, but also because by prioritizing economic development and dismissing hard-line generals, he clearly understands the importance of uplifting the living standards of the population and has demonstrated a commitment to that goal.

We must remind our policymakers that Washington was in fact very close to negotiating a peace settlement in 2000 with North Korea. Kim Jong-il had sent Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok to meet with President Clinton to sign a deal to end Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program if Washington recognized the DPRK and respected its sovereignty. In late 2000, Secretary of State Madeline Albright went to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong-Il to finalize a peace settlement, but the peace process was scuttled by the Al Gore-George Bush elections debacle. Soon enough, time ran out and we ended up with President Bush who came into power and offended Kim Dae-Jung’s Sunshine Policy and placed North Korea on the “Axis of Evil.”

These past few years have felt dark and bleak, especially in light of the significant progress Korea had made towards peace and reconciliation. And in these times, we have felt our path may forever be lost. But as in past movements for peace and justice, the ecumenical community has played an important role, driven by its convictions and faith, to push forward and play a courageous role and offer light. After all, it was Korean pastors who urged Jimmy Carter to go to Pyongyang armed with a CNN camera crew to cover the diplomatic breakthrough with Kim Il-Sung that averted war in 1994 and led to the Agreed Framework in which Pyongyang agreed to freeze its plutonium reactors in exchange for energy assistance, and eventual normalization of relations with the U.S.

Our political leaders will not move unless we, the people, move them. A peace treaty would go a long way towards defusing dangerous tensions in Northeast Asia. For the elders dying with their hearts broken, for our families still traumatized by an unended Korean War, and for a brighter future built on peace and hope for a world free from more militarization and war, let there be a peace treaty. The ecumenical forum, peace march and vigil was the beginning of a powerful grassroots force that, I believe, will join together and work to achieve a peace treaty within the final years of the Obama administration.


Christine Ahn is Director of “Women De-Militarize the Zone”, an FPIF columnist, and a Korea Policy Institute Advisory Board member.

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Korea Peace Days 2014

December 31, 2013

DC Korea peace 2013

Korea Peace Days 2013-2014

A Call from the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea ( and

the National Campaign to End the Korean War (

To raise greater awareness and understanding about the need for peace on the Korean peninsula, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK) and the National Campaign to End the Korean War (NCEKW) call for individuals and organizations to organize public events during Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Summer 2014 to commemorate Korea Peace Day. Korea Peace Days were held in November 2013 at University of California at Santa Cruz, University of California at Berkeley and City College of New York.

Upcoming Korea Peace Days

January 15, 7:00 PM
Korea Peace Day at Boston College, McGuinn 121
Screening of MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR by Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsay Liem, plus performances by Dohee Lee, West Coast hip hop and soul artist, Skim, and Sigimse from the Berklee College of Music Korean Traditional Music Society


Korea Peace Days Call to Action:

During this sixtieth anniversary year of the July 27, 1953 Korean War armistice, recurring tensions on the Korean peninsula serve as a sobering reminder that renewed war is a persistent danger.  The Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK), an organization of primarily U.S.-based scholars concerned with U.S. policies towards the Korean peninsula, and the National Campaign to End the Korean War (NCEKW), a coalition of U.S. human rights, community, veterans, and faith-based organizations, therefore seek to renew a peacemaking tradition that began a decade ago as Korea Peace Day.  With inaugural events scheduled for November 7-8 at UC Santa Cruz and Berkeley, Korea Peace Days 2013-2014 will continue at different locations throughout North America for several months until July 27, 2014.

We invite all concerned people and organizations to express support for a peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions between the United States and North Korea by organizing local Korea Peace Days on college and university campuses as well as neighborhoods and communities throughout the United States. Already this year, the National Campaign has organized teach-ins as well as public actions, and it will add Korea Peace Days to its campaign to formally end the Korean War.  For the remainder of this year and until July 27, 2014, Korea Peace Days held across the nation will signal a growing consensus for peaceful U.S.-Korea relations.

The Korean War constitutes the longest military conflict in U.S. history. That war killed more than three million Koreans, more than half a million Chinese, and more than 35,000 Americans. Sixty years ago, on July 27, 1953, an armistice was signed to end the fighting in the Korean War. It recommended that a permanent peace agreement and the withdrawal of all foreign troops be achieved posthaste. Yet, a formal end to the war has never been negotiated. To this day, Korea remains divided, and the United States and North Korea remain technically at war.

The first Korea Peace Day was held ten years ago on November 6, 2003, with events taking place at over forty colleges and universities throughout the United States. As on that day, Korea Peace Days 2013-2014 are dedicated to ending the war by advocating for a peace agreement to replace the armistice and calling for a rejection of the use of military force on the Korean peninsula.  These events will illuminate the history of the current tensions and the importance of U.S. dialogue, cooperation, and active pursuit of peace with both Koreas, North and South.  They will highlight the stalemated Korean War as a principal obstacle to resolving both the current hostilities and the painful unresolved human legacies of the war.

The broader the participation of campuses and communities in Korea Peace Days, the more effective our call for peace will be.  Be part of a national movement to bring an end to the Korean War and to urge dialogue and diplomacy as the only acceptable means for resolving dangerous tensions in U.S.-Korea relations.  See suggested activities below, or go straight to Resources for Korea Peace activities.

Korea Peace Days Activities:

If you want to help your community become a part of Korea Peace Days 2013-2014, here are suggestions and supporting resources for events that would be easy to organize. Please confirm your willingness to organize a Korea Peace Day and send any questions or suggestions to

Program Ideas

  1. Film Screening:

For a list of films that encourage dialogue about the legacies of the Korean War, please go to  A new documentary film, Memory of Forgotten War by Ramsay Liem and Deann Borshay Liem is available this year, offering a testimonial perspective on the costs of ongoing war.  Running just 37 minutes, the film serves as a springboard for closer examination of a range of linked issues: the history of the Korean War, civilian trauma and survival, unresolved legacies including the suffering of divided families, origins of U.S.-North Korea enmity, and strategies for promoting dialogue and moving toward peace.  (See “Korea Peace Days Resources”, a separate document, for details.)

  1. Speaker or Panel Discussion:

Invite a speaker or panelists to present or discuss a variety of issues related to the objectives of Korea Peace Days. This portion of the program can be tailored to local interests and expertise and can be held in conjunction with a film screening.

  1. Cultural Performance:

Include local performers as available (e.g., a Korean drumming troupe).

  1. Actions (see “Korea Peace Days Resources,” a separate document, for details):
  • Endorse Representative Mike Honda’s statement to Congress supporting a peace agreement to end the Korean War and calling for dialogue with all relevant parties.
  • Take part in the photobooth option and an Obama postcard campaign that have thus far accompanied screenings of Memory of Forgotten War.
  • Set up a table on campus or community centers for people to write letters to their elected officials urging a peace agreement to formally end the Korean War.
  • Organize a house or block party and mobilize your neighbors and friends for peace.
  • Local organizers may have other ideas and can also engage audiences in a discussion of strategies for action.

These are suggestions, but the format of Korea Peace Days is up to you.  Some Korea Peace Days might focus on speakers or a panel and others on cultural programming.  The list of Korea Peace Days Resources (see separate document) should be useful regardless of how your program is designed.  If possible, please include an Action component to provide participants with options to lend their support to Korea Peace Days objectives.

Share Your Events and Help Build a Movement

Getting the word out about your Korea Peace Day will build momentum and encourage others to join in.  Please tell us about your event details, send us links to local press coverage, and share event photographs.  We’ll post them on the ASCK and NCEKW websites and send periodic alerts to others to show them what can be done.  Email

For Information and resources on Korea.  

Contact us at

Korea Peace Weekend in Washington – this July 26- 27, 2013

July 14, 2013

The National Campaign to End the Korean War, along with other groups will gather in Washington DC this July 26- 27th to call for Peace in Korea.

July 27th, 2013 is the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice.  The Armistice halted the military conflict temporarily – and was to be replaced with a Peace Treaty – which has yet to happen.

It is time for a Peace Treaty to truly end the Korean War.

Friday, July 26th

Morning Meetings with legislators

12 noon: Call for Peace in Korea with Pax Christie (In front of the White House)

3 pm – 5 pm: Peace Strategy Meeting – Groups and concerned individuals who want to work on calling for a peace treaty.

– if you are interested in participating, please contact us at

Join us Saturday, July 27th for:

10 a.m.: Peace March – starting at the Peace Monument at Peace Circle, First Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue and ending at Lafayette Park.

11 a.m.: Peace Rally at Lafayette Park (across from the White House), 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500


7 p.m.: Memory of Forgotten War film screening (+ filmmaker Q & A and panel discussion)
at  Festival Center, 1640 Columbia Rd. NW, Washington DC 20009 (nearest Metro: Columbia Heights)

From award-winning filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem (First Person Plural; In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee) and Ramsay Liem, professor emeritus at Boston College, comes a powerful new documentary about the continuing impact of the Korean War. Memory of Forgotten War follows the stories of four Korean Americans who witnessed firsthand the war’s devastation and its aftermath. Drawing on the oral history collection of Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the Forgotten War, a multimedia exhibit directed by Professor Liem, this documentary is the first to tell about the experiences of Korean civilians who later immigrated to the United States. The memories recounted here challenge the historical amnesia that has long characterized America’s popular understanding of the so-deemed unknown war, and serves as a cogent reminder that for survivors and their families, it has remained anything but forgotten.

Following a screening of the film, there will be a Q&A with co-director Ramsay Liem and a panel featuring: Stephen McNeil (American Friends Service
Committee), Sarah Sloan (ANSWER Coalition), Hyuk-Kyo Suh (National Association of Korean Americans)

There will also be a screening of a short by Veterans For Peace to end the Korean War
and a solidarity photo booth.

This film screening is co-sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee, ANSWER Coalition, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, National
Association of Korean Americans, United Methodist Church

Free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact:

Cosponsors of the Korea Peace weekend events:

National Campaign to End the Korean War (over 53 organizations), along with 6.15 Committee of US, Sasase-Washington, BoraJinbo (Korean American Supporters for Unified Progressive Party in SK), TLTC Justice & Peace Committee and Ubuntuworks Korea Peace Education Project


May 2nd in NY – Stand Up for Peace – the struggle to save Jeju island from a naval base

April 23, 2013

Jejumay2bigMay 2nd, 2013 at 7 PM

STAND UP FOR PEACE – Stories of the Struggles to Stop the Naval Base Construction on Jeju Island

Join us as Ms. Jeong Young-Hee, chairwoman of the Gangjeong Women Villager’s Committee to Stop Naval Base Construction talks about the current state of the struggle to save Jeju island from destruction. This struggle has been going on for over 7 years now, as villagers have put their bodies on the line to stop the devastation of this beautiful island, which has unique coral reefs, lava coastline, a vast array of aquatic species – and families whose livelihoods are at stake.   Beyond this – such a large naval base will only add to the military tensions in the region, already at a high level.

On a national tour right now, Ms. Jeong is speaking in several cities in the US, and will finish at the UCLA ENDING THE KOREAN WAR conference and events, from May 8th-11th in LA.

Project Reach39 Eldridge Street between Canal and Hester (closest stop: D train to Grand)  FREE and Open to the public!

For more info on this event: email

For more info on the Jeju island struggle: or go to

For more information and to RSVP for the May Los Angeles ENDING THE KOREAN WAR conference, films and more:

The Crisis In Korea

April 16, 2013

The Crisis In Korea

Two podcasts with clear information on the Korean peninsula – from Asia Pacific Forum

Crisis in Korea – Twenty Years in the Making
Rethinking North Korean Human Rights
“Bomb North Korea before it’s too late” was the title of a recent New York Times op-ed. As the drumbeat of war crescendos on the Korean peninsula, we bring together leading experts and activists to discuss what’s really happening – from the failure of the past twenty years of denuclearization talks, to the deleterious impact of decades of sanctions on the people of North Korea. Nodutdol, a New York City-based grassroots organization that works for peace and demilitarization of the Korean peninsula, teamed up with Asia Pacific Forum on WBAI FM  to produce this timely roundtable.

Listen Now

What’s really happening with North Korea?

April 14, 2013

The war danger is real – but where is the danger really coming from?  Find out what is at the root  of the current crisis – and why, 60 years after the Korean War Armistice was signed – it’s time for a real peace treaty to truly end the Korean War.

What’s Annoying the North Koreans?

Gregory Elich, Korea Policy Institute, April 12, 2013
[Originally published in Counterpunch]

NKorea Fury at joint war games goes back decades

Boston, April 11, 2013

North Korea: What’s Really Happening

Are we primed for war? Here’s everything you need to know about our current — and past — relationship with DPRK

Tim Shorrock,, April 5, 2013

In this Nuclear Standoff, it’s the US that’s the rogue state

The use of threats and isolation against Iran and North Korea is a bizarre, perilous way to conduct foreign relations

Jonathan Steele, The Guardian, April 9. 2013

Also: This May – in Los Angeles

ENDING THE KOREAN WAR – Conference, films, ecumenical gathering and more

cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Korean Studies, the Korea Policy Institute, the United Methodist Women, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea, the National Campaign to End the Korean War.  Moim gathering cosponsored by Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and others.

May 8th – UCLA Campus – FREE

Human Rights Film Festival Screening of:

“Memory of Forgotten War” and “The Woman, The Orphan and The Tiger” Screening

Wednesday, May 08, 2013
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
James Bridges Theater


May 9th – UCLA Campus from 9:30 – 5 PM Free

Main Conference Room, Charles E. Young Research Library


Keynote speaker: BRUCE CUMINGS

Panel 1 – Testimonials of survivors and separated families

Teaching the Korean War – led by the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea

Panel 2 – Gender and Militarism

Panel 3 -People to People – North Korean Humanitarian Assistance


May 10th – Day of Action for Ending the Korean War – FREE – led by the United Methodist Women

9:30 – 2 PM Public Forum on the Korean Crisis

3 – 5 PM: Peace March


Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Boulevard, LA  323 931-1085  (for more info contact

May 11th – Korean American Activist Gathering

Details to come: for more info, contact

Statement on “Red Dawn 2012” by National Campaign to End the Korean War

December 6, 2012


As a national coalition of concerned peace, justice, and academic groups working for an official end to the tragic Korean War, which lingers on today some sixty years after the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 1953, the National Campaign to End the Korean War condemns the recent release of the Red Dawn (2012).  Despite our previous recommendation, in March 2011, that the producer of the movie, MGM, modify its content, the film features stock North Korean villains. It only adds to the deep ignorance that underlies the current hostile relations between the United States and North Korea (a.k.a. DPRK).

Since the movie producer decided to replace the invading Chinese troops against a U.S. town with North Korean troops in the post-production process–in order not to offend the Chinese people–isn’t it obvious that the Korean people in general, including many Korean Americans, would be equally offended?

Though the film makes no pretensions to realism, it is worth recalling history. Historically, Koreans never invaded or occupied a distant country like the United States. On the other hand, the United States has a long history of invading and occupying other countries, including Korea.  Thus, Red Dawn’s revised script is not only ridiculous but also deeply offensive. It is nothing more than a jingoistic film that inflames further hostile feelings between the United States and North Korea.

In 2013, we will be observing the 60th anniversary of signing the Korean War Armistice Agreement. It is high time for us to end the lingering, costly Korean War now, instead of continuing or escalating it senselessly between the United States and North Korea. For the sake of a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula as well as healing the old wounds between the two peoples, we reject and boycott Red Dawn (2012) aswar-mongering propaganda, and urge other Americans to do likewise.

Dated: Nov. 28, 2012

National Campaign to End the Korean War

8 Weeks until Korean War commemoration

April 30, 2010

The JoongAng Ilbo recently published an editorial titled ‘Why don’t we realize we’re at war?’, written by senior columnist Moon Chang-keuk.

The headline is followed by the hook: “If we, as victims, vacillate, who will come to our aid? The response of the world depends on our next move.” Despite the fact that South Korea is currently in a state of national mourning for those who lost their lives in the sinking of the Cheonan naval corvette, Moon has no problem using the rhetoric of victimization to frame the conflict as a blatant act of aggression from North Korea.

The JoongAng Ilbo is one of the “big three” newspapers circulated in South Korea – and also one of the most politically conservative as well.

10 weeks until Korean War commemoration

April 16, 2010

The Korean War: Horrors of Incendiary Weapons

The use of napalm entered the scene during WWI. It was a weak form hosed from flamethrowers. It did not burn hot enough, long enough, and did not deplete the surrounding area of oxygen.

The ingredients to make napalm are composed of naphthenic and palmitic acids. When mixed together, they form a soap-powder-like substance. When mixed with ordinary gasoline that is used in automobiles, a jelly-like substance is created.


Film 2010: A Little Pond

April 16, 2010

The film, A Little Pond, is made based on the true story of the “No-Gun-Ri massacre” during the Korean War.

In July 26-29, 1950, about 400 South Korean civilians were killed in the village by soldiers of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment during the Korean War. Those shot were refugees trying to escape advancing North Korean forces by crossing U.S. military lines. The U.S. soldiers, under the command of General Hobert R. Gay, feared that North Korean soldiers in disguise might be among the refugees. (