On the occasion of the visit of US president Trump to Japan and South Korea, we demand an end to the US- DPRK escalation in military threats.

On September 19, 2017, in his first appearance before the United Nations, President Donald Trump threatened to totally destroy North Korea, showing absolute contempt and disregard for all the reasons the peoples of the world united in 1945 to establish the United Nations. In the preamble of the Charter, the peoples of the United Nations state:

“WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

  •  to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our
    lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of
    the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations
    large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations
    arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be
    maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
    AND FOR THESE ENDS
  •  to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good
    neighbours, and
  •  to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
  •  to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods,
    that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and
  •  to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and
    social advancement of all peoples.

In furtherance of these purposes “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.” And “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

The only exception to the use of force is in self-defense in response to an armed attack from another country, and only until the Security Council can act to restore international peace and security.

With respect to Korea, the United States has never complied with the terms of the 1953 armistice. The Armistice called for the parties to meet to conclude a formal peace treaty. This has never happened. The armistice called for the removal of foreign troops from the peninsula. The Chinese troops left in the 1950’s. The United States still has 28,500 troops in South Korea and South Korea has built the world’s largest US military base on Jeju Island. In fact, contrary to the initial promises that the base would not be used as a strategic outpost by the US military, US naval vessels often enter ports at the Gangjeong Naval Base. The armistice called for no new weapons being introduced into either country. The United States put nuclear weapons in South Korea and although they were later removed, the United States has been selling billions of dollars of arms to South Korea each year. The United States over opposition of peace and other progressive activists in South Korea has promoted the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense or THAAD system in South Korea using as cover the current war of words.

There needs to be a permanent peace treaty on the peninsula.

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), the Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA), the US Military Issues Committee of Lawyers for a Democratic Society (MINBYUN) and the Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific (COLAP), support the development of a peace treaty between North and South Korea as a main way to promote peace and stability in the region.

Furthermore, we demand of President Trump of US, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, Prime Minister Abe of Japan, as follows:

1. Stop acting recklessly with continuing threats of war.

2. Do not use the military bases in South Korea and Japan to threaten North Korea to heighten the crisis on the Korean peninsula.

3. President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo should not allow the deployment of strategic assets such as US nuclear carriers, strategic bombers, and nuclear submarines, including the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) deployment

4. In addition, the US-ROK joint military exercises that deploy a US strategic weapon in accordance with a pre-emptive nuclear strike threatening North Korea must be stopped immediately

5. Moon Jae-in should act as a mediator to promote dialogue and negotiations that will permanently end the military confrontation between North Korea and the United States. In the process, it will be necessary to revive the 7.4 South-North Joint Statement, the 6.15 South-North Joint Statement, and the 10.4 South-North Declaration, and end the worn-out confrontation in accordance with that spirit and achieve the improvement of inter-Korean relations.

6. Abe Shinzo should give up the strategy to deter North Korea with US and be a fair mediator to promote dialogue with the spirit of Article 9 in the Japanese peace constitution.

We call on the international community to raise its voice against these provocations and drills with mighty US military power generated by the US military bases in Asia, the Pacific and in the world.

November 6th, 2017.

The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
Confederation of Lawyers of Asia and the Pacific (COLAP)
Japan Lawyers International Solidarity Association (JALISA)
US Military Issues Committee of Lawyers for a Democratic Society (Minbyun)
National Lawyers Guild (NLG)