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PSR tells Sec. Tillerson: Start direct talks with North Korea

Posted by Martin Fleck on August 18, 2017

Edgy about conflict with North Korea? An on-again, off-again war of words and provocations between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un has injected the specter of nuclear war into popular American culture. This dispute may heat up again soon because of massive annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises slated to run August 21 to 31. These sea, land and air exercises, called Ulchi-Freedom Guardian, will include tens of thousands of troops. In 2016, North Korea test-detonated a nuclear bomb shortly after the Ulchi-Freedom exercises. PSR members are encouraged to please contact Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to urge that he begin direct talks with North Korea to defuse this crisis.

Any use of nuclear weapons by either or both sides would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences, and even a conventional war involving the U.S., North Korea and South Korea would risk hundreds of thousands of lives. (For comparison, the 1950-1953 Korean War caused 2,859,000 deaths including over 36,500 Americans and 1,600,000 civilians.)

Because the only way to protect humanity from nuclear weapons is to eliminate all of them, PSR and our international affiliates advocate for all nine nuclear-armed countries—including North Korea—to negotiate for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons everywhere. The nuclear ban treaty, recently adopted by 122 nations at the UN, will help pave the way toward elimination.

Americans are unenthusiastic about military action against North Korea, as indicated by a Marist Poll of 1,009 American residents over 18, conducted August 8 to August 12. 76% of those polled rejected military action, instead favoring direct negotiations with North Korea or convincing China to stop the North Korean programs.

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