The Olympic Truce is a tradition that dates back to the original Olympic Games of Ancient Greece. In 2018, the truce is fraught with extra meaning. To cool tensions before the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Trump administration agreed to postpone joint military exercises with South Korea while North Korea has refrained from conducting ballistic missile or nuclear weapons tests. An unofficial “freeze-for-freeze” has come about, and with it, an opportunity to defuse the ongoing nuclear-armed standoff.
We are dangerously close to a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula. Experts warn that war with North Korea would be the most devastating military conflict that our generation has ever seen. Seoul’s 25 million civilians live just 30 miles away from the De-Militarized Zone. For the 230,000 American citizens who currently live in South Korea, this war would not be “over there.” The Congressional Research Service estimated that North Korea’s conventional weapons could kill more than 300,000 people in South Korea within the first days of fighting. The humanitarian consequences of nuclear, chemical, or biological warfare would be even more devastating.
It is vitally important to take advantage of the Olympic Truce before the opportunity dissipates. PSR joins peace advocates and national security experts calling for an extension of the freeze-for-freeze beyond the Winter Olympics.
Help PSR prevent war with North Korea and advocate for diplomatic solutions. We may not have the ear of the Trump administration, but it’s up to us to urge our members of Congress to use their influence. Contact your senators and ask them to support legislation that reduces the chance of war.