Pictured left with Scottish CND Chair and Labour Party member Arthur West and right at Leeds University, Francis Daehoon Lee toured the UK in May representing People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a south Korean NGO which he helped found in 1994. In London, Scotland and Yorkshire he had the same clear message for everyone he met: the peace process on the Korean Peninsula must continue.
Francis held meetings with Shadow Peace and Disarmament
Minister Fabian Hamilton and Shadow International Defence Minister Alex Norris in
Westminster and a cross-party group of Scottish parliamentarians in Edinburgh, briefing
them on the Trump-Kim talks. He met academics, students and activists for a
round-table discussion at Leeds University (pictured right) and joined local
activists for a demonstration at the gates of Menwith Hill spy base. Former
Labour MEP Glyn Ford, author of Talking
to North Korea: ending the nuclear standoff joined Francis on the platform
of a public meeting in London.
Speaking in a debate on European security and the future of the INF Treaty, MEP and Labour CND Co-Chair Julie Ward said:
‘The INF Treaty occupies a special place in peace history – in our history. It was prompted by the huge nuclear disarmament movements that swept across Europe and the USA in the 1980s. In some respects, the peace movement owns this treaty, and we must do what we can to ensure it is not taken away.’
To remind us why CND is needed, Trump chose the weekend of the CND annual conference to announce his intention to tear up the 1987 The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which removed the threat of nuclear war in Europe by eliminating short- and medium- range ballistic and ground-launched cruise missiles.
A resolution from Labour CND together with Yorkshire and London CND was passed with acclaim at CND’s annual policy conference – committing CND to promote trade union and trades council affiliations and encourage relationships between CND groups and trade unions. Bristol CND who hosted the weekend did us proud – providing a beautiful building to meet in and a terrific open meeting focused on the centenary of World War I armistice.
Labour CND was out in force at Labour conference, visible throughout at CND, Momentum and other fringe meetings, distributing our newsletter and contact card, and helping staff the CND stall where we signed up dozens of new subscribers to our e-news updates. Our daily meet-up sessions proved popular too, chatting to delegates and visitors over coffee.
When President Trump signed the order to pull the US out, the Iran nuclear deal was dead in the water. CAROL TURNER, Vice Chair, Labour CND, asks why Trump withdrew from a landmark arms control agreement that everyone, including official US sources, said was working.
All parties agree that Iran was meeting its obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors have repeatedly confirmed this. Iran does not possess nuclear weapons.
President Trump recently announced the formation of a US space force, saying: ‘it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance.’ Oxford CND and others have called a demonstration at USAF Croughton, a US communication base in Northamptonshire. Keep Space for Peace: No Space Force takes place 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday 6 October. Check out the details and join us there.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson is urging support: ‘As if President Trump isn’t causing enough trouble already: trade wars with China, trashing the Iranian nuclear deal, on/off nuclear confrontation with North Korea, destabilising Venezuela, offending his erstwhile European allies… the list goes on and on. Now he’s instructed the Department of Defense and the Pentagon to set up a sixth branch of the armed forces: the Space Force.’
Talks between North and South Korea are progressing. We wonder if the same can be said for denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea, given the contradictory signals from the Trump administration. Another Japanese anti-nuclear delegations sets off for North Korea this month, on a fact-finding mission in search of information about survivors of the 1945 US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The visit is the first since 2008 by Gensuikyo, the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. On the basis of information provided by North Korea, Gensuikyo believes there were 1,911 victims of the bombs, 382 of whom were alive in 2008. ‘We want to have discussions that will accelerate denuclearisation,’ a spokesperson for the delegation said. Gensuikyo’s annual conference held on the anniversary of the bombings attracts several thousand delegates from across the world. Labour CND Co-Chair Carol Turner attended in 2016. In her speech to conference she outlined Jeremy Corbyn’s election. To loud applause, said: ‘A new mood is sweeping Britain, as elsewhere. One manifestation is the rise of political figures such as Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Bernie Sanders in the United States. After his election Corbyn announced on TV he would never press the nuclear button if he were prime minister.’
Congratulations to Labour CND members who became CLP reps in the recent NPF elections:
Congratulations to Labour CND members who became CLP reps in the recent NPF elections: Co-Chair Carol Turner, representing London, Secretary Carol Wilcox, representing SW, and George Downs, re-elected to the NW youth place. Congrats too to Tom Unterrainer, East Midlands, who sits on CND’s Trade Union Advisory Group.