Julie Ward MEP is a peace activist and member of Labour CND Executive Committee. In a recent speech to the European Parliament, she argued:
Prospects of peace between the two Koreas are unexpectedly encouraging. In our support of the talks, we must focus on young people who are essential to any lasting peacebuilding processes. Young Koreans on both sides of the border have different perspectives from their elders and they should be given a voice in the peace talks.
Women also have a crucial role to play when it comes to peacebuilding so involving them in the process is a way to ensure that peace is more sustainable and more inclusive.
I am aware that the process in the Korean peninsula is still fragile. However, I believe that any step forward is good, even a baby step, as it is one-step closer to peace and to nuclear de-escalation. In the current global context, it is hugely important for us to support disarmament campaigns.
It is particularly important that the European Parliament support all efforts at the United Nations level to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal for ALL states under any circumstances.
The crisis on the Korean Peninsula is bringing the region closer to open military conflict than it’s been for many years, with unimaginable humanitarian consequences. By accident or design, the actions by North Korea and the United States could result in a nuclear detonation.
The war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, reflects escalating provocations on both sides.
On 7 July the UN adopted the first-ever, legally-binding Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The UK boycotted the UN’s global nuclear ban negotiations. Britain greeted the treaty’s adoption with a statement signed jointly with the US and France, declaring: ‘We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.’
A month later, President Trump was threatening ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’.
Did you know that despite heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula Britain will be participating in US-led military exercises there for 10 days beginning Monday 21 August? These war games are a simulation of war with North Korea which involves around 85,000 land, sea and air personnel.
The government is keeping shtum about UK involvement – how many British forces and from which services will be taking part. But in the House of Lords in January, however, Defence Minister Earl Howe confirmed that the UK does take part in these exercises.
Jeremy Corbyn has urged the government to refrain from military intervention in North Korea, including the forthcoming Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises.
As the war of words between Trump and North Korea entered its second week, newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in emerged onto the diplomatic stage on 16 August, declaring there’d be no second war on the Korean Peninsula. But is he right? In this video clip from China Global Television Network, Brian Becker, executive director of the US anti-war ANSWER Coalition explains some background to the conflict.