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What to Make of the Recent
North Korean Missile Tests

Aug 6, 2019
Dear Friends,
 
North Korea continues to remain in the headlines, but not for great reasons. The country recently tested its third missile in a week, seeming to counteract any of the positive momentum that was generated during the impromptu Trump-Kim summit at the DMZ in June.
 
But these tests should come as no surprise. That’s because the U.S. and South Korea are going ahead with another joint military exercise – a provocation that a spokesperson for the North Korean Foreign Ministry said would prompt North Korea to restart nuclear and long-range missile tests and boycott working-level talks.
 
So, how best to proceed toward peace? For starters, all parties must stick to a “freeze for freeze” – a halt to both North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests as well as the U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises. And then the United States must pursue reciprocal, step-by-step actions toward a peace agreement.
 
While the 2020 U.S. presidential election season is ramping up, decreasing the chances for the current administration to make any progress, we’re continuing to help build the political space for peace. On July 12, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment by Rep. Ro Khanna declaring that diplomacy is essential with North Korea and calling for an end to the Korean War – the first time the U.S. Congress has taken such a stand. The language of the amendment is similar to that in H.Res. 152, which Khanna also introduced and which we, along with our allies, proudly endorse.  

 
WCDMZ's Hyun Lee gives a peace scarf to Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan at a fundraiser in Philadelphia on July 14, 2019.
On July 16, Women Cross DMZ’s Hyun Lee spoke at a roundtable event with Michael Fuchs from the Center for American Progress and Korea expert Jae-jung Suh at the Center for International Policy in Washington, DC. The discussion, moderated by CIP’s Henri Feron, focused on the big picture of the Korean nuclear crisis and how we might get to peace.
 
Then, on July 27 – the 66th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that temporarily halted the Korean War – we joined together with more than 80 organizations around the world to urge President Trump to finally negotiate a peaceful settlement to the longest standing U.S. conflict.
 
We also helped organize events around the country to highlight the ongoing war and the need for peace -- rallying, dancing, singing, holding film screenings, giving talks, and gathering signatures in support of H.Res. 152. In Los Angeles, Women Cross DMZ’s Christine Ahn and humanitarian worker Joy Yoon spoke to a group of about 80 people about the efforts of women to build peace with North Korea. Yoon shared her experiences of helping disabled children in North Korea, and how that has been made more difficult with economic and financial sanctions imposed on North Korea. Ahn talked about the 2015 DMZ crossing and efforts to mobilize support for H.Res. 152.
Joy Yoon and Christine Ahn (front row, holding scarf) spoke to dozens of people about women’s efforts to build peace in North Korea on July 27, 2019, in Culver City, Calif.
In Atlanta, Women Cross DMZ’s Hyun Lee joined Rep. Sam Park of the Georgia State Assembly, Dr. Yusun Chang of the Georgia Korea Peace Campaign, Lindsay Harper of Georgia WAND, and James Woo of Asian Americans Advancing Justice at an event called “From Armistice to Peace: Ending the 70-Year-Old Korean War” at the Korean American Association of Atlanta. Among the roughly 70 attendees were one state Senator and three state Representatives. The energy was inspiring!
One state Senator and three state Representatives were among the attendees at “From Armistice to Peace: Ending the 70-Year-Old Korean War” in Atlanta, Ga.
 
We’re so moved by all the people involved in this work. The momentum for peace feels unstoppable – and we couldn’t do this work without the support of our generous donors. To make a tax-deductible contribution, click here.

As always, keep informed of our activities by following us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
 
In solidarity,
 
Christine Ahn
Executive Director
 

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