President Donald Trump
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
Secretary of Defense James Mattis
H.R. McMaster, National Security Council
April 26, 2017
Dear President Trump:
We are women leaders from 40 countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and many from nations that fought in the Korean War. We are from academia, business, civil society and the military, and represent a diversity of ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and political views. We are united by our belief that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the nuclear crisis and threat of war now facing the Korean peninsula.
"Peace is the most powerful deterrent of all. We urge you to take steps now to help formally end the Korean War with a peace treaty."
On July 27, 1953, leaders from the United States, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and China signed the Armistice Agreement to halt the Korean War. They promised to re-convene within three months to replace the ceasefire with a binding peace agreement. This never occurred and an entrenched state of war has ever since defined inter-Korean and U.S.-D.P.R.K. relations. This war must end.
Korea is the only nation to remain divided as a result of WWII. For three generations, millions of families have been separated by the world’s most militarized border. We urge you to do the following to avert war in Korea and bring about a long-desired peace on the peninsula:
1. Negotiate a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and long-range ballistic program in exchange for a U.S. security guarantee that would include suspending U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
2. Initiate a peace process with North Korea, South Korea and China to replace the 1953 Armistice Agreement with a binding peace treaty to end the Korean War. Women must be significantly represented in the peace process in accordance with the spirit of UNSCR 1325.
3. Support citizen diplomacy to heal the legacies of the Korean War by establishing a liaison office in Washington and Pyongyang to facilitate retrieval of U.S. Korean War servicemen’s remains and Korean-American family reunions.
Since 1950, the Korean peninsula has been threatened with nuclear weapons, missile tests, and military exercises that have only served to make 75 million Korean people less secure. In the United States and on both sides of the Korean De-Militarized Zone, the absence of a binding peace accord fuels fear and economic deprivation caused by diverting public resources in preparation for war, including deploying the controversial THAAD missile defense system in South Korea. This endless militarization must stop.
Peace is the most powerful deterrent of all. We urge you to take steps now to help formally end the Korean War with a peace treaty. Doing so would lead to greater peace and security for the Korean peninsula and region and halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons. We look to you to accomplish what successive U.S. Presidents have failed to do for seven decades: establish peace on the Korean peninsula.
To download a pdf version of this letter or see the full list of signatories, go here.