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Korea Peace Days 2013-2014

Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK.org)

National Campaign to End the Korean War (EndTheKoreanWar.org)

To raise greater awareness and understanding about the need for peace on the Korean peninsula, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK) and the National Campaign to End the Korean War (NCEKW) call for individuals and organizations to organize public events during Fall 2013, Spring 2014, and Summer 2014 to commemorate Korea Peace Day.

Call to Action:

During this sixtieth anniversary year of the July 27, 1953 Korean War armistice, recurring tensions on the Korean peninsula serve as a sobering reminder that renewed war is a persistent danger. The Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK), an organization of primarily U.S.-based scholars concerned with U.S. policies towards the Korean peninsula, and the National Campaign to End the Korean War (NCEKW), a coalition of U.S. human rights, community, veterans, and faith-based organizations, therefore seek to renew a peacemaking tradition that began a decade ago as Korea Peace Day. With inaugural events scheduled for November 7-8 at UC Santa Cruz and Berkeley, Korea Peace Days 2013-2014 will continue at different locations throughout North America for several months until July 27, 2014.

We invite all concerned people and organizations to express support for a peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions between the United States and North Korea by organizing local Korea Peace Days on college and university campuses as well as neighborhoods and communities throughout the United States. Already this year, the National Campaign has organized teach-ins as well as public actions, and it will add Korea Peace Days to its campaign to formally end the Korean War. For the remainder of this year and until July 27, 2014, Korea Peace Days held across the nation will signal a growing consensus for peaceful U.S.-Korea relations.

The Korean War constitutes the longest military conflict in U.S. history. That war killed more than three million Koreans, more than half a million Chinese, and more than 35,000 Americans. Sixty years ago, on July 27, 1953, an armistice was signed to end the fighting in the Korean War. It recommended that a permanent peace agreement and the withdrawal of all foreign troops be achieved posthaste. Yet, a formal end to the war has never been negotiated. To this day, Korea remains divided, and the United States and North Korea remain technically at war.

The first Korea Peace Day was held ten years ago on November 6, 2003, with events taking place at over forty colleges and universities throughout the United States. As on that day, Korea Peace Days 2013-2014 are dedicated to ending the war by advocating for a peace agreement to replace the armistice and calling for a rejection of the use of military force on the Korean peninsula. These events will illuminate the history of the current tensions and the importance of U.S. dialogue, cooperation, and active pursuit of peace with both Koreas, North and South. They will highlight the stalemated Korean War as a principal obstacle to resolving both the current hostilities and the painful unresolved human legacies of the war.

The broader the participation of campuses and communities in Korea Peace Days, the more effective our call for peace will be. Be part of a national movement to bring an end to the Korean War and to urge dialogue and diplomacy as the only acceptable means for resolving dangerous tensions in U.S.-Korea relations.

Korea Peace Days Activities:

If you want to help your community become a part of Korea Peace Days 2013-2014, here are suggestions and supporting resources for events that would be easy to organize. Please confirm your willingness to organize a Korea Peace Day and send any questions or suggestions to
koreapeaceday2013@gmail.com.

Program Ideas

1. Film Screening:

For a list of films that encourage dialogue about the legacies of the Korean War, please go to http://www.asck.org/films.html. A new documentary film, Memory of Forgotten War, by Ramsay Liem and Deann Borshay Liem is available this year, offering a testimonial perspective on the costs of ongoing war. Running just 37 minutes, the film serves as a springboard for closer examination of a range of linked issues: the history of the Korean War, civilian trauma and survival, unresolved legacies including the suffering of divided families, origins of U.S.-North Korea enmity, and strategies for promoting dialogue and moving toward peace. (See "Korea Peace Days Resources" for details.)

2. Speaker or Panel Discussion:

Invite a speaker or panelists to present or discuss a variety of issues related to the objectives of Korea Peace Days. This portion of the program can be tailored to local interests and expertise and can be held in conjunction with a film screening.

3. Cultural Performance:

Include local performers as available (e.g., a Korean drumming troupe).

4. Actions (see "Korea Peace Days Resources" for details):

  • Endorse Representative Mike Honda's statement to Congress supporting a peace agreement to end the Korean War and calling for dialogue with all relevant parties.
  • Take part in the photobooth option and an Obama postcard campaign that have thus far accompanied screenings of Memory of Forgotten War.
  • Set up a table on campus or community centers for people to write letters to their elected officials urging a peace agreement to formally end the Korean War.
  • Organize a house or block party and mobilize your neighbors and friends for peace.

Local organizers may have other ideas and can also engage audiences in a discussion of strategies for action.

These are suggestions, but the format of Korea Peace Days is up to you. Some Korea Peace Days might focus on speakers or a panel and others on cultural programming. The list of Korea Peace Days Resources should be useful regardless of how your program is designed. If possible, please include an Action component to provide participants with options to lend their support to Korea Peace Days objectives.

Share Your Events and Help Build a Movement

Getting the word out about your Korea Peace Day will build momentum and encourage others to join in. Please tell us about your event details, send us links to local press coverage, and share event photographs. We'll post them on the ASCK and NCEKW websites and send periodic alerts to others to show them what can be done. Email koreapeaceday2013@gmail.com.

 

ASCK Mission Statement

We are scholars working in the United States and other countries who join together out of concern about current US policies toward the Korean peninsula.

We believe that current problems on the Korean peninsula and between the US and the two Koreas, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea, can only be solved through dialogue, cooperation, and the active pursuit of peace. We feel the responsibility to speak out against policies that increase tensions in Northeast Asia and may lead to another catastrophic war in Korea. We wish to add our voices to a constructive discussion on how to achieve a peaceful, unified Korea existing in harmony with its neighbors, including the United States.

The Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK) is dedicated to the promotion of mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Korea, both North and South. The goals and activities of ASCK include:

1. Helping scholars, students, policy-makers and the general public learn about Korea, both North (DPRK) and South (ROK), through accurate, historically informed analyses;

2. Contributing to the constructive and peaceful development of US-ROK and US-DPRK relations;

3. Facilitating the exchange of scholars and students between the US and the DPRK.

We realize that this is a critical moment in US-Korean relations. Our organization is committed to promoting a US policy toward Korea that is informed, humane, and in everyone's mutual interest.

ASCK History

The Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK) was founded at a meeting at Columbia University on March 29, 2003.