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SCHOLARS URGE U.S., NORTH KOREA TO NEGOTIATE PEACE

by Michael Chwe Wednesday, Jun. 25, 2003 at 8:25 PM
manager@asck.org

On June 25, the anniversary of the Korean War, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK) calls for the US and North Korea to negotiate peace, normalize relations, and end the Korean war.

SCHOLARS URGE U.S., NORTH KOREA TO NEGOTIATE PEACE

END KOREAN WAR AND NORMALIZE RELATIONS, DEMAND SCHOLARS

Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK)

For Immediate Release

June 24, 2003

For more information contact:

Co-Chair, Charles Armstrong cra10@columbia.edu> or (212) 854-1721

Co-Chair, Gi-Wook Shin gwshin@stanford.edu> or 650-724-6402/ 8271

Media Relations, Ji-Yeon Yuh j-yuh@northwestern.edu>



New York?In a statement signed by its members, an alliance of scholars

urged the United States and North Korea to immediately engage in direct

negotiations to sign a peace treaty and normalize relations.

In a statement to be released on June 25, 2003, the 53rd anniversary of

the start of the Korean War, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about

Korea (ASCK) warns that another war looms over the Korean peninsula due

to tensions between the United States and North Korea. Current U.S.

policies, such as threats of regime change, only bring about reciprocal

threats from North Korea and destabilize Northeast Asia and thereby

undermine U.S. security and economic interests. Thus ASCK calls on both

governments to prevent tragedy by renouncing the use of military force,

signing a peace treaty, and initiating formal diplomatic relations.

The Korean War resulted in nearly 35,000 U.S. soldiers killed. More

than three million Koreans were killed during the three-year war.

Fighting ended with an armistice in 1953, but the war is technically

not over. Thus the United States military officially designates Korea

as a combat zone and stations some 37,000 troops in South Korea.

Neither North Korea nor the United States has renounced military

attacks.

Any use of military force by either side would lead to war. But another

Korean war would be disastrous, according to ASCK. Only the active

pursuit of peace, the alliance believes, can prevent war and ensure

both political and economic stability for the United States as well as

the world. As the world?s pre-eminent power, the United States has a

responsibility to take the lead for genuine peace.

ASCK was founded on March 29, 2003 at a meeting in New York and

includes scholars from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands,

South Korea, and New Zealand. According to the ASCK mission statement,

the members ?believe that current problems on the Korean peninsula and

between the U.S. 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.?

Members of the alliance include top scholars in the field of Korea

Studies, such as Bruce Cumings, Carter Eckert, James Palais, and David

Steinberg.

For the full text of ASCK statements, links to reports by alliance

members, a history of the alliance, and other information, please visit

the ASCK website at .

The June 25 ASCK statement, with an alphabetical list of signatories,

is included below.

----

Prevent Another War in Korea

ASCK Statement on the 53rd Anniversary of the Korean War

June 25, 2003

As scholars who study and are concerned about Korea and U.S.-Korea

relations, we commemorate the 53rd anniversary of the beginning of the

Korean War with great distress.

On June 25, 1950, a war began on the Korean peninsula, an unspeakable

tragedy in which over three million Koreans were killed in the

fighting.  The United States also paid a heavy cost, with nearly 35,000

American soldiers killed fighting in Korea.

The war never ended.  The United States and North Korea (DPRK) remain

enemies half a century after signing an armistice that stopped the

fighting.  The two governments have yet to sign a peace treaty to

formally end the war.

Today another war looms over the Korean peninsula, a war that would far

surpass the Korean War in death and human suffering.  So it is with

deep concern that we speak out collectively today.

1.  Another war on the Korean peninsula is unthinkable.  It would be an

unimaginable catastrophe, endangering the lives of tens of millions of

innocent people.  Military action must not be considered, much less

taken, under any circumstances.  All sides must publicly renounce any

military option.

2.  U.S. policies toward the DPRK, such as threats of embargo,

preemptive strikes, and regime change, are pushing the Korean peninsula

perilously close to war.  By triggering reciprocal threats and hostile

actions from the DPRK, these policies actually undermine U.S. security

and economic interests while destabilizing the Northeast Asian region.

3.  We call upon the U.S. and DPRK governments to immediately and

unconditionally begin direct negotiations to normalize their relations,

sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War, and resolve issues of

contention peacefully.  Such negotiations represent the best means to

resolve U.S. concerns about North Korea's nuclear programs and North

Korea's concerns about its security.

4.  We support and encourage efforts by the peoples of the U.S. and

Korea, North and South, to achieve a peaceful, democratic, and unified

Korea and create a mutually beneficial and equitable relationship

between the U.S. and Korea.

We, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea (ASCK), call on all

concerned people to join us in preventing another war in Korea.

The Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea

Members (in alphabetical order; affiliations for purposes of

identification only):

Nancy Abelmann, Associate Professor, University of Illinois at

Urbana-Champaign

Charles Armstrong, Associate Professor, Columbia University

Don Baker, Director, Centre for Korean Research, University of British

Columbia

Christopher Candland, Assistant Professor, Wellesley College

Koen De Ceuster, Assistant Professor, Leiden University

Edward T. Chang, Associate Professor, University of California,

Riverside

Hyaeweol Choi, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

Kyeong-Hee Choi, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Howard H. Chung, Chair, Pressure Vessels and Piping Division, American

Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Michael Chwe, Associate Professor, UCLA

Don Clark, Professor, Trinity University

Alain Delissen, Maître de Conférences, Centre de Recherche sur la

Corée, Paris

Alexis Dudden, Assistant Professor, Connecticut College

John Duncan, Associate Professor, UCLA

Henry Em, Assistant Professor, University of Michigan

John Feffer, Foreign Policy in Focus

Ruediger Frank, Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Columbia University

James Grayson, Dean of Social Sciences, Sheffield University

Mel Gurtov, Professor, Hatfield School of Government, Portland State

University

JaHyun Kim Haboush, Professor, Columbia University

Martin Hart-Landsberg, Professor, Lewis and Clark College

Milan Hejtmanek, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania

Elizabeth L. Hillman, Assistant Professor, Rutgers Law School, Camden

Theodore Hughes, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at

Urbana-Champaign

Roger L. Janelli, Professor, Indiana University

Kelly Jeong, Assistant Professor, City University of New York

Laurel Kendall, Curator, American Museum of Natural History

Daniel H. Kim, Graduate Student, Indiana University, Bloomington

Samuel S. Kim, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University

Jong Bum Kwon, Graduate Student, New York University

Jin-kyung Lee, Assistant Professor, University of California, San Diego

Namhee Lee, Assistant Professor, UCLA

Timothy S. Lee, Assistant Professor, Brite Divinity School, Texas

Christian University

Walter Lew, Poet, Los Angeles

John Lie, Professor, University of Michigan

Gary N. McLean, Professor, University of Minnesota

Katharine H. Moon, Associate Professor, Wellesley College

Craig N. Murphy, Director of the Social Science Center, Wellesley

College

Min Paek, Executive Director, Korean American Women Artists and Writers

Association

James Palais, Professor, University of Washington

V. Spike Peterson, Associate Professor, University of Arizona

Janet Poole, Graduate Student, Columbia University

Andre Schmid, Associate Professor, University of Toronto

James D. Seymour, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University

Gi-Wook Shin, Associate Professor, Stanford University

Michael Shin, Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Edward J. Shultz, Director, Center for Korean Studies, University of

Hawai'i

Changzoo Song, Lecturer, University of Auckland

Jae-Jung Suh, Assistant Professor, Cornell University

Seung Hye Suh, Assistant Professor, Scripps College

Kenneth M. Wells, Director, Centre for Korean Studies, Australian

National University

Meredith Woo-Cumings, Professor, University of Michigan

Hyangsoon Yi, Assistant Professor, University of Georgia

T. Jun Yoo, Assistant Professor, University of Hawaii

Ji-Yeon Yuh, Assistant Professor, Northwestern University

Leighanne Yuh, Adjunct Professor, Cooper Union

-----------------------END---------------------------

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