August 27th 2003
Nuclear powers should disarm to end nuclear crisis in N-Korea
GLOBAL COUNCIL OF ABOLITION 2000 SENDS OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH AND OTHER KEY LEADERS ASKING FOR PEACE AND DISARMAMENT IN NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR CRISIS.
Over 400 anti-nuclear organizations worldwide have signed on
New York (NY), August 25, 2003 – Thursday, August 21, 2003, the Global Council of Abolition 2000 – an international network of over 2,000 non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons – sent an open letter to President George W. Bush and to the leaders of North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, and Australia urging them to abandon plans for a military solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis and to work toward the elimination of nuclear weapons in accordance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations.
The letter has been signed by 433 organizations and individuals from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Russia, Eastern Europe, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Scandinavia, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Latin America, Africa, New Zealand, and Australia, including the Mayor of Hiroshima’s Mayors for Peace (Japan), the International Network of Scientists and Engineers Against Proliferation-INESAP (U.S.), World Disarmament Campaign (U.K.), United for Peace and Justice (U.S.), Public Citizen (U.S.), Abolition 2000 (U.S.), Canadian Peace Alliance (Canada), Center for Russian Environmental Policy (Russia), Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament, and Environment (India), For Mother Earth (Belgium) and many more.
The letter strongly urges the U.S. government to desist from threatening a military action in North Korea and encourages the addressed countries to reach a peaceful solution “that promotes the well-being and security of all parties […], and that contributes to the elimination of tensions in the Korean Peninsula.” The letter declares that threats to use force or sanctions will cause North Korea “not only to retain and to augment its nuclear arsenal, but may induce it to actually contemplate its use.”
The only way to solve the problem in North Korea, continues the letter, is for the U.S. and other nuclear states to set a good example and comply with their own nuclear disarmament commitments under Article VI of the NPT. Instead, the possession of nuclear weapons by the U.S. and its proposed plans to research and develop new nuclear arms are an invitation to North Korea and other states to build up their nuclear arsenals. It is essential, the letter says, “not only that the DPRK [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea] uphold and not withdraw from the NPT, but that the U.S. abide by its NPT obligations.” In short, the U.S. cannot ask North Korea to comply with the NPT when it plans to develop new nuclear weapons that violate its own NPT obligations “to accomplish the total and unequivocal elimination of its own vast nuclear arsenal.”
The open letter was an initiative of John Hallam of Friends of the Earth Australia.
For media interested in interviewing John Hallam or any other worldwide member of the Abolition 2000 Global Council*, please contact: Laura Giannatempo at +1-212. 726.9161 or email@example.com or contact John Hallam directly at +61-2-9567-7533 (Australia) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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