Welcoming the Singapore Summit: A Step Towards a Peaceful, Nuclear-Free Korean Peninsula

Statement by the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC)

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As a global network of civil society peacebuilding organisations, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) welcomes the historic summit and subsequent agreement in Singapore by President Donald Trump of the United States and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). The points laid out in the agreement, relating to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations, the building of a lasting peace regime, and the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula are important, positive steps forward to achieving a peaceful, nuclear-free Northeast Asia.

The lack of a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, and the ongoing nuclear threats on the Korean Peninsula, continue to endanger the lives and human security of not only the Korean people, but also the entire Northeast Asian region and indeed the world. It is for this very reason that GPPAC and its member organisations in Northeast Asia, including in Korea, have continued for decades to undertake multilayered initiatives to promote dialogue, exchange and trust building for peace on the Korean Peninsula, including the GPPAC Northeast Asia-led Ulaanbaatar Process.

We applaud the diplomatic efforts which made the summit possible, including the leadership demonstrated by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, supported by the civil society which brought him into power through the Candlelight Revolution. This is indeed an example of the prevention of armed conflict, with the support of civil society – vitally needed in light of the long-running tensions on the Korean Peninsula, involving even the risk of a catastrophic nuclear war.

At the same time, we recognize that the meeting is but a first step, and that a long process must follow. Concrete steps must now be made to implement both the Sentosa Agreement and the April 27 Inter-Korean Panmunjeom Declaration. To this end, we welcome both Chairman Kim's expressing his strong will to achieve denuclearization, and President Trump's announcement to end war games on the Korean Peninsula. We encourage all parties to cease any potential acts of provocation. Further trust must be built in order to ensure that this agreement will be upheld, and the peace process will be lasting, and we urge the international community to extend their full support to this end.

GPPAC also emphasises the importance of civil society involvement in the ongoing Korean peace process. We encourage the involved parties to develop mechanisms to ensure such meaningful engagement, and to heed the various recommendations being presented from civil society already. This includes those regarding concrete steps to create a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, the importance of women's meaningful inclusion in the talks, private sector participation in regional and international economic cooperation, and the easing of restrictions regarding humanitarian work and civil exchange.

The "promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula" is indeed vital for peace globally. We call on the entire international community to join efforts to support the implementation of the agreement and past agreements. Furthermore, this should be taken a step further, towards the establishment of a nuclear-weapons free zone in Northeast Asia, a regional mechanism for peace and security, and the comprehensive resolution of lingering Cold War structures in the region. The positive momentum must be sustained into the future. Based on the historic efforts of civil society, we pledge to do our utmost to work together with all relevant parties to promote further dialogue and confidence building, and to take active steps towards the creation of a peaceful, nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, Northeast Asia and world.

Also available online: https://goo.gl/9qUYKE