Peace in Korea

This letter was sent on behalf of WILPF Canada on July 17 to Prime Minister Trudeau; Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland; Jacqueline O’Neill, Women, Peace and Security Ambassador of Canada; and MP Joyce Murray.

The Canadian Section of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom urges you to support women’s advocacy for an end to the Korean war and for a peace agreement on the peninsula. 

70 years is enough. It’s time to end the Korean War:

We urge our government, which has diplomatic relations with both the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), to support an end to the nearly seven decades-old Korean War. 

We recognize that under the armistice agreement signed in 1953, the United States and the Koreas are still technically locked in a state of war, and that this has been the root cause of conflict, militarism and nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula. 

We appreciate that the two Koreas agreed to declare an end of war at the Panmunjom summit in April 2018 and implemented their military agreement disarming the Panmunjom and removing landmines and guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas.

We hope that the US and the DPRK  continue a peace dialogue in order to finally end the Korean war and that the US and the DPRK establish liaison offices and diplomatic relations in accordance with the Singapore joint statement of June 2018 by which the two countries’ leaders agreed to establish new relationships for peace and prosperity.

We want to see Canada use our diplomatic  relationships with all three parties to support the peace process. In light of recent inter-Korean cooperation and rapprochement, we urge our government to do more to promote social and economic exchanges with the DPRK and provide medical and humanitarian assistance to the North Korean people.

We call for continued diplomacy for peace and disarmament:

Understanding peace as a necessary condition for denuclearization, we support the ongoing discussion on peace and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as an important step toward a world free of nuclear weapons. 

We call on our government to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to encourage the DPRK and the ROK, as well as the US, Russia, and China, nuclear-armed states acting in the region, to sign as well. This will offer a framework for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

We call for the lifting of sanctions against the North Korean people:

We must stress that although UN Security Council sanctions do exempt humanitarian activities, life-saving programmes of UN agencies, member states, and humanitarian organizations continue to face serious challenges and delays, which have negative impacts on the people who desperately need aid. 

We express concern that sanctions are also creating huge obstacles to the implementation of the inter-Korean agreements as well as inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation in general. 

We call for lifting of sanctions against the North Korean people in order to fulfill the commitment under the Sustainable Development Goals to “leave no one behind.” 

We support women’s participation in the Korean peace process:

Recognizing that women’s participation in peace processes results in more durable and stable peace, we urge women’s inclusion in the Korean peace process for long-term solutions to protect all people through disarmament and demilitarization, investments in economic and social rights, and sustainable development. 

Global support for peace on the Korean peninsula and women’s participation in the peace process will secure lasting peace on the peninsula and in the region. 

We urge our government to support women’s advocacy for peace on the Korean peninsula, and women’s participation in the peace process. 

Yours in peace, 

Marlene LeGates, President, Canada Section

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom