Peace activist Alice Slater of New York addressed the West Suburban Peace Coalition Educational Forum via Zoom Tuesday night on the topic: North Korea and Nuclear Weapons.
Slater, who joined the peace movement in 1968 to support Sen. Gene McCarthy’s quest to unseat President Johnson and end the Vietnam War, has focused her career on eliminating nuclear weapons. A board member of World Beyond War, Slater worked with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for promoting successful negotiations birthing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Her focus Tuesday dealt with the now 72 year long Korean War which the US refuses to sign a peace treaty over though hostilities ended 69 years ago. As with many international crises, the US imposes draconian economic and political sanctions; then refuses any negotiated relief till its target gives in to every US demand. With Korea that requires North Korea to give up its entire nuclear program of roughly 50 nukes and now ICBM’s that could reach the US.
But North Korea has learned well the lesson of duplicitous US conduct following end of nuclear programs by both Libya and Iraq only to be subjected to regime change and war as their reward. Don’t expect North Korea to give up its nukes anytime soon; indeed ever. Till the US understands that, it may well extend the Korean War for another 70 years.
Slater urged attendees to visit koreapeacenow.org and join the effort to achieve the long overdue end to the Korean War which, while inactive for decades, has the potential to erupt like a slumbering volcano. In particular, contact your representative and senators to support H.R. 3446, the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act.
I first learned about the Korean War as a six year old in 1951. Here I am 71 years on still pondering the folly of this unresolved, unnecessary US war that killed millions. Its end would be a neat item to check off my bucket list. But first, it needs to be on Uncle Sam’s.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.