Final statement of Vancouver Women’s Forum on Peace and Security on the Korean Peninsula

The Vancouver Summit on Korea missed a critical opportunity for peace. Instead of supporting the reduction of tensions on the Korean Peninsula that began with the inter-Korean dialogue and the Olympics truce, the Foreign Ministers chose to further isolate and threaten North Korea.

We urged Foreign Ministers to prepare the table for dialogue with North Korea. Instead, they chose to obstruct the path for peace being laid by North and South Korea.

The U.S.-led “maximum pressure” approach has utterly failed to halt North Korea’s nuclear and missile program. Seventy years of sanctions and isolation of North Korea have only furthered the DPRK’s resolve to develop its nuclear arsenal.

A maximum pressure campaign is not diplomacy that will lead to peace. Increased sanctions hurt ordinary people.

U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson’s depiction today of commercial airline flights as potential targets of North Korea’s missile tests is reminiscent of Colin Powell’s UN presentation about Iraq’s “so-called” weapons of mass destruction. This provocative effort to demonize North Korea sets up justification for even more extreme measures against the DPRK, such as a naval blockade, which will be viewed by North Koreans as a war-like action.

We are profoundly disappointed by the Foreign Ministers representing countries with a commitment to peaceful diplomacy and feminist foreign policies. At a time of great global instability, we looked to them for leadership for true global peace and security.

We are resolved to build a global campaign to challenge sanctions that we know have cruel and punishing effects on ordinary North Koreans, to strengthen our feminist peace movements to challenge the drive for war, and to work towards the formal resolution of the Korean War.

Our commitment to peace is unshaken.

(January 16, 2018)

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