1. Statement
  2. Nuclear Weapons

A Remarkable and Hopeful Korean Summit

By Anthony Wier, April 27, 2018

The historic April 27 meeting of the Korean leaders may not yet herald the end of all tension and strife on the long-troubled peninsula—but it does promise a bold, encouraging new beginning. It has opened a way to peace that has not existed for decades.

We thank President Trump for strongly endorsing the summit and acknowledging China’s important contribution. Taking advantage of this breakthrough beginning, though, will demand months and years of patient, focused diplomatic effort. Today’s summit can point the region in a new direction—but a long and fraught path still lies ahead.

We call on Congress to back risk-taking for peace over the long haul. Republicans and Democrats in Congress must be ready to come together to support and enable concrete confidence-building gestures and other steps by the United States to reduce tensions. President Trump and our country as a whole must remain standing shoulder to shoulder with its ally as South Korea boldly and faithfully strives ahead in search of a true and lasting peace for the Korean people.

We also urge Congress to come together in a bipartisan fashion to reassert its co-equal constitutional role over the gravest of all decisions for a nation, choosing to go to war. Right now, Congress can best show its support for our South Korean ally by clearly stating that the House and Senate must have the opportunity to weigh in before the U.S. takes any steps away from peace and towards war.

Background North Korea: Diplomatic Openings and Giving Credit to Donald Trump 

At a time when South Korean President Moon Jae-in has carved out new openings for diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula, President Trump deserves credit for taking a risk for peace by agreeing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Now, Congress needs to get off the sidelines and engage.

We are especially encouraged that the two Korean leaders have again affirmed the goal of completely denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Nuclear weapons are behind much of the mistrust, insecurity, and fear plaguing Korea—but they are also its symptoms. The two Korean leaders at today’s summit have recognized that the security dilemmas ensnaring their countries cannot be unwound so long as nuclear weapons remain. But they have also rightly pledged to take other, additional early steps that can help relax the environment in which the nuclear issue will be addressed.

On this day of refreshed hope for reducing political and nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula, we also hold in our thoughts the prisoner in the camp, and the child and the mother in need of medical care.

FCNL seeks a world free of war and the threat of war. But we also seek a society with equity and justice for all, and a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled. Korea will not be healed and whole until all of the Korean people may enjoy the fullness of their fundamental rights as humans—and the world’s work will not be done as long as sanctions and embargoes deny to the innocent living in Korea the full benefits of modern science, technology, agriculture, and medicine.

We must remain steadfast. Diplomacy is working—and it offers the best course for steering our nation and the world away from the catastrophe that renewed war on the Korean peninsula would bring. May the hope of this remarkable spring day guide the way.

Anthony Wier

  • Legislative Secretary, Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending

Anthony is our lead lobbyist and the director of FCNL's work on nuclear weapons policy and is the key team leader working on our efforts to rein in Pentagon spending. He is also responsible for maintaining FCNL’s Nuclear Calendar and for representing FCNL with the various coalitions that work on these issues.