The past few days have seen dramatic developments on the Korean Peninsula, with the historic meeting of President Donald Trump, Chairman Kim Jong Un, and President Moon Jae-in at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas. This marked the first time for a sitting United States President to set foot on North Korean soil and the first time for a tripartite meeting of leaders of the three countries together. We commend all those involved in restarting the much-needed trust building and dialogue for peace in and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
As a global civil society network working for the peaceful resolution of conflict, GPPAC, and its members welcome these steps. While it is indeed true that they are symbolic steps, such expressions of the will and intention to proceed with dialogue carry significant meaning. Further, it is of great importance that these steps were followed by a discussion of close to one hour and a declaration that working-level negotiations will be restarted. Following the stalemate in the months since the DPRK-US Summit in Hanoi, this is indeed a notable step in establishing the real trust required for sustained diplomacy to take place.
GPPAC sincerely hopes that these historic steps will indeed be followed through with this necessary work, and for support for the continued dialogue from hereon. We also hope that the continued dialogue focuses on how to implement the Singapore agreement, to "establish new relations, to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, and to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," rather than a demand for 'denuclearization first' of the DPRK. We emphasize that this dialogue should also be inclusive, drawing upon the women-led and youth initiatives for peace in the region. We stand together with our members in Korea, united in their wish for progress in the peacebuilding process, finally ending to the 70 year Korean War, and creating a peaceful, nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
GPPAC is a global network of civil society peacebuilding organisations. Peace Boat coordinates the activities of the network in Northeast Asia.