In the severely hot and humid early evening here today in Washington, peace activists demonstrated and marched in a rally to end the war on the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War Armistice on July 27, 1953 that called for a formal end to hostilities on the peninsula. The war that has never officially been ended continues to loom as a major obstacle in tensions between all parties involved as well as a threat to the entire world as the possibility of a nuclear war increases as escalating tensions continue.
The national rally at Lafayette Square across from the White House, according to organizers, included concerned people from across the country including peace activists, humanitarian aid organizations, and groups representing veterans, faith traditions along with members of the Korean American communities all calling on President Biden and Congress to officially end the Korean War and replace the armistice with a permanent peace agreement.
During the rally, speakers called upon the Congressional House on Foreign Affairs to pass H.R. 1369 the “Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act” that was introduced earlier this year by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA). The act if passed would “…review current restrictions on travel to North Korea and call for a formal end to the Korean War.”
The bill also notes that “In its roll out of its policy towards North Korea, the Biden administration expressed support for the Singapore framework, which identifies peace on the Korean peninsula as an objective of any future negotiations between the United States and North Korea.” Thus, the White House rally called for President Biden to move aggressively forward on that premise in bringing hostilities to a close.
Also noted in the bill are the “compelling humanitarian considerations” of the ongoing stalemate respective to the divisions of families who are not able to visit each other due to the travel restrictions.
The proposed bill also references “the joint statement signed by the United States and North Korea in Singapore on June 12, 2018, which included an agreement to establish new U.S.-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity” as an inducement to act.
After the White House rally the demonstrators marched to the National Mall and the Korean War Memorial where they were greeted by heavy thunder and rain that caused them to disburse. While the ongoing extreme weather may have dampened their demonstration, the activists remain committed in their desire to finally see a united Korea.
The groups are convening tomorrow at George Washington University for an all-day conference titled, “70th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice: Prospects and Challenges of a Peace Agreement.” The all-day conference will open with a keynote speech by University of Chicago Korea historian, Bruce Cumings and include include a number of panel discussions addressing the conflict, the armistice and the threat of nuclear war.
Photo: Phil Pasquini
(This article has previously appeared in Nuzeink.)
Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and Nuze.ink. He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.