The Korean War, which broke out on June 25th, 1950, cost millions of lives and left the Korean Peninsula in ruins. The 1953 Armistice Agreement led not to a peace agreement. Thereafter, the disastrous confrontation settled into a consolidation of the barrier between the two Koreas, which has amplified conflicts and military confrontations between the two Koreas and between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States of America (USA).
Ending the Korean War and concluding a peace agreement must be the first step toward ending this conflict and the military confrontation which threatens life on the Korean Peninsula. This is the path to a permanent peace that guarantees the safety of the people. This will also shine a ray of hope on those dreaming of co-existence and the co-prosperity of Northeast Asia and the world. Assured of this, Korean civil society has campaigned not only in Korea but also in the United States of America and other neighboring countries to urge for the conclusion of a peace agreement. People around the world have also sent support and pledged solidarity with this struggle. These efforts constitute a response to the demands for breaking down the walls of the unending Cold War and opening a new horizon for a community of life based on the new standards of co-prosperity and peace.
Therefore, we declare an end to the Korean War and proclaim a 'People's Korea Peace Agreement' (hereafter People’s Peace Agreement). As those connected to the political and military power centers turn a blind eye to the people's longing for peace, protecting their own vested interests, the people will seek transformation themselves. This is a declaration that the people deserve an end to the years of excessive violence and hardship, an end to the unending war now in the form of the Armistice System, and that the people deserve to enjoy peace. While those who want to benefit from the division of the Korean Peninsula attempt to perpetuate the division under various pretexts, the people themselves are trying to move beyond division to reunification. This is the amalgamation of the scars engraved upon our bodies for 70 years, the overflow of tears within our hearts, and it is the cry bursting out of a longing for a world of peace.
The People's Peace Agreement, declared on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, should turn into an (official) peace agreement (hereafter: Peace Agreement) that shall be concluded by the contracting parties before July 27th, 2023, the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement. This Peace Agreement will be a legal and institutional basis for the complete end to the Korean War and the establishment of lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and throughout Northeast Asia. Now we urge the concerned countries to start negotiations as soon as possible, reflecting the following principles and contents of the People’s Peace Agreement:
Basic Principles of the People's Korea Peace Agreement
- The signatory parties to the Armistice Agreement, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the People's Republic of China (China), and the United States of America (USA) sign the Peace Agreement on the Korean Peninsula to achieve a complete end to the Korean War and a permanent and sustainable peace on the Korean Peninsula.
- The contracting parties to the Peace Agreement should abide by the Charter of the United Nations, respect existing (inter-Korean) agreements on peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, support efforts for peace and reunification between the South and the North, contribute to world peace, and faithfully implement the contents of the Peace Agreement.
- The Peace Agreement should be signed in accordance with the Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration, and the Singapore Joint Statement adopted between the leaders of the two Koreas and between the DPRK and USA, and should include the process of simultaneously implementing a step-by-step realization of a peace regime and complete denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula based on improved relations and trust between the parties.
The Peace Agreement on the Korean Peninsula includes the following:
- The contracting parties shall completely end the Korean War with the effectuation of the Peace Agreement.
- The military demarcation line stipulated in the ‘Armistice Agreement’ shall be the boundary line between the ROK and the DPRK, and the boundaries not stipulated in the Armistice Agreement shall be determined by agreement between the two Koreas.
- The ROK and the DPRK shall convert the existing Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into a peaceful ecological zone.
- Between the parties to the Peace Agreement, there shall be no threat of attack or use of force under any circumstances; neither between the DPRK and the ROK, nor between the DPRK and the USA.
- The DPRK and the USA shall normalize diplomatic relations and stop slander, pressure, and sanctions.
- Each contracting party shall amend or repeal hostile domestic laws which are contrary to the Peace Agreement.
- The ROK and the DPRK shall implement the existing agreements and form and operate permanent high-level talks to support those agreements in order to create overall political and military trust.
- The ROK and the DPRK shall mutually reduce their military spending. To that end, they shall form and operate a joint inter-Korean military committee.
- The DPRK shall dismantle its nuclear weapons, and the ROK and the USA shall remove its nuclear umbrella from the Korean Peninsula. The contracting parties shall ban all military and technical actions that could pose a nuclear threat to the Korean Peninsula.
- At the time of the effectuation of the Peace Agreement, the UN Command shall be dismantled and foreign troops withdrawn in a step by step process.
- To implement the Peace Agreement, an Inter-Korean Joint Committee for Peace Management and a Coordination Committee for Contracting Parties shall be organized and operated respectively.
- The contracting parties shall organize and operate an International Peace Watch Group to facilitate the implementation of the Peace Agreement.
A peace regime on the Korean Peninsula should be promoted based on the participation of the people. We will use every endeavor to realize this declaration.
July 27th, 2020
- Reconciliation & Reunification Committee, National Council of Churches in Korea
- National Council of YMCAs in Korea
- National YWCA of Korea
- Peace Network
- Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea
- People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
- Civil Peace Forum
- Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches (WCC)
- World Communion of Reformed Churches
- World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) Asia-Pacific
- Asia-Pacific Alliance of YMCAs
- The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
- Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT)
- The National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
- The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ)
- Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ)
- The Uniting Church in Australia
- Center for Peace and Public Integrity (CPPI, Hanshin University, Korea
- National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCCCUSA)
- General Board of Global Ministries - The United Methodist Church (UMC)
- General Board of Church and Society – The United Methodist Church
- Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ
- American Friends Service Committee
- Conference of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Status with the United Nations (CONGO)
- Women Cross DMZ
- United Church of Canada (UCC)
- Bishop Petra Bosse-Huber, Rev. Ostarek Claudia/ Protestant Church in Germany (EKD)
- Protestant Church in Hesse und Nassau (EKHN)
- Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS)
- German East Asia Mission (DOAM)
- Mission 21
- Pax Christi Korea
- Mr. Yoichi Noguchi (Niwano Peace Foundation)
- Mr. Steve Pearce (Methodist Church Britain)
- Rev. David Grosch-Miller (The United Reformed Church)
- Rev. Mienda Uriarte [Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Mr. Victor Hsu (PCT)