Open Letter to President Bush (From Korean-American organizations)
A Press Conference was held in Los Angeles on February 11, 2002 voicing opposition to President Bush's State of the Union address. This letter was read at the Press Conference.
By Jimmy Cho
February 11, 2002
President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Bush:
We are concerned about your recent State of the Union Address in which you groundlessly accused North Korea, Iraq, and Iran of forming an "Axis of Evil." The Korean American community wishes for the United States to act as an advocate of world peace, not of world war.
We therefore strongly urge you to promote world peace by supporting the peaceful reunification policy of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung. Additionally, we urge you to do the following:
We urge you to apologize for American war crimes in Korea and to compensate the victims as a sincere gesture of America's desire for peaceful reconciliation with all Koreans;
We urge you not to force South Korea to purchase from the United States 100 F-15 fighter planes because it would damage the process of peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula;
We urge you to return the command of the South Korean military back to South Korea; and
We urge you to allow Koreans to continue with the spirit of the June 15th Declaration without American interference.
The Korean American community still feels the pain suffered from the devastation of the first American War against Korea in 1950. Let there not be a second war for it could too easily escalate into a catastrophic event for the United States, South and North Korea, as well as the entire Asia-Pacific region.
For the sake of all our future generations, we hope you will begin to see 2002 as a Year of Peace rather than a Year of War.
These things which we urge you to do come from well documented facts of the recent past. Your assertion that North Korea constituted a part of the so called "Axis of Evil" is not in line with the truth of the recent past. North Korea has kept its agreement with the United States in the joint communique signed by the Clinton administration promoting peaceful relationships when Special Envoy of North Korea, Mr. Cho Myung Rok visited Washington, D.C. in 2000. North Korea is adhering to every aspect of the joint communique. North Korea is still holding tests for ICBMs because it is allowed for in the joint communique. Koreans north and south are insulted by your remarks. Anti-American feelings are high among Koreans.
The Korean people know why you will visit Seoul, Korea in February. First, you want to force South Korea to buy F-15 fighter planes. Second, you want to disturb the mood of peace between North and South Korea, a mood that has aimed at promoting peace, cooperation and unification without the interference of outsiders. The two heads of North and South Korea met, shook hands and declared the historic peace and reunification statement called the June 15th North and South Korea Joint Declaration. The two Koreas are in full swing to promote political, economic and cultural developments. Third, you wish to create tension in the Korean Peninsular in order to promote your own domestic policies including increases in the defense budget so as to avoid criticism in connection with the Enron corruption case. Fourth, you wish to make groundless propaganda about the "North Korean Threat." South Koreans disagree about your characterizations about North Korea. South Korea feel that the United States is the real threat and do not believe that you policies encourage world peace. The majority of South Korea now regard the United States as the chief obstacle to peace and reunification. Almost daily, South Koreans have anti-Americans protests.
North Korea has been eagerly trying to enter the international community as a contributing member and has condemned terrorism. It is extremely poor and cannot be a threat to the United States or any other country. North Korea is complying with international nuclear power plant inspections. North Korea is desperately struggling to recover its economic health and is seeking foreign aid. It is vital for the peace of North-east Asia for the United States to cooperate in its economic recovery.
North Korea has renounced terrorism and has not supported nor committed acts of terrorism for many years. North Korea has voiced its support for the June 15th Declaration over and over again, thus announcing its sincere desire for peace and reunification. However, it has maintained that if it is attacked it will defend its integrity and freedom. Because of your remarks in the State of Union Address, tensions are escalating on the Korean Peninsular. It is important that you resume and support the atmosphere of cooperation that existed in Korea in prior months. By escalating tensions, you are destroying the peace process and blundering into another potential war in Korea.
We urge you to encourage a peace agreement with North Korea as soon as possible because our motherland has been divided for over a half century.
Pan-Korean Alliance for Reunificaiton in USA
Congress for Reunification, Southern California Chapter
Korean American National Coordinating Council, West Division
Kim Yang-mu Memorial Service Committee in North America
Korean Americans for Democratic Labor Party in South Korea
Korean Immigrant Workers Advocates (KIWA)
One Korea LA Forum
One Korea Movement Alliance in America
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