WILPF Statement on North Korea Nuclear Test
The U.S. Section of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) joins with WILPF International leadership in expressing outrage at the claimed nuclear weapons test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on October 9, 2006. Please see http://www.wilpf.int.ch/statements/dprk_nuke_test.html to view the statement, which WILPF US agrees with wholeheartedly.
However, we also wish to point out the special responsibility of the our own US government, both in resolving the present crisis created by the DPRK, and in ensuring the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and their necessary abolition.
In the case of North Korea the U.S. must enter into direct negotiations with that country. The present crisis has emerged out of the present Administration's rejection of the Agreed Framework signed by the DPRK and President Clinton in 1994. Labeling that country as belonging to an "axis of evil" and threatening a preemptive strike including the possible use of nuclear weapons against what was then a non-nuclear nation only exacerbated the problems. North Korea is a weak and dangerously isolated country with severe economic, political and human rights problems which must be brought back into both the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and the community of nations.
As for ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and moving toward abolition of nuclear weapons, the U.S. also bears special responsibility. As noted in the WILPF international statement, ratification of the CTBT is a necessary first step in that direction. Ratification by all 44 of the nations with nuclear weapons, or capability to develop them, is the primary requirement for coming into force. By 2001, when President Bush declared the CTBT was not in the US interests and refused to pursue ratification, 40 of those nations had already ratified or signaled their intent to do so. Only three (Israel, Pakistan and India) refused. The US is the only power that can bring these three recalcitrant nations into both the CTBT and the NPT. Of course, at present the Administration is actually encouraging both India and Israel in their nuclear programs, hence risking a renewed nuclear arms race in Asia and further war and instability in the Middle East.
We in U.S. WILPF will continue to work for a change in our own nation's current misguided policies as part of our own efforts to ensure both peace and freedom (as per the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) for all humankind.