A peaceful solution to the nuclear arms tensions between the United States and North Korea was the primary focus of a recent education forum at the Korean Youth and Student Union.
About 40 students, peace activists and other concerned Korean Americans gathered to discuss the situation, questioning the veracity of recent reports that point to the existence of nuclear weapons in North Korea and trying to determine whether there is a threat of war.
Participants in the July 28 forum also discussed the need felt by many Korean Americans to replace the Korean War Armistice--approved as a cease-fire treaty on July 27, 1953--with a binding peace treaty among the United States, North Korea and South Korea.
"It's been almost half a century since the Korean peninsula was divided," said Yong Un Yuk, of the Korean Youth and Student Union. "Now even in the Middle East, there is talk of peace."
In light of the current weapons scare, Yuk said, a Korean peace treaty is especially necessary.
"According to the U.S., the war can resume at any moment," he said, adding that Korean Americans all over the country have begun to fear the worst.
Following presentations by a number of speakers, organizers introduced a petition they plan to circulate calling for support of negotiation efforts to lessen tensions between the United States and North Korea, as well as for normalization of relations and reunification of the Korean peninsula. Addressed to the U.S., North Korean and South Korean governments, the petitions will be circulated by Korean peace activists nationwide, forum leaders said.
Minsu Lee, a Korean immigrant, said reunification would spur a morale boost in Korean communities nationwide.
"If any of my children ask me, 'Where are you from, Papa,' I have to point to the south," he said. "I want to be able to show them the whole country."