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Singapore summit: Pax Christi, “the summit will make history if it lays a foundation for peace”

“This summit will make history if it enables the two parties to come to the negotiating table and lays a foundation for peace”. Pax Christi International welcomes the first step towards a rapprochement between the President of the United States Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “We hope that the Singapore summit can lead to new relations between the two countries”, it says. “Dialogue, diplomacy and cooperation should replace hostile behaviour. Durable progress on denuclearisation and peace should also include South Korea, Japan and China”. Although the Joint Declaration reaffirmed a commitment to the peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula and the world, Pax Christi International laments the “absence of more specific commitments. Essential points are missing in the document that should be taken up if future talks are to actually lead towards disarmament and a durable peace”: “The peninsula is not denuclearised if it remains under threat from U.S. nuclear weapons; both the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea should join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and North Korea should rejoin the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”. “The U.S. and North Korea should pursue the successful completion of a peace treaty between both Koreas to replace the armistice from the Korean War, also as a follow-up of the historic Panmunjom Declaration of 27 April 2018”, the Catholic organization continues. “The U.S. should raise concerns for human rights in North Korea as a condition to lift economic sanctions”. Pax Christi also recalls other violations of human rights, including the fact that “up to 120,000 people continue to be arbitrarily detained in political prison camps. It is imperative that human rights are taken up in future talks, as their protection is intrinsically linked to peace and security”. Pax Christi urges the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia to implement “bilateral and multilateral follow-up actions, for example, by opening the railroad line between North and South Korea, having new nuclear weapons reduction talks between the U.S. and Russia, and the U.S. and North Korea deciding to open offices in their capital cities before the end of 2018”.

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