AFT Resolution

STEPS TO PEACE IN KOREA

WHEREAS, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jung-un, the leaders of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), respectively, met in a summit on April 27, 2018, and issued a joint declaration for peace on the Korean Peninsula; and

WHEREAS, there has never been a formal peace treaty signed by North Korea, South Korea, China and the United States to end the Korean War; and

WHEREAS, a stable peace on the Korean Peninsula is in the interests of the people of the United States as well as the Korean people; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. government has pressured the government of South Korea to deploy Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (a missile and radar system known as THAAD) units over the objections of nearby villagers and over the objection of South Korean President Moon Jae-in; and

WHEREAS, THAAD enhances the effectiveness of a U.S. first strike with nuclear weapons by drastically weakening any nuclear retaliation by a potential target nation such as China or North Korea; and

WHEREAS, China and Russia have both declared that they would not use nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis, but the United States has not made such a promise and President Trump has threatened to use nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis; and

WHEREAS, South Koreans, including the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, object to THAAD in part because THAAD puts Korea in a path between China and the United States in the event of a U.S.-China war, and also because THAAD radar potentially exposes nearby residents to dangerous levels of radiation; and

WHEREAS, since the summer of 2016, the South Korean villagers near the THAAD installation have been holding daily protests against THAAD deployment, resulting in dozens of arrests and the death of one man who set himself on fire in protest; and

WHEREAS, the United States government has a key role to play in securing a stable peace on the Korean Peninsula; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of Teachers wishes to stand in solidarity with the people of South Korea and the unions and workers of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers recognizes the right of the Korean people, in both North and South Korea, to determine together the conditions for peace and security on the Korean Peninsula; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT calls upon the government of the United States to respect the peace process now underway between the governments of North and South Korea, and to contribute to it by:

  1. Recognizing that the shape of peace and development on the Korean Peninsula is a matter for the Korean people to decide;
  2. Declaring that it will not engage in a first-strike military action on the Korean Peninsula;
  3. Declaring that it has no interest in fomenting regime change on the Korean Peninsula;
  4. Declaring that, with regard to the deployment of U.S. military forces, including the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system now in early and highly contested stages of construction in South Korea, the United States will respect the wishes of the Korean people, including, should they demand it, fully withdrawing U.S. military forces from the peninsula; and
  5. Refraining from any activity that would sabotage the peace process among the Korean people, and while negotiating in good faith a peace treaty with North Korea; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT will forward this resolution, once passed by the executive council, to the president of the United States and his secretary of state, as well as to the appropriate congressional and Senate leaders, and to U.S. Labor Against the War for circulation in the labor movement in the United States and South Korea.

(2018)

Please note that a newer resolution, or portion of a resolution, may have superseded an earlier resolution on the same subject. As a result, with the exception of resolutions adopted at our most recent AFT convention, resolutions do not necessarily reflect current AFT policies.