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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 25 - 31  > Scientists call for denuclearization and peacebuilding in East Asia
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2018 July 25 - 31 [PEACE]

Scientists call for denuclearization and peacebuilding in East Asia

July 30, 2018

As part of the World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs 2018, 143 scientists on July 29 in Tokyo discussed denuclearization of and civil solidarity in East Asia.

Wada Haruki, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, delivered the keynote address. He stated that the Kim-Trump summit meeting in June this year agreeing to work for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula bears historical significance equivalent of the 1962 Kennedy-Khrushchev summit that overcame the Cuban missile crisis.

Wada said, "North Korea, before abandoning its nuclear weapons, needs to have assurance that it will not be attacked preemptively. Not only the U.S. military presence in South Korea and in Japan but also Japan's dependence on the U.S. nuclear umbrella will be called into question during negotiations. It will be difficult and will undoubtedly take time, but countries concerned, including Japan, should work together to build a lasting peace structure."

Scholars from Korea, Taiwan, and Okinawa as well as representatives of NGOs joined in the discussion.

Lee Jun Kyu, adjunct research fellow at the Center for Peace Research and Education of KYOREH HANA in South Korea said that the ongoing opportunity to overcome the cold war situation in East Asia has stemmed from Pyongyang's policy shift and the policy of dialogue taken by the Moon Jae-in government born as a result of the Candle Revolution in South Korea. Thus, the two countries together made a breakthrough and therefore it is of great significance, according to Lee.

Maedomari Hiromori, professor at Okinawa International University, pointed out that the U.S. administration in its strategy toward Asia never talks about cutbacks in U.S. troops. It is because, he said, Japan pays for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan.

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