Valley News Forum for Sept. 25, 2023: End the Korean War

Published: 9/25/2023 6:05:57 AM
Modified: 9/25/2023 6:05:07 AM
End the Korean War

After more than seven decades, it is well past time for the United States to seek negotiations for a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War. It is often mistakenly thought that the Korean War ended 70 years ago with the 1953 armistice agreement, but it was only a cease-fire, and Korea remains under a state of war to this day. This open wound leaves the constant risk of renewed hostilities hanging over Koreans and the potential for the United States to be pulled into a deadly conflict in Korea, where over 28,000 U.S. troops are stationed. The danger is building as Korea risks becoming a flashpoint amid rising tensions between the American, Chinese and Russian governments.

U.S. officials must take the initiative to prevent renewed war in Korea. The current state of war in Korea encourages all involved governments to engage in antagonizing behavior; examples include the controversial U.S.-South Korea joint war exercises and North Korea’s missile tests. The result is not deterrence, but instead perpetual escalation. Only by seeking a peace agreement can U.S. officials remove the basis for escalation and provide the assurance of good faith needed to establish stable foundations for the kind of diplomacy needed to peacefully achieve security objectives like denuclearization in Korea.

While the Biden administration has so far refrained from peace efforts in Korea, there is a bill in Congress called the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act (H.R. 1369) that would require the U.S. Secretary of State to create a roadmap for achieving a permanent peace agreement, a small but vital first step. U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, of New Hampshire’s 2nd district, has already co-sponsored H.R. 1369, but Rep. Becca Balint of Vermont has not yet taken a position. I ask that Vermonters who value peace contact Rep. Balint’s office and urge her to co-sponsor the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act. To avoid repeating the horrors of the first years of the Korean War as military tensions rise in East Asia, we must compel our elected officials to pursue de-escalation measures in Korea.

Hayden Smith


Time to deal with the climate crisis

“We are stardust, we are golden, We are billion-year-old carbon ... we were half a million strong” Yesterday’s “Woodstock” sympathies presaged New York City’s ‘End Fossil Fuels March’ in many ways, particularly in the number of attendees.

“We have people all across the world in the streets, showing up, demanding a cessation of what is killing us,” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to a cheering crowd of an estimated 75,000 people (including yours truly) on Sept. 17 in New York. “We have to send (the) message that some of us are going to be living on, on this planet 30, 40, 50 years from now. And we will not take no for an answer.”

Wayne Gersen’s Sept. 10 Valley News column (“Ask insurers if climate crisis is real,” Page C1) exposes the insurance industry’s response to acts of gods (so-called since I’ve no evidence any exist but if there were, there’d be no understanding among them — as far as I can imagine). It’s all well and good to ask the industry to have pity on those less fortunate than they, but isn’t it time we take action against those who deny The People their rights?

Who can argue successfully with nature? Firestorms to the north and west of us, heavy weather all about. Drought and crop failure bring starvation, polar ice-melt deprives native bears their prey, while on the opposite side of the world the same phenomena deprive the emperor penguins their nesting sites. It looks like we’re putting all of life on the fast-track to meet their maker, while villainous fat cats — Big Oil, Big money, Madison Avenue privateers, etc. — bolster trade and pollution’s advancement in our skies, waters and lands.

A recent episode of the PBS series “Evolution Earth” identified a few species that had evolved as a consequence to changes in the weather, but mutations at such breakneck speeds are typically not beneficial to life forms. Sad to say there’s no accelerant at hand to safely guarantee life stays ahead of greed.

So what are our chances of survival? Feeling lucky punk? We are stardust, we were golden — it’s time to get ourselves back to the garden.

Kevin Leveret

White River Junction

Jesus is woke by this definition

My thoughts in response to William Wittik’s letter titled, “Jesus: Less Woke than he seems” (Sept. 11):

In his response to Charlie Buttrey’s Forum piece, Mr. Wittik disputes Jesus’ bona fides to being “woke.”

I suppose it depends on your definition of woke. I like the following definition by AudreyLovesParis:

“Woke means awakened to the needs of others.

To be well-informed, thoughtful, compassionate, humble and kind.

Eager to make the world a better place for all people.”

You can quibble about the details, and it appears that Mr. Wittik is up to the task, of how effectively an action meets the needs of others.

However, if woke means being well-informed, thoughtful, compassionate, humble, kind and eager to make the world a better place for all, then Jesus is the most woke person I have ever known.

Lorraine Harriman


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