Peace delegation urges restraint in nuclear row
Quakers joined a peace delegation today seeking to defuse the growing international tension sparked by dangerous threats exchanged between the Presidents of the US and North Korea.
The US Embassy declined to accept a letter from the delegation of journalists, writers and peace activists.
The letter calls on the United States Government to do everything within its power to de-escalate the conflict with North Korea.
Helen Drewery, of Quakers in Britain was in the delegation. Afterwards she said, “Quaker opposition to all war is grounded in our faith. Every human being is a child of God. Even to contemplate killing and maiming them in vast numbers should be seen as an outrage."
The full text of the letter is here:
Letter to the US Embassy
"We the undersigned are extremely concerned about the growing international tension and the dangerous threats that have been exchanged between the leaders of the US and North Korea.
"We strongly urge President Trump and the US Government to employ the utmost restraint and to immediately engage in diplomatic talks with the aim of defusing the current situation.
Every human being is a child of God. Even to contemplate killing and maiming them in vast numbers should be seen as an outrage.- Helen Drewery, Quakers in Britain
"It is unthinkable that the threat of nuclear annihilation should be considered as acceptable. At this time people around the world are remembering the effects of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945. We are reminded of the death, pain and suffering that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and are determined that people should not have to suffer like that again.
"Negotiation and talks to increase understanding between the US and North Korea and to ease the tension must be the way forward. May we humbly remind you that in 2010 a cross-party group of parliamentarians from Japan and South Korea proposed the negotiation of a North East Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone as a solution to the growing nuclear threat from North Korea. This remains a sensible and productive way forward, especially in light of the recent agreement by 120 nations in the United Nations to recognise that nuclear weapons, and threats of their use, are unacceptable and should be made illegal.
"People around the world are extremely anxious for their future and we request that you convey our plea for calm and peace between nations to President Trump. We trust that statements defusing the situation can be issued immediately and a diplomatic solution will be sought as soon as possible."
The letter was handed in by Giles Fraser, journalist and priest; Victoria Brittain, writer and journalist; Bruce Kent, peace activist; Jan Wolf, playwright; Helen Drewery, Quakers in Britain; Carol Turner, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition; Murad Qureshi, Stop the War Coalition.
Northern Friends Peace Board recently issued a statement urging reason and restraint in the region.