Donald Trump, upon his return from the historic summit in Singapore with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, quickly tweeted that "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea." We wish this was the case. In fact, as we have often seen with this President and his pronouncements, nothing could be further from the truth. Our assessment — the Singapore Summit was long on pageantry and short on substance, but it's a start that must continue.
Please consider a monthly gift today to continue Ploughshares Fund's efforts to address the North Korea nuclear crisis.
As far as we can tell, North Korea made no concrete commitments at Singapore, only general promises to denuclearize. We are dismayed that the Administration did not hold out for more concrete commitments, but are hopeful that there is more going on behind the scenes.
Yet, all is not bad news.
After the heated exchange of threats and insults last year when many thought a unilateral strike by the US on the North was imminent, the US and North Korea have now started a process that has the potential to eventually denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. It will not be easy, it may take years. But this new journey — one that will retrace past US efforts — has finally begun in earnest with the Trump Administration.
At Ploughshares Fund we are proud to say that with your support our network of grantees had a hand in this effort. As a long-time advocate for direct talks between the US and North Korea as a way to reduce tension, our grantees in the years and months prior to the Summit have worked tirelessly to push leaders from the brink of war to the negotiating table. With your help, we are giving diplomacy a chance. Please consider a monthly gift today to continue this critical work.
Our stepped-up efforts began early last year, amid mounting evidence that the Trump Administration was seriously considering the use of force against North Korea. We launched a coordinated campaign dedicated to finding a diplomatic solution to counter the nuclear crisis and create the necessary political space to sustain diplomatic initiatives led by our close ally, South Korea. Our activities intensified after the Olympic Truce announced in January, continued through the Inter-Korean Summit in April, and gained more momentum by the time of the Summit in June.
Organizations like the Friends Committee on National Legislation mobilized public support for peace. Groups like Win Without War put pressure on Congress to oppose military action. The activities of these organizations are backed by solid analysis provided by nuclear and missile experts like those at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies. All the while, the quiet Track II work of organizations like the Center for International Security and Cooperation keeps critical lines of communication open between North Koreans and the United States.
Please give what you can to support this dedicated and committed network of 147 experts and organizations committed to peace and security for the United States and Korea.
To give you a better sense of what's happening on the Korean Peninsula, here are two factsheets from our Roger L. Hale Fellow Catherine Killough. She received her graduate degree from Georgetown University and is a prime example of the new generation of experts that Ploughshares Fund is nurturing for the future. See her history of recent negotiations with North Korea and primer for the summit.
As we look ahead, we are also encouraged by what our grantees National Committee on North Korea and the Nautilus Institute, are doing. Their research will offer roadmaps for phased sanctions relief and denuclearization. We are impressed by ReThink Media's around-the-clock engagement with the media to promote the smart thinking and analysis of those we fund.
But this is only the beginning. In the words of our grantee The Council of Korean Americans, the Singapore Summit "serves as a necessary first step in what will likely be a long process toward denuclearization, peace, and building trust." It will take the persistent hard work of grantees like ours to manage the risks that come with this uncertain future.
With your help, we have done what we can to prevent the worst from happening — avoiding another devastating conflict in Korea. We are also doing everything we can to create a world that is more safe, prosperous and secure.
A monthly gift today would provide much needed resources to further peace and security.
President Trump thinks it's "Mission Accomplished" when in fact it's going to be a long hard slog. Rest assured, Ploughshares Fund will be around regardless — doing what we can to avoid war while working to peacefully eliminate North Korea's, and eventually all, nuclear weapons.
With the help of our supporters, we will succeed.