WASHINGTON, D.C. (IDN) – As the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games kicked off on February 9, over 100 activists from around the United States sent an open letter to Defence Secretary James Mattis, calling on him to respect the Olympic Truce by postponing provocative nuclear-capable missile tests.
Dozens of organizations around the country worked closely together to send the letter, Sandy Jones, Director of Communications at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in Santa Barbara in California said.
The letter states, “Regardless of advance planning of such tests, it is essential to global security that the United States be flexible and respect worthwhile initiatives for peace such as the Olympic Truce.”
According to Capt. Anastasia Schmidt of Air Force Global Strike Command, two tests of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles were scheduled for February 2018. On February 5, Vandenberg Air Force Base announced that a Minuteman III test would take place on the night of February 6 or early morning of February 7. The test was then quietly cancelled, with no new date announced.
The open letter commends the decision to cancel the February 6/7 test, and calls on Secretary Mattis “to act swiftly to postpone any additional nuclear-capable missile tests scheduled during the period of the 2018 Olympic Truce, which lasts through March 25.”
The Olympic Truce officially began on February 2, one week before the start of the games. Even earlier, the spirit of the truce showed its potential, as North and South Korea re-opened important lines of communication after years of no official dialogue, and agreed to a joint display of unity at the opening ceremony of the games.
The letter urges Secretary Mattis to do his part to allow this positive momentum to play out. (To read the letter with the full list of signatories, visit http://www.wagingpeace.org/open-letter-defense-secretary-james-mattis)
“If North Korea were to test an ICBM during the Olympics, many nations, including the United States, would view the act as provocative and threatening. One does not have to stretch the imagination too far to guess how North Korea might react to our testing of ICBMs during the same period,” the letter warned. [IDN-InDepthNews – 09 February 2018]
Photo: Airborne Launch Control System. Credit: www.afgsc.af.mil/
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