“If thousands die, they’re going to die over there, not here.”

These are the words that President Donald Trump used, according to US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in their conversation about a military attack to stop North Korea from testing missiles.

This kind of rhetoric is unacceptable to Korean Americans, who came from “over there” and who have family, relatives, and a shared history with the people from “over there.”

As Americans who love this country, we should speak loudly every time someone in power devalues the lives of people from somewhere other than “here.” The United States is a country of immigrants, and people “over there” matter.

We know — as the New York Times editorialized — that our government, both the President and Congress, have not done nearly enough to pursue the non-military option: dialogue, engagement, and diplomacy.

Why not? Because of a “chaotic” White House and a “weakened” State Department on top of a decade of tepid engagement.

We know — as the Washington Post reported — that hundreds of Korean American lives, and the lives of those doing humanitarian work in North Korea are in jeopardy.

Why? Because the most creative solution that our government has come up with to deal with the North Korean crisis is to prevent people from going there.

We agree with Senator Graham that it’s time to stop “kicking the can down the road” on North Korea.

We urge President Trump to stop pursuing a failing US policy toward North Korea and to begin talks immediately, rather than start another war on the Korean Peninsula, which would result in the deaths of South and North Koreans as well as thousands of US troops based in the region.

CKA is working to educate policy makers and media influencers alike to help ensure that decision makers are working from a more informed set of assumptions and that Korean Americans are participating in this challenging time.

Sam Yoon
Executive Director