Green Party: International law prohibits preemptive U.S. military action against North Korea and other countries

WASHINGTON, D.C.Green Party leaders said today that threats of preemptive strikes and military intervention are placing the U.S. in the role of aggressor nation and undermining any chance of maintaining peace and international security.

North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela have been the targets of recent belligerent threats from the Trump administration. Greens also strongly opposed sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran and bipartisan efforts to ignite a new Cold War, calling such policies an invitation for World War III.

Green Party of the United States

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Scott McLarty, Media Director, 202-904-7614,

Videos from the U.S. Green Party’s 2017 Annual National Meeting in Newark, N.J., July 13-16: press conferences, plenary speeches, and more

The Green Party calls for diplomacy and negotiation to resolve international tensions and a united global focus on problems like climate change and poverty.

On July 27, the Green Parties of Korea and the United States published a joint statement against deployment of a missile defense system in South Korea.

“We support actions by Congress to rein in President Trump on foreign policy. But Congress’s power to authorize war is also limited. International law to which the U.S. is signatory outlaws preemptive military attacks by one country against another,” said Deanna Dee Taylor of the Green Party of Utah.

On August 10, 64 Democratic Congress members sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson protesting President Trump’s reckless and dangerous “fire and fury” rhetoric threatening a nuclear war with North Korea.

Greens took exception to the letter’s assertion that “any preemptive attack on North Korea must be debated and authorized by Congress” and said that both Congress and the White House must abide by international agreements regarding preemption.

Article 51 of the UN Charter permits the “inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs,” but precludes military action for preemptive and preventive purposes. Preemption also violates the Nuremberg Charter, which came out of the post-World War II Allied Military Tribunals.

All 64 signers of the letter voted for sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran.

Greens noted that recent U.S. actions like the invasion of Iraq and assault on Libya have motivated smaller countries to develop nuclear weapons capability as a deterrent to an attack by the world’s superpower.

The U.S. was the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula, in 1958 after scrapping the terms of the 1953 armistice in order to do so. North Korean development of nuclear weapons was predictable following U.S. war games and exercises in the region.

“We’ve witnessed decades of Democrats and Republicans competing to prove which party is tougher against whichever enemy was in the crosshairs. Neither party seems to have learned anything from the war on Iraq. President Bush, with bipartisan congressional support, justified the preemptive invasion on the basis of Saddam Hussein’s WMDs — which turned out not to exist,” said Laura Wells, spokesperson for the Green Party of California and participant in several political delegations to Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

“The immediate effects of U.S. military incursions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya have been mass slaughter of innocent civilians, regional destabilization enabling the emergence of movements like ISIL, and a permanent wartime economy in the U.S. with ballooning military budgets. The longterm effect of preemption might turn out to be a nuclear exchange and a new world war,” said Ms. Wells, the Green Party’s candidate for Governor of California in 2010.

The Green Party of the United States, along with Green Parties throughout the world, supports global nuclear disarmament and abolition of nuclear weapons.


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