All U.S. Troops Home Now
Oppose U.S. War Drills in Korea!
The U.S. is once again organizing massive war drills in and around Korea. Two drills, taking place from February 27-April 30 involve tens of thousands of U.S. troops and those of south Korea. They are openly aimed at preparing for “assumed threats,” meaning for invading the north, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). In addition to the close to 30,000 U.S. troops already occupying south Korea, more than 10,000 more will be brought in for these war drills. These drills are extensive and designed to provoke the DPRK, involving ground, air, naval, marine, expeditionary, and special operations, often near disputed areas.
As usual with the U.S., the “assumed threat” is non-existent — like those for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or from Iran, which the U.S. admits has no nuclear weapons. The government lied about the Iraq "threat" to justify invasion, is lying about Iran in preparation for invasion and also lies and spreads disinformation about the DPRK. The place for diplomacy and peaceful, political resolution of conflicts has been eliminated, replaced by use of force and violence as the weapon of choice.
The DPRK has never invaded any other country and has no troops abroad. It is not occupying any country or threatening first-strike offensive use of nuclear weapons. The DPRK does call for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, beginning with removal of U.S. forces and weapons. She calls for reunification of Korea through peaceful, independent means, based on the efforts of the Koreans themselves. She also stands firm against U.S. threats, such as the repeated threat for first-strike nuclear action against the DPRK. The U.S. has long had a nuclear arsenal as part of its occupation forces and arms in south Korea. These military drills serve as drills for criminal aggression. They are part of U.S. brinkmanship, using thereats and a massive show of force — brinkmanship that could easily trigger regional and world war. They see to increase insecurity and the potnetial for threats to become war.
Voice of Revolution demands that these war drills be cancelled. We demand All U.S. Troops Home Now! We call on the U.S., the only country to use nuclear weapons and the one constantly modernizing its massive arsenal and making them more horrific to Disarm Now. These are the actions that safeguard peace and assist in removing the threat of nuclear war.
No Naval Base at Jeju!
As further evidence that it is the U.S. that is threatening the Korean people, a new military base is being built on the island of Jeju, in the southern region of south Korea, near both China and Japan. It is a naval base designed to furthe rmilitarize the region and accommodate U.S. “missile defense,” meaning U.S. targeting of Korea and China as part of its plans to conquier Asia.
The residents of the island have been waging a fierce struggle to stop the building of the base fore more than five years and have overwhelmingly voted against its construction. The people of Jeju are known for their firm stand for rights and defending Korea, having resisted U.S. efforts to occupy and divide the country after World War II. Her people are known for standing up to a brutal U.S.-backed massacre in 1948, rejecting occupation then as they are doing now.
Jeju is known as Peace Island and is home to three UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites and nine UNESCO Geo-Parks. Jeju is also designated a Global Biosphere Reserve. The building of the base is thus a threat to both the human and natural environment. It serves the U.S. drive for world domination, while threatening world peace. We say No Naval Base on Jeju!
An international campaign is being organized to defend Jeju and block the base and Voice of Revolution urges all to contribute as they can. This is a struggle for peace in a region the U.S. is turning into a staging ground for world war.
Cancel U.S. War Dirlls in Korean! [TOP]
The South Korean Government, backed by the U.S. is constructing a naval base on Jeju Island. Officially named the “Island of World Peace” by the late President Roh Moo Hyun, Jeju was the site of a 1948 massacre in which more than 30,000 civilians were estimated to have been slaughtered during a democratic uprising.
Located strategically in the Korea Strait, the island’s potential to become a military target in the event of an armed conflict in this tense region would increase exponentially with the addition of a naval base. The threat this poses to the men, women and children of Jeju Island is unconscionable, and it can be avoided through halting the base construction.
Since plans for the naval base were announced five years ago, 94 percent of Gangjeong residents have voted against the base and used every possible democratic means to block its construction in their pristine fishing village. Yet their protests have fallen on mostly deaf ears.
Jeju Island is situated off the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and covers a lava plateau with a shield volcano at an elevation of 1,950 meters above sea level. The high biological diversity, unique volcanic topography and the culture of Jeju Island attract many tourists.
The home for this proposed military facility is the tiny village of Gangjeong, which is surrounded by three UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites and nine UNESCO Geo-Parks on an island that is designated a Global Biosphere Reserve. Construction is accelerating daily with the dredging of the island’s seabed and its coral communities currently underway.
Many observers of the region believe that the Jeju Island naval base will serve as a port of call for the U.S. military’s sea-based component of its ballistic missile defense system.
This is not only an issue of protecting the environment or preventing military expansion. Human rights and free speech are also at stake. Villagers have been arrested during nonviolent protests. Police and construction workers have assaulted elderly members of the community, who represent a large portion of the activists.
Jeju Island is under attack. “Touch not one stone, not one flower,” is its residents’ battle cry. Join them!
We invite you to join the NYC Save Jeju Action Committee. We as an open committee hope to carry out creative actions within the next several months that bring US and South Korean media attention to and build grassroots support for the anti-naval base struggle on Jeju Island, South Korea.
Timing is critical in the struggle against naval base construction on Jeju Island. Every day, villagers and supporters, including nuns, peace activists, and others, are being arrested, as they face down the construction bulldozers and barges. The April elections mean that the government is moving fast to complete a major portion of the construction before then. We are asking your organization’s or individuals’ commitments to come hear more, determine if you can join in any capacity, and help to plan concrete creative action. After this, we will revisit what the action committee should do.
As part of a movement struggling against militarism, war, and imperialism, and committed to solidarity with global people’s struggles, we invite you to participate as an ally organization and to outreach to your members about the NYC Save Jeju Action Committee. We see this as part of a larger struggle that is taking place everywhere, especially where U.S. troops are occupying territories overseas, to stop the thrust of U.S. empire and to rebuild societies based on peace and justice. Thus, we also see this as a way of strengthening the local anti-war and peace movement.
A little more background about Jeju:
In Jeju Island, South Korea, villagers have struggled for more than five years to shut down the planned construction of a naval base. Ostensibly a South Korean base, at heart it is an extension of US empire in East Asia, a base to dock destroyers and nuclear submarines and from which access to China’s critical oil supply lines is guaranteed. Therefore, the people of Jeju have resisted everyday, been battered and bruised by riot forces from the mainland and privately hired thugs from the construction companies. They have succeeded in delaying construction for years, and last year, only 20% of the planned budget for construction was used. However, it is critical to let the South Korean government know that the world is watching – and that we will support the struggle for peace on Jeju in any way we can.
(Reprinted from Nodutdol eNews)
Below is a petition being circulated to oppose the naval base being built on Jeju Island. It is to be delivered to Lee Myung Bak, President, Republic of Korea.
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As concerned members of the international community, we urge you to stop construction of the naval base on Jeju Island, which Gangjeong residents have vehemently opposed by protesting daily and risking their lives and personal freedom. Since plans for the naval base were announced five years ago, 95% of Jeju residents have voted against the base and used every possible democratic means to block its construction. Yet their protests have fallen on deaf ears in your government.
We share the residents’ outrage that the South Korean government is willing to sacrifice the safety of the island residents in order to build this U.S. missile defense outpost as part of a provocative strategy to surround China. Jeju residents refute the claim that this naval base will improve the Korean peoples’ security; they know it will further destabilize the Asia-Pacific region and make the island a prime target for military retaliation. The Jeju people's resistance to the militarization of their island stem from the April 3, 1948 massacre when more than 30,000 civilians – many of their family – were slaughtered by ROK troops during a democratic uprising. In 2006, the late President Roh Moo Hyun officially apologized for the massacre by designating Jeju the “Island of Peace.” This naval base violates your government's commitment to the people of Jeju and their desire for peace.
Citizens of other countries have visited Gangjeong and are in steady communication with its residents. We are deeply concerned about the health and safety of several peace activists, including Professor Yang Yoon Mo and Sung Hee Cho, who were on 60-day hunger strikes and arrested for nonviolent protest. The elderly Professor Yang is now hospitalized, and Ms. Cho remains behind bars, facing up to five years in prison. We are alarmed that another activist, Brother Song, was recently beaten unconscious when he tried to prevent a construction vessel from pouring concrete onto the coral reefs. By authorizing the use of violence against nonviolent peace activists, you undermine your government’s reputation and give the world cause to question your commitment to South Korea’s hard-won democracy.
Famed for its extraordinary beauty and pristine environment, Jeju is home to three designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of 28 finalists for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It perplexes us that, despite First Lady Kim Yoon-ok’s efforts for the "Jeju, for New 7 Wonders Campaign," your government is jeopardizing Jeju’s chances by allowing the construction of this naval base. By dredging the Jeju coastline to accommodate U.S. Aegis destroyer warships, the South Korean Navy and Samsung Corporation are already threatening the island’s soft coral habitat and rich marine life.
Not only is Jeju’s Joongduk coastline where dolphins migrate to from Alaska in the summer, its waters are famed because of the hundreds of Korean women, haenyeo, who dive for seafood and kelp, key staples of the Korean diet. In 2005, the New York Times featured a story about these extraordinary women divers. The naval base will destroy the waters that haenyeo and fishermen depend upon for survival. It has already displaced Gangjeong citrus growers whose lands have been confiscated, greenhouses demolished, and fruit trees uprooted. Gangjeong villagers are not deceived by the ROK Navy’s false claims that the base would have minimal impact on the environment, and neither are we. They know that the base imperils their community, their livelihoods, and Jeju’s natural ecology.
We stand with the residents of Jeju in their nonviolent protest to protect not only Jeju’s rich marine ecosystems and their way of life, but also peace in this increasingly fragile and militarized region in the world. We demand that you act immediately to stop construction of the naval base on Jeju.
(To sign the petition go to: http://signon.org/sign/save-jeju-island-no-naval )
Key Resolve and Foal Eagle Exercises Begin
According to press releases from the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) two major war drills are being organized in Korea. The first, Key Resolve, begins February 27 and lasts until March 9. The second, Foal Eagle, begins March 1 and lasts until April 30. It includes ground, air, naval, marine, expeditionary, and special operations. The exercises are conducted and commanded by the U.S. Combined Forces in south Korea, which number almost 30,000 troops, and the Republic of Korea (ROK) armed forces, which are armed and trained by the U.S. Massive numbers of troops, ships and aircraft will be carrying out war drills for two months.
U.S. General James D. Thurman, Combined Forces Command commander explained, “Exercise Key Resolve is an annual training event designed to ensure readiness to defend the Republic of Korea and sustain the capabilities that strengthen the ROK-U.S. Alliance.” He added, “It is based on realistic scenarios, using various assumed threats. The training enables us to train on our critical tasks and work through crisis management with a ‘whole of government’ approach.” The U.S. commands the entire drill and has repeatedly made clear that it sees the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a threat, although it has never invaded anyone and has no troops stationed outside the DPRK. The drills are directed at the DPRK and at provoking conflict so as to prevent efforts north and south for reunification of the country and for removing all U.S. troops from Korea.
Key Resolve will involve about 2,100 U.S. personnel in addition to tens of thousands of ROK military forces. Approximately 800 U.S. participants will come from outside Korea. It is anticipated that Japan will also participate.
The second war drill, Foal Eagle 12 “Is an annual series of combined and joint unit tactical field training exercises providing valuable military training based on realistic requirements and missions expected of our ROK and U.S. forces here on the Korean peninsula.”
Approximately 11,000 U.S forces along with ROK military personnel will participate in Exercise Foal Eagle. The majority of the U.S. participants are coming from outside the ROK, that is they are in addition to the almost 30,000 U.S. troops already occupying south Korea.
The "Nuclear Security Summit" to be co-sponsored by the U.S., nuclear war mastermind, and south Korea, its servant, in Seoul in late March is being rejected by the international community.
The world without nuclear weapons unanimously desired by humankind is unthinkable without the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Yet for more than 50 years the U.S. has turned south Korea into the world's most dangerous nuclear arsenal and has persistently threatened preemptive nuclear attacks on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The danger of a nuclear war looms more on the Korean Peninsula than any other region of the world due to the U.S. and the south Korean group of traitors. It is illogical to discuss "nuclear security" in south Korea, which is a nuclear advance base for the U.S., which has the world's biggest nuclear arsenal.
The U.S. and the south Korean puppet regime spread a rumor that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula was "generated" by the DPRK's access to nukes and, therefore, the issue will naturally be settled if the DPRK dismantles nukes.
This is an expression of ignorance of the essence of the nuclear issue.
The nuclear issue on the peninsula stems from the hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and it has been taken up amid this hostility.
The DPRK has been exposed to the direct and longest nuclear threat in the world. Taking even a single step aside or back would mean a concession and lead to self-destruction as both sides level their nuclear weapons at the other side.
The DPRK has a self-defensive nuclear deterrent and ranks itself among full-fledged nuclear weapons states. This helped end the nuclear imbalance on the Korean Peninsula and provided a guarantee for preventing a nuclear war and ensuring peace in Northeast Asia.
The U.S. included the DPRK in the "list of targets of preemptive nuclear attacks" in its "Nuclear Posture Review" and turned south Korea into a potential nuclear war hotbed, posing constant nuclear threats to the Korean nation. The U.S. and south Korea plan to start Key Resolve and Foal Eagle joint military drills days ahead of the "Summit" with the involvement of sophisticated weapons, means huge enough to fight a nuclear war. This is clear proof of the nuclear threat posed to the DPRK. If the denuclearization issue of the Korean Peninsula is to be discussed, the nuclear threat posed to the other party should be substantially removed, to begin with.
The U.S. and south Korea are mistaken if they think they can draw public attention to their worn-out "theory of nuclear threat from the north" and justify the moves for a nuclear war against the DPRK with the "Nuclear Security Summit" as momentum.
They can never cover up their true colors as nuclear criminals.