From Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space
March 22, 2023
Of the 365 days per year, “more than 200 days of war drills” in Korea.
Global Network Advisory Board member Sung-Hee Choi reports on the latest developments in South Korea as Washington expands military operations throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
‘We are a target’, she says.
This aggressive military expansion, labeled the ‘Asia Pivot’ by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is creating major tensions in the region as the US prepares for war with China, North Korea and Russia.
During the interview Sung-Hee talks about the US Navy destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG-115) that recently ported at the Navy base in Gangjeong village on Jeju. She shares a short video of a protest held at the base as the destroyer crew members were bussed to a hotel outside of the village.
The DDG 115 was built in Bath, Maine and during the ‘Christening’ of the warship in 2015 several members of the peace community from across the state were arrested for non-violently blocking the streets and entrances surrounding the shipyard as the public was invited to attend the ceremony. (Regular peace vigils are held at Bath Iron Works in Maine where these destroyers are built. Currently there are seven more under construction.)
There has long been a connection between Maine and the activists in Gangjeong village. Over the years eight Maine-based activists (as well as hundreds of other international peaceniks) traveled to the village to join protests against the Navy base construction that was forced on South Korea by Washington.
In another part of the interview Sung-Hee reports on recent (and on-going) US-NATO war games aimed at North Korea. She shares a second short video of protests in Seoul opposing these war games.
Near the end of the interview Sung-Hee talks about how the US Space Force has assigned personnel to South Korea and is drawing their nation into the larger US program of militarizing space.
Each time a US-NATO warship arrives at the Navy base on Jeju Island protests are held in the water and at the Navy base gates.
Daily protests have been held since 2007 when the base construction was announced.
Gangjeong village is a fishing and farming community with a 500 year history. Their sacred rocky coastline was blasted and covered with cement to build the docks for warships.
Throughout the long struggle to oppose the Navy base, which sits in a strategic spot just off the Korean peninsula, art has been used to illustrate the villagers love for nature and their commitment to resist US-forced militarization.
Toxic contamination from base construction and visiting warships has now begun to impact the once pristine environment of the village and the sea.
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