PSPD l People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
[GDAMS][Statement] Panmunjeom Declaration should lead to a complete reconsideration of the Defense Capacity Building Project
- 2018.05.02 (11:36:12)
Panmunjeom Declaration should lead to a complete reconsideration of the Defense Capacity Building Project
The statement on the announcement on global military spending by SIPRI 2017 on the occasion of Global Day(s) of Action on Military Spending(GDAMS)
Panmunjeom Declaration based on building military trust, without using force, shall divert the military spending to welfare and peace settlement.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) announced the status on 2017’s global military spending on May 2nd. South Korea has reached the world’s top 10 military spending country once again. 43 trillion 1,581 million won have been allotted as 2018’s budget for the South Korean military which is 7% higher than 2017. Celebrating the 8th Global Day of Action on Military Spending, we are certain that dialogue and trust can achieve peace rather than military expenditures as we have shown in the Panmunjeom Declaration. Now we would like to emphasize that large-scale military spending should be converted into expenditures for welfare and peace settlement.
As generally known, South Korea military expenditures exceed North Korea’s GDP. Such expenses not only maintain extensive armed forces, but the introduction of diverse weapons and development projects to correspond to North Korean nuclear weapons or missiles in the name of so-called ‘asymmetry threats.’ This growing military budget, however, has failed to protect our peace and security. Rather, the endless arms race aiming each other has increased military conflicts and confrontations. This kind of situation is confirmed and not just limited to the Korean peninsula but many other places in the world where military confrontations and armed conflicts happen. Eventually, there was even the threat of war reigned over the peninsula. The inter-Korean summit which was proceeded in this atmosphere reaffirmed that it is dialogue and trust which solve conflicts and confrontations, not military expenditures.
Through Panmunjeom Declaration in April 27th, the two Korean leaders specifically agreed on, ‘South and North Korea reaffirmed the Non-Aggression Agreement that precludes the use of force in any form against each other, and agreed to strictly adhere to this Agreement,’ and, ‘carry out disarmament in a phased manner, as military tension is alleviated and substantial progress is made in military confidence-building.’ It shows a clear vision on eliminating the use of forces in order to build a peaceful regime and disarmament through military confidence-building. This shall be highly welcomed. We believe that this momentous period which we decided to make a peaceful era is a high time for taking preemptive actions in order to alleviate military tension and disarmament by putting each other’s hostilities aside.
The defense buildup plans which South Korean government has prepared must be modified in this regard. As North Korea has declared to cease nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) tests and to shut down nuclear power plants in Punggye-ri, and the two leaders have confirmed their mutual objective as ‘realizing a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearization,’ the plans for establishing South Korea’s 3 military systems to counter the North’s threats must be thoroughly reconsidered. The Ministry of Defense has allotted 13 trillion 5,203 million won (approximately $135 million) for the budget for military capability building-up in 2018 which is 10.8% increased than the previous year. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) insisted for countering the North’s nuclear and missiles shall be removed as well. Failure to remove the THAAD which is part of the U.S Missile Defense in order to balance China or Russia may put chains on establishing a permanent peaceful regime and peace in South East Asia. South Korean government, furthermore, should commence planning a roadmap for disarmament.
We would like to emphasize again that it only leads to more military expenditures to surrounding States and high profit for the arms companies when it comes to more military spending. A true peaceful era starts from disposing the obsess and logic regarding military growth to oppress each other by force. Making peace through dialogue and confidence, not the military capabilities, and, spending expenses for welfare and settling peace are congruent with common prosperities. We expect South Korean government may create such model.
May 2, 2018
One Korea Tree, Daejeon Women’s Association for Peace-making, Professors for Democracy, Civil Peace Forum, KRHANA, Civilian Military Watch, World Without War, Jeju Peace Human Rights Center,
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), TONGILMAJI, Palestine Peace & Solidarity in South Korea, Peace Network, Women Making Peace, Peace Ground, PEACEMOMO, Korea Peacebuilding Institute(KOPI)
번역: 주용재 (참여연대 평화군축센터 자원활동가)
감수: 참여연대 평화군축센터
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