PSPD People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
[Statement] The decision to place THAAD in South Korea must be rescinded
- 2016.07.14 (23:23:14)
- 첨부 2
- PD20160714_statement_no_thaad.odt [File Size:8.1KB]
- PD20160714_statement_no_thaad.docx [File Size:14.9KB]
The decision to place THAAD in South Korea, which threatens peace in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia and violates the residents’ right to live peacefully, must be rescinded.
The entire country is being shaken, and the already-dangerous political situation in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia is becoming even more unpredictable because on July 8, 2016, South Korea and the U.S. announced that they are deploying THAAD to South Korea. Up until South Korea and the U.S. officials announced Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province as the location for THAAD deployment, this process had been entirely ambiguous and one-sided. Even though a plethora of concerns regarding the use, the efficiency, the military/diplomatic prices, and the side effects of THAAD were raised, the South Korean government, behind the curtains, decided to follow the request of the U.S. Now, in Seongju, the anger and the resistance of its residents, who have suddenly been notified of the deployment of THAAD, are growing rapidly.
THAAD is not a weapons system for the residents of the Korean peninsula or for their defense.
THAAD is essentially a part of the U.S. Missile Defense System (MD). It will be the U.S. military and government that will be running THAAD. MD is an aggressive weapons system, based on the “absolutely stubborn” idea, which aims to incapacitate the missile attacks of the countries against the U.S. and enable the U.S. to launch missiles whenever they want to. The South Korean government is insisting that the deployment of THAAD is to defend the Korean Peninsula from North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles. However, recently, the government has admitted that THAAD cannot defend Seoul and its metropolitan area. The South Korean government is still advertising as if THAAD can at least defend the area within its 200km radius, but this is not true. 200km is nothing but a number to describe the range of the intercept missile attached to THAAD. But, the detectable range of the radar on THAAD theoretically reaches at most a few thousand kilometers. This is why there has been criticism that the main purpose of the frontline deployment of THAAD is to detect medium- to long-range missiles flying over the Korean Peninsula and nearby skies according to the U.S. military strategy. Therefore, there is no such thing as an “adequate” location to place THAAD in this country. The decision of South Korea and the U.S. to place THAAD in Seongju must be rescinded.
THAAD deployment is militarily and diplomatically self-destructive measure, which will threaten the safety of South Korean citizens and become a severe obstruction in peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
South Korean THAAD is closely related to the missile defense system that was introduced to Japan. Deployment of THAAD to South Korea signifies that South Korea will be sucked into the U.S.-Japan MD, which targets not only North Korea but also China, as a subsidiary partner, and that the Korea-U.S.-Japan military cooperation system will become official. No matter how much South Korean government claims that this is essential to the South Korean sovereignty, the international society and neighboring countries will not accept it. The “strategic companion” relationship with China has become a meaningless term, and the basis of economic cooperation and the friendly relationship between the citizens of both countries can be at risk. China and Russia have already announced that they will be “taking correspondent measures.” It is obvious that this will also negatively affect the international cooperation to solve the nuclear problem in the Korean Peninsula. This is why THAAD can never be a tool to protect the safety of South Korean citizens and peace in the Korean Peninsula. The decision to place THAAD, the “real danger,” which brings threats and conflicts instead of peace, in South Korea must be rescinded.
We also protest against the undemocratic and non-transparent decision process.
Before facilitating THAAD deployment, exhibitions, discussions, and evaluations of its use, effects, and military/diplomatic significance should have been carried out. The information about the negotiation process must have been transparently released. However, the South Korean government skipped all these procedures and simply controlled all information. There was not enough discussion even within the related organizations. They treated this important matter, which puts the future of peace in the Korean Peninsula at stake, as if they are carrying out a military strategy. The South Korean national assembly, which represents all of South Korean citizens, never received any substantial reports. The character, the content, and the discussion process of “South Korea-U.S. joint working group for the discussion of THAAD deployment” were not shared with the National Assembly. Even after the decision to deploy THAAD in South Korea, the South Korean government is insisting that this does not require the agreement of the National Assembly. In the case of Seongju, which was decided as the location for THAAD deployment, the residents and the military officials received the unexpected news without any explanation. They were not notified of the negative effects on the environment surrounding the THAAD base and health of the residents. The undemocratic and non-transparent decision of the South Korean government to place THAAD must be rescinded immediately.
THAAD deployment must receive the consent of the representative body, which in this case, is the National Assembly.
THAAD deployment is directly related to the lives and the safety of South Korean citizens and is a critical matter, which will influence the friendly cooperative relationship with neighboring countries. It may also cost an astronomical amount of money. Therefore, this matter cannot be solely decided by the administrative body; it needs the agreement of the National Assembly. More than anything, the dangerous practice of the South Korean government, which ignores the discussion process and treats this issue like a secret military strategy to avoid the regulation of the National Assembly, cannot be left uncontrolled. If the National Assembly represents all of South Korean citizens, they must stop the one-sided push of THAAD deployment and exercise their right to consent. If the government never asks for the agreement of the National Assembly, the National Assembly must restrain the government’s abuse of its authorities through every measure, such as an investigation in relation to government, an adaptation of the resolution to oppose, and a demand for jurisdiction dispute.
We are going to start a pan-national peace action to rescind the decision to place THAAD in South Korea.
We are going to start a pan-national peace action that gathers people from various backgrounds and publicizes the problems of this decision to rescind the decision to place THAAD in South Korea and to stop South Korea from being sucked into the U.S.-Japan missile defense system. We are going to form solidarity to prevent Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province from becoming another victim of state violence, like Pyeongtaek Deachuri or Jeju Gangjeong village. In addition, we are going to fight with all of South Korean citizens, so that THAAD will not be placed in Seongju or any other parts of South Korea. To accomplish this, we are going to actively try to convince and pressure local governments, the National Assembly, and related government organizations and will convey our message to governments and civil societies of neighboring countries, including the U.S. and japan. We will surely punish any abuse of power that undemocratically pushes for the placement of THAAD. Moreover, we are going to form solidarity to facilitate the reconciliation and the cooperation of North and South Korea and to form a peaceful system. The Korean Peninsula should no longer become an explosive warehouse, which is swayed and used by the arms race of the neighboring powers, but should transform as the stepping stone of Northeast Asian peace and cooperation. We are going to actively spread civil resistance and actions for the withdrawal of the decision to place THAAD and for peace in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
July 14, 2016
번역 : 목지수 (참여연대 평화군축센터 자원활동가)