[Annual Report 2018] We demand defense and foreign policies appropriate to the era of peace on the Korean Peninsula
We demand defense and foreign policies appropriate to the era of peace on the Korean Peninsula
# South-North Summit # Panmunjom Declaration # Pyongyang Joint Declaration # Peace on Korean Peninsula # Defense Reform 2.0 # Conscientious Objection # Defense Cost-sharing # No International Fleet Review in Jeju
Encouraging the Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula without Regressions
In 2018, North and South Korea declared an era of peace on the Korean Peninsula and opened a new chapter in history. The Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration, and the DPRK-US Summit were held successfully, events unimaginable just years ago. During this process, People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD) conducted the “Four Principles for the Spring of Peace on the Korean Peninsula,” and held discussions evaluation the tasks of each summit meeting to encourage the peace process on the Korean peninsula. It is as a result of the domestic peace movement that a comprehensive approach linking the peace system on the Korean peninsula, denuclearization, and normalization were pursued in the inter-Korean and DPRK-US agreements.
Peace through Power? Defense Policy Monitoring
In 2018, we identified the power of achieving peace through peaceful means and learned that what is needed is trust, not an enlargement of military power. Although the two Koreas agreed on gradual disarmament and achieved historic military restraint, their defense policies did not reflect this. The defense budget in 2019 has increased to its highest level since 2008, and the three-axis construction project and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, justified by North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, remain intact. PSPD pointed out that the Defense Reform 2.0 of the Moon Jae-in government is focused on expanding military power and cannot respond to the “new era of peace” and issued a report urging amendments. PSPD also released statements and Card News in response to the ROK-US defense cost-sharing agreement, a maintenance fee for U.S. military troops and bases, and has criticized the U.S. for over-inflation and demands for payments for the deployment of strategic assets. Finally, PSPD held events opposing the Jeju International Fleet Review, in which a U.S. aircraft carrier and other naval vessels from around the world participated.
Peace Achieved, Now Let it Spread
The year of 2018 was a historic year in the conscientious objection movement. In June, the Constitutional Court ordered the introduction of an alternative service system by recognizing the refusal of military service as the realization of the “freedom of conscience,” and declared that the Military Service Act was in conflict with the Constitution. Unfortunately, the government is pursuing an alternative service system that punishes conscientious objectors again. PSPD has announced its Suggestion for Alternative Service from Civil Society alongside various peace organizations and has been engaged in various activities to urge the introduction of an alternative service system that meets the requirements of the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and international human rights standards.
- 01/18 [Lawsuits] Demanding an investigation of Lee Myung-bak and Kim Tae-young for constitutional violations after UAE secret military accord revealed.
- 03/22 [Peace Action] Candles urging an end to the civilian slaughter in Syria and ending the war.
- 04/16 [Statement] Propose “Four Principles for the Spring of Peace on the Korean Peninsula,”
- 05/13 [Written Opinion] Directions for responding to the 10th Special Measures Agreement on defense cost-sharing.
- 06/28 [Court Ruling] Constitutional Courts decision against the existence of the Military Service Act without an alternative service system for conscientious objectors.
- 08/30 [Issue Report] Assessment of the Moon Jae-in government’s “Defense Reform 2.0.”
- 10/10 [International Statement] No International Fleet Review in Jeju Island.
- 12/2-4 [International Conference] Participation in the GPPAC Northeast Asia Conference, seeking a role for civil society to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
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