Save Cheju Island 
생명 평화 강정 마을 

"Although citizens have engaged in movements for democracy for decades, repressive governments intent on maintaining privileges for corporations, have thwarted these movements. South Korea is known for severe state violence against its citizens, including massacres."
 

On Aug. 10, 2012, the journalist Jon Letman, writing for IPS News Service, 
reported on the protest movement in South Korea that opposes the construction of a major naval base on Cheju [also spelled Jeju] island.

Cheju, Letman noted, is an island that features a number of "UNESCO World Heritage sites and numerous other environmental and cultural special status designations." As Sung-Hee Choi, "who has been actively protesting in Gangjeong since 2009," pointed out to Letman, Cheju "is not only ecologically and culturally sensitive, but filled with spiritually important sites."

But regardless of this, Cheju  is coveted by military planners in Washington. In the context of major geopolitical considerations of the Pentagon and the US government, the island that is located between the Korean peninsula and Japan, is "taking on [a] new strategic importance" for the "United States, which maintains dozens of military bases in South Korea, Japan and Okinawa, v[ying] for dominance in northeast Asia."

According to Mr. Letman's unnamed military sources, the new naval base under construction at Gangjeong village will "accommodate submarines and up to 20 warships, including U.S. Aegis-equipped destroyers" 

Opponents of the base say that this military installation "will make the island less safe, not more," Jon Letman reports, adding that for five years already, Gangjeong [Gangjung] village "has been the site of daily protests and frequent arrests."

According to the IPS report, "Samsung is the lead contractor at the base and Hyundai Heavy Industries is working with Lockheed Martin to produce the Aegis Combat System to be deployed on U.S. warships at the Jeju naval base."

For many years already, American warships equipped with Tomahawk missiles have been stationed in waters off the Korean coast, in close proximity to such Chinese cities as Tianjin and Beijing.

What makes the decision to build the base on Cheju island (despite the ardent opposition of many islanders and of members of the Korean peace movement from the entire country!) so scandalous, is the fact that some of the bloodiest massacres in post-WWII Korean history were committed here on orders of the American military commander stationed on the island. 

The American officer described Cheju in 1948 as a "red island." In addition to the ROK army and the National Police, he called in the infamous Northwest Corps formed by anti-communist persons who had left the Soviet occupation zone in the North of the country. US troops did not engage in the counter-insurgency campaign, but acted as advisers, watched ongoing massacres,  and took photos of massacres. 

IPS News service notes that these "military massacres" committed on Cheju during the uprising of "1948-1954" resulted in the death of "one-fifth of the population." Kim Hun-joon's book entitled "The Massacres At Mt. Halla. Sixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea" provides important information on this bitter experience.

Incidentally, quite a few of those who are now protesting against the base that the ROK government wants to put at the disposal of the US Navy, are relatives of those killed in the massacres on Cheju in the late 1940s  and early '50s.

-  The editor.
 
 


 

Jeju Island: What’s at stake? 

From a history marred by one of Korea’s worst military massacres (1948-1954) in which an estimated one-fifth of the population was killed, to being dubbed an “Island of Peace” in 2006, Jeju is gaining increasing global recognition for its natural beauty, unique geology and rich biodiversity. 

Jeju island, 80 km southwest of the Korean peninsula, is South Korea’s only Special Self-governing province and the first place in the world to receive all three UNESCO natural science designations (Biosphere Reserve in 2002, World Natural Heritage in 2007 and Global Geopark in 2010). Volcanic Jeju was recently named a New Seven Wonders of Nature site in addition to having a number of other environmental and cultural designations.

But conservation and civic groups, NGOs and scientists familiar with Jeju’s fragile ecosystems say the island’s nature and culture are threatened and the Korean peninsula destabilised by the naval base under construction at the southern village of Gangjeong. That base, designed to berth up to 20 warships including U.S. Aegis-equipped destroyers, opponents argue, will imperil rare wildlife, destroy natural areas that currently enjoy special protected status and irrevocably alter local culture and livelihoods.

Base opponents from Catholic nuns and scientists to grassroots organisers and even Gangjeong’s mayor himself have been arrested and brought to trial as they decry the destruction of a lava coastline, a rare rocky wetland, freshwater springs and coral reefs which are being blasted and covered with concrete caissons. They point out the rarity of these habitats and list plants and animal whose homes are being irrevocably transformed to make way for the base. These species include bottle-nosed dolphins, narrow-mouthed toads, red-footed crabs, Jeju freshwater shrimp and dozens of species of soft coral.

Besides coastal and marine life, critics charge construction of the base and new military housing is leading to the seizure of farmland and the end of a hundreds-of-years-old way of life based on farming, fishing and traditional subsistence diving by Jeju’s iconic haenyo women divers who symbolise an island people that prided themselves on living in balance with their environment.
(IPS News Service)
 
 

A Cheju villager arrested by the National Police
of the Syngman Rhee dictatorship in 1948.
Between April 1948 and 1950, tens of thousands
were massacred on Cheju Island and tens of thousands
fled from the island to Japan.
 


US-ROK naval Exercise in the Yellow Sea (huang hai).
Chinese authorities have declared that they don't like it 
if a bear sleeps on their door mat. The US government
is prepared to defend its security interests in the Yellow Sea, 
the Gulf of Chihli and Liaodong Bay, warning China
that it must respect freedom of the seas.


Cheju island, the site of the new naval base demanded by the US government, was the site of terrible massacres that started in 1948, two years before the outbreak of the Korean War. The massacres ordered by the local American commander who described Cheju as "a red island" in a communique, resulted in the death of at least 30,000 islanders. Another 40,000 escaped to Japan. It took the Syngman Rhee dictatatorship until 1954  to put down the rebellion of the islanders who were protesting against American plans to partition Korea rather than engage in serious talks resulting in national unity. Photo:  Credit: oshokim/CC By 2.0
 
 
 
 


....Villagers on Cheju Island protesting against the US base 
 
 


Cheju Islanders in Guanjeong village, protesting against the naval base demanded by the US navy.
 
 
 

......Ganjeong [Gangjung] village, on Cheju [Jeju] Island - the site of the new naval base

There is an emergency situation in Ganjeong village,  Cheju Island since Aug. 24, 2011, as the peace movement struggles against Cheju naval base construction, because of its contribution to further destabilization and increasing danger of war in East Asia.

The villagers also fear the environmental damage that is caused by it. Construction of the large base is destroying the habitat of species, impairing the beauty of the coastline, and threatening the livelihood of pearl divers working in waters off the Cheju coast! 

Has South Korea reverted to Quasi-Military Dictatorship? Riot Police arrest Jeju Islanders protesting state seizure of farms
 


Police confronting a sit-in by
Ganjeong villagers
 


 


police violence
 

arrest


The mayor, Kang Dong-Kyun, protesting against the base


Protest camp


Protest camp. Hyun says no to the base.


After construction workers had put up scaffolding on the construction site, a protester climbed on top of it, hoisting protest banners in a gesture of defiance.


Police officers are trying to arrest those who hoisted protest banners
while more villagers attempt to climb up...

RELEASE Kang Dong-Kyun (Gangjeong village mayor, 54), Kim Jong-Hwan(villager, 54), and Kim Dong-Won(photographer, 25)! 
 


Kang, the  mayor of Gangan, is an activist of the protest movement against the base


Kang's wife. Kang has been arrested because of the protest and
is in jail. She traveled to the city where he is imprisoned, in order to be close to him.

Benj D'Amour says 
'Mayor Kang's wife is waiting in front of the police station for her husband to be released' 

Sung-Hee Choi says 
"They met when they were high school students. His wife was the one who has taken charge of all her family's livelihood while the  mayor has thoroughly devoted himself to the struggle [against the base]. They love each other very much. And it was always sad to see her tears" 
 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

[Jeju Update: Sept. 6] A letter from imprisoned village representative Kang Dongkyun to Noam Chomsky

A letter by imprisoned mayor Kang Dong-Kyun to Noam Chomsky.
 

____________________________________________________
강동균 마을회장이 노엄 촘스키 교수에게 옥중에서 보낸 편지
2011년 9월6일자(국문은 여기 클릭)
____________________________________________________
 

Gangjeong Village People's Council

Translation by dopehead zo
 

A letter from imprisoned village representative Kang Dongkyun to Noam Chomsky
Sept. 6, 2011
 

Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

How are you?

I am Kang Dongkyun, the Gangjeong village representative, from Jeju Island where the people have been suffering and fighting for 4 years and 4 months against an unjust construction of a naval base.

The decision making process was unjust because the vast majority of the villagers opposed the construction of a naval base. And geographically Gangjeong village is not an appropriate location for a naval base. Despite these problems, the South Korean government and the Ministry of Defence have been pushing forward the project while ignoring its people's will, which created all sorts of conflicts not only within the community but in the whole island. Neighbors are turning their backs on one another, and human relations used to be close but now it's all broken.

At this point, Jeju Island is trying hard to be selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, based on the 3 titles that Jeju Volcanic Island and Gangjeong village have won from the UNESCO; UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO World Natural Heritage, and UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Our Gangjeong village is proud to meet the qualifications of the 3 UNESCO titles. I think that it is meaningless for the Jeju Island to try to be entitled as one of the new 7 wonders of nature if a naval base comes to Gangjeong village.

Jeju Island has two paths to take. One is a militarised Jeju Island that will increase tensions in the region. The other is a peaceful island where the breath-taking beauty of nature is well-preserved so all the peace-loving people from the world come to appreciate the environment.

Which one should be the right choice in terms of national interests and South Korea's status in the world community?
 
 

Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

I have read your writings and support messages. Thank you for helping us. I can't agree with you more when you say that a rule by force and violence will fall by the same force. The history proves that.
 
 

Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

We are trying everything we can to keep this small village on Jeju Island. We know and firmly believe that keeping the life and peace of the village ensures the peace on the island, in the country and the whole world.

We will never be shaken or surrender to any unjust state power. Peace maintained by force will be fallen by another big force.
 
 

Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

What we want is a small peace where people live their lives by helping and taking care of each other. We wish to make a true world where beautiful stories can be written by the people.

Please help us out and please let us keep the hope.

Thank you very much.

Sept. 6, 2011

On behalf of the Gangjeong villagers

Kang Dongkyun 
 
 

Posted by NO Base Stories of Korea at 7:36 PM 
 
 
 
 

Stop attack on Gangjeong village on Jeju 

Dear ROK Embassy Staff: 

I am sad and angry to hear about the massive police and military attack on the non-violent people of Gangjeong village today on Jeju Island. 

They are trying to protect their sacred lands, rocks, coral, fishing and farming culture. What could be wrong with them doing that? 

It is criminal that the ROK government is attacking these villagers. 

Our organization has been following this case and has been helping to build support for the villagers. This whole situation is making your government look very bad and giving the ROK a bad reputation as a military dictatorship. 

We demand an end to this persecution of the Gangjeong villagers and end to the plans to build this Navy base. We know that US Navy Aegis destroyers, outfitted with so-called "missile defense" systems, will be ported there as part of the US strategy to surround and "manage" China. 

ROK government is being drawn into a deadly and provocative US strategy that will only make the Asia-Pacific region more insecure. 

Listen to your own citizens and stop this Navy base now. 

In peace, 

Bruce K. Gagnon 
Coordinator 
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space 
PO Box 652 
Brunswick, ME 04011 
(207) 443-9502 
globalnet@mindspring.com 
www.space4peace.org 
http://space4peace.blogspot.com/ (blog) 

Posted by NO Base Stories of Korea
 
 
 
 


The coastline of Jeju Island. Credit: Martin Chen/wikimedia commons


UNESCO-designated global geoparks are overwhelmingly in the Southeastern part of the island,
in the neighborhood of the naval base under construction. Preparation for conflict is seen as more important than the preservation of nature. At least by those who rule...
 

LET"S EMBRACE TOGETHER GUREOMBEE, THE ROCKY COAST OF GANGJEONG VILLAGE 
by Director Cho (* Thanks for informing us, Regina) 

The police restrained three people since Aug. 24. The navy and construction companies such as Samsung are attempting to continue construction. The police even interrupted the people's peaceful candle vigil since Aug. 28. But determined people will SAVE GANGJEONG and the Gureombee rocky coast, OUR MOTHER, OUR LOVE! 

Posted by NO Base Stories of Korea at 11:24 AM
 

On Aug. 24, police illegally attacked the village and arrested five people. While two are released in that night, the  three named below are still in jail. On Aug. 25 when Father Moon Jung-Hyun tried to save the restrained by climbing on a police car carrying the three away, he was arrested, too. He was released the next night. Below is a short description of who the three are. These [three men] are [two] innocent villagers who simply wanted to save their hometown and a young photographer who just wanted to live his life according to justice and consciousness. Living in South Korea, you can be ‘criminal’ any time  if you want to live your life as a real human being, which is paradoxically guaranteed by the Constitution. By now, seven people have been restrained during the struggle against Jeju naval base and four have been released after court judgments  of probation or bail.
 
 

Korea Herald 
Residents of the Gangjeong village scuffle with police to stop a police van from carrying away protest leader Kang Dong-kyun, arrested for obstructing the naval base construction in Seogwipo, Jeju Province, last Wednesday, Aug. 24. (Yonhap News) 
 

MacGregor Eddy says, 
'The Mayor of Gangjeong village, Cheju Island, South Korea was arrested violently while asking construction workers not to erect an illegal 250 ton crane to build a Naval base.' 
 

The Kyunghyamg Shinmun, Aug. 29, 2011 
Does Hard-line Jeju Response Signal New 'Public Safety' Crackdown? 
 

Korea Times, Aug. 29, 2011 
Jeju naval base: Government should ease, not foster, social conflicts 
 

Paco says on Aug. 30, 2011 
"Today, 54 villagers and activists (that we know of) received court summons for their actions on August 24th. We expect this number to go higher." 
 
 

Regina says on Aug 30 
'Catholic priests in prayer. The navy and construction companies hired gangs for plastic barriers and police show no principles and responsibilities for that.' (video by Dungree) 
 

Korea Times on Aug. 30, 2011 
'Lawmakers from five opposition parties hold a rally to demand President Lee Myung-bak come up with measures to peacefully resolve the dispute over the construction of a naval base in Gangjeong Village in Jeju Island, Monday. [Yonhap] 
 
 

See also articles (* Thanks to Mattew Hoey)
Korea Times : Clash brewing at Gangjeong village on Aug. 30, 2011 
Korea Herald: Standoff escalates over Jeju naval base on Aug. 30, 2011 
At 7: 30am, Aug. 31, 2011, a written message from the Gangjeong village says that a state crack down is expected today. 
Joongang Daily: District court forbids anti-base protests on Jeju on Aug. 31, 2011 
 
 
 

Ten Thousand Things

Jeju District Court's Obstruction of Democracy 
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

Yesterday the Jeju District Court granted an injunction to the Navy and the central government to forbid resident demonstrations against the seizure of their homes and farms, and the destruction of one of Jeju Island's most beautiful coasts (South Korea's only natural dolphin habitat) to make way for a massive naval base to house warships meant to intimidate China. 

The court rejected an application by residents challenging the state seizure, demolition of the coastline, and destruction of the soft coral habitat. The residents argued that the state did not follow democratic due process and and failed to adequately assessment of the environmental damage to the coastline. . 

The court said the residents and their supporters must not return to the residents' homes and farms, now a state military construction site. 

People who attempt to return to their property would be fined 2 million won ($1,863). 

Local residents have been joined by democratic and environmentalist activists and religious leaders from all over Korea. They are supported by environmentalist, democratic, and religious supporters worldwide, including scholars and luminaries such as Gloria Steinem. 

In a replay of South Korea's worst periods of military dictatorship, the state has sent in hundreds of riot police, who are mostly conscripted youth, most of whom appear confused, embarrassed, and unhappy about having to perpetrate threat of violence or violence upon their fellow citizens. 

South Korea is similar to North Korea in the authoritarian attitude of the ruling elite; although South Korea is not totalitarian like North Korea. Although citizens have engaged in movements for democracy for decades, repressive governments intent on maintaining privileges for corporations, have thwarted these movements. South Korea is known for severe state violence against its citizens, including massacres. In April, 1948, one of the worst massacres in Korean history took place at Jeju Island. Many of the demonstrators are descendants of that massacre. 

________________
* Ann Wright talks about her visit to Jeju Island on August 28, Honolulu/ 
하와이 호놀룰루 강연회에서 제주강정마을 방문기를 전하는 앤 라이트 
(* Informed thanks to Younsil and M. Hoey) 

Posted by NO Base Stories of Korea
 
 
 

2011년 8월 31일 7시 30분, 강정 마을로부터 오늘 공권력 탄압이 예상된다는 문자 메시지를 받았습니다. 

We've been notified that at 10 am, policemen will enter to execute their official duty - which is to set up 'warning signs' and extend the fence that blocks the road to the beach. All of us here are preparing for this situation. Please pray for us... 

On Sept. 1, [2011]  police arrested three people including Mr. Kim Jong-Il (SPARK), Mr. Kim Min-Soo, an artist in Gangjeong village, and Ms. Kim Ah-Hyun, one of the key Jeju activists. [When arrested,] Mr. Kim Jong-Il  had gone to the Cheju local court to submit an appeal against the court decision upholding the order prohibiting  37 people (originally 76) to access the Cheju naval base construction area. The government had filed a provisional disposition suit against 76 people on July 12, this year. The police excuse was that they had not responded to a police call [to disperse]. The two others were arrested when they were driving a car to the prison to meet the restrained on Aug. 24. 

Youngsil says, "Mr. Kim Jong-Il is a management team leader here in Gangjeong Village. He went to court to file a suit. When he was leaving the courthouse, 10 members of the  police surrounded him to arrest him. Then they took him to Cheju Dongbu police station." 

"Kim Minsoo is a documentary film director & cartoonist who moved to Gangjeong village three years ago."(via Facebook) 
 

On Sept. 2, police arrested 38 people as of 2pm. They arrested three people in the village community hall: Mr. Go Yu-Gi, co-chairman of the Pan-Island committee to stop the military base on Cheju Island, Mr. Jung Kyung-Bo and Ms. Kim Mi-Ryang, two Gangjeong villagers. During their raid on the people's key protest site on the same day, they arrested 35 people. Among those confirmed are: Three villagers, seven students, two [Catholic] fathers and one reverend. Also 10 activists from the Island Committee against the naval base (including Mr. Hong Ki-Ryong, the other co-chairmen of the committee) and from the group for solidarity with migrant people. 
 

On Sept. 3, despite the South Korean government's recently escalating oppression against the people's peaceful and non-violent protests, people throughout the nation are coming to Gangjeong village to save it and Cheju Island, the Peace Island, from naval base construction. A peace plane carrying at least 170 people from Seoul is expected to come while people here expect that about 2,000 people from all of the nation would gather in the village to celebrate our strong will for peace with lots of cultural & religious events in which all the beings from voiceless creatures to human beings are welcome and invited. 

During the police raid on Sept. 2, several people had to be rushed  to hospital. One person had leg injuries, another needed medical treatment of the skin around his eyes. The latter was  x-rayed in hospital, as the skin around eyes was torn open by a police shield. See photos of police violence. (*photos by Dauri)

As of Aug. 26, [2011], 7 people have been restrained and three, including Gangjeong village mayor Kang Dong-Kyun, Mr. Kim Jong-Hwan, a Gangjeong villager, and Mr. Kim Dong-Won, a photographer, who were arrested on Aug. 24, have been put in jail., while the other four got probation or bail after their having been arrested since April 9. 

The Lee Myung-Bak government is enforcing the construction of the Cheju naval base construction by creating a situation worthy of security state, escalating its oppression since the moment the people's resistance started on Aug. 24. Indiscriminate human rights violations are very much a matter of concern [for those engaged] in the struggle against the Cheju naval base construction. More updates and photos will come later.

(Source: http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.de/ )


Uncle Jeong-Hwan, one of the activists in the village opposing the base

Regina Pyon says: 
'Uncle Kim Jong-hwan who was arrested on August 24. This photo was taken on July 24 when he chained himself at the entrance road to Guromby to block police. He has endured so humid and hot summer days in a small tent kitchen cooking for us and visitors. Photo by director Cho.' 


Kim Jeong-Hwan

Matt Hoey says, 
'Uncle Kim Jong-hwan was arrested on August 24. This image was taken on July 31. He and the dog are inseparable - always together. When Uncle is not cooking for the peace camp and the young peace activists who visit Guromby Rock (site of the naval base),  he sits under his tent as you see here. He is a living saint and should be freed from prison immediately.' 
 


Kim Jong-Il, oppoising the base
 


Kim Min-soo, opposing the base "Kim Minsoo is a documentary film director & cartoonist who moved to Gangjeong village three years ago."(via Facebook) 


Dongwon who protests against the base


protesting villagers
 
 
 


Dongwon standing in front of the base that is under construction
 


Dongwon kneels, praying that the base will not remain here.

Dauri says, 
" Dongwon has bowed 100 times every morning and night praying for peace at the Joongduk coast." 

Matt Hoey says, 
"Kim Dong-won was arrested on August 24 for his role in a peaceful protest. On July 31st I was driving by the South Korean naval base construction headquarters and saw him praying while doing the 100 bows of peace. He had a radio playing spiritual music. A security guard was behind the gate occasionally watching him. 
Free Kim Dong-won!" 

Posted by NO Base Stories of Korea
 
 

 Many photos  thanks to Youngsil, FACEBOOK. 

.FACEBOOK: SAVE JEJU ISLAND and NO NAVAL BASE ON JEJU

09.02.2011 Clashes erupt at South Korean base site. Protests continue MSNBC
09.02.2011 ROK Police Detain Island Activists Opposed to Base New York Times 
09.02.2011 South Korea police break up protest against navy base AFP 
09.01.2011 Inside the Gangjeong 'Peace Camp' Jeju Weekly 
09.01.2011 Police deployed to fortify Jeju base construction site Hankyoreh 

[The above information material is quoted from the No Base Stories website. It is a selection that attempts to give a brief overview of the early phase of the popular struggle against the base.]

 

.
 

SOLIDARITY WITH CHEJU ISLANDERS !
 

FRIENDSHIP WITH THE PEOPLE OF KOREA!
 

LET'S ALL WORK TOGETHER - FOR PEACE ON EARTH.
 

Please visit the website of 
NO BASE STORIES / KOREA: 

http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.de/

It is mostly about stories on the Korean people's struggles against the U. S. bases in Korea. Hope many of you find some clues and sources here. Please just be kind and fair to the source. 많은 분들께서 여기에서 단서들과 자료들을 찾길 바랍니다. 다만 단서와 자료의 기원에 대해 친절하고 공정하게 표기해 주시면 감사하겠읍니다.

 '저는 그들의 땅을 지키기 위하여 싸웠던 인디안들의 이야기를 기억합니다. 백인들이 그들의 신성한 숲에 도로를 만들기 위하여 나무들을 잘랐습니다. 매일밤 인디안들이 나가서 백인들이 만든 그 길을 해체하면 그 다음 날 백인들이 와서 도로를 다시 짓곤 했습니다. 한동안 그 것이 반복되었습니다. 그러던 어느날, 숲에서 가장 큰 나무가 백인들이 일할 동안 그들 머리 위로 떨어져 말과 마차들을 파괴하고 그들 중 몇몇을 죽였습니다. 그러자 백인들은 떠났고 결코 다시 오지 않았습니다….' (브루스 개그논)
 


Cancel the US-ROK military exercise
 


Light pollution in South Korea's sky - an indication
of modernity or of an unstainable way of living
that copies the American consumerist waste-maker society?
 


Anti-war protest in Seoul. also a protest against
the Free Trade Agreement demanded by the U.S. 
 
 
 
"[T]he U.S. expects South Korea to coordinate its efforts with U.S. missile defense plans. According to Kathleen Hicks, U.S. Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, there are “a lot of ways” that South Korea could assist U.S. missile defense in Northeast Asia. “We do have a dialogue with the Koreans about how to contribute to missile defense.” The Korean Air and Missile Defense System (KAMD) is scheduled to be fully deployed by 2015. Ostensibly intended to serve only as South Korea’s defense against attack by the North, it is interesting to note how well the system could mesh with that of the U.S. missile defense system. The KAMD, consisting of radar, U.S.-built Patriot PAC-2 missiles, and Aegis destroyers armed with sea-to-air missiles purchased from the U.S., is ideally suited for interoperability with the U.S. system. This past June, the U.S. and South Korea reached agreement on a “comprehensive alliance approach” to defense, involving both modification of the MTCR and implementation of a missile defense system. [...] The Obama Administration is engaging in a major expansion of its missile defense system in Asia, including the construction of additional radars in Japan and the Philippines. American upgrades to Japanese weaponry are also taking place. “The focus of our rhetoric is North Korea,” explains Steven Hildreth, a U.S. expert in missile defense technology and policy. “The reality is that we’re also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China.” Hildreth claims the U.S. is laying the foundations for an Asian missile defense system with nations such as Japan, South Korea and Australia.
An essential component of those plans is an upgrade in technology, including Aegis systems aboard Japanese destroyers. [...]
Unnamed sources revealed that the U.S. and South Korea have recently developed a strategic plan for targeting North Korea. No indication was given concerning what scenarios could trigger the plan into action. The attack would be implemented in five phases, including the launch of the long range ballistic missiles that South Korea intends to soon develop. This would be followed by sending waves of cruise missiles flying into North Korea, and then fighter planes and bombers would pound North Korea’s nuclear facilities. Drones would eliminate moving targets, relying on U.S. intelligence and communication systems. The plan is to be discussed in further detail at this month’s Security Consultative Meeting between the U.S. and South Korea.
[...] The growing militarization of the Korean Peninsula continues apace. U.S. armed forces in South Korea will soon be supplied with precision-guided artillery shells, which have an almost vertical trajectory ideal for targeting North Korean artillery batteries situated behind mountains. By the end of this year, the U.S. will also install additional Patriot PAC-3 missiles and ATACMS surface-to-surface missiles. The U.S. is also returning a chemical warfare battalion to South Korea, nine years after it had been withdrawn.  South Korea is seeking to purchase from the U.S. 36 Apache attack helicopters at a price tag of $3.6 billion, and in a separate deal 36 Cobra attack helicopters, at a cost of $2.6 billion. Included in the deals are associated components, as well as missiles and rockets."
(Quotes from: Gregory Elich, "Militarizing South Korea," in: Counterpunch, Oct. 18, 2012)

 
The islands called diaoyu tai (or Senkaku, in Japanese) were occupied by Japan, together with Taiwan and the Ryu-kyu islands, after the Chinese empire had lost the Sino-Japanese war, a war of aggression unleashed by Japan.
When Taiwan was restituted to China after Japan had lost the Pacific War, the diaoyu tai islands and the Ryukyu islands should have been returned, as well.
But the US intended to keep Okinawa, the main island of the Ryu-kyu group, as a strategically important isle, and also kept  diaoyu tai under the jurisdiction of the U.S. military government that ruled occupied Japan. When sovereignty was returned to Japan, the U.S. handed control  of diaoyu tai to the Japanese authorities. Though these factually obtained possession of the islands, their legal status according to international law remains disputed.  In 2014, "Obama became the first U.S. president to express Washington’s obligation to protect the Senkakus." "Under Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the two nations would act against an attack on 'territories under the administration of Japan.' Obama expressed Washington’s obligation under the treaty [...]." (Quotes from: N.N., "Obama declares U.S. obligation to protect Senkaku Islands," in:  Asahi Shimbun, April 24, 2014

 
 
On May 11, 2014, Asahi Shimbun, a mainstream newspaper in Tokyo reported with apparent satisfaction a so-called "backlash" against the opposition to US bases on Okinawa, writing that as anti-base activists protest in front of a U.S. base, "about 20 counter-demonstrators have gathered on the opposite side of the road with banners displaying messages surprisingly amicable to the U.S. military presence. “You are our good friends” and “Thank you for protecting the island,” a banner reads."
Most Okinawans have for many years protested against the bases. They have "historically [...] demanded [that] the government reduce the burden of the U.S. military presence," Asahi Shimbun admits.
"[A]nti-military activism" on the island is not surprising as [t]he prefecture hosts some 75 percent of all U.S. military facilities in Japan."
Rape of school-girls and young women by American military personnel  made again and again headlines. The fate of the young women working in brothels catering to the US military causes concern and gives rise to feelings of compassion.
(Quotes from: Koshin Shisui, "Backlash against anti-U.S. military activists on rise in Okinama," in: Asahi Shimbun, May 11, 2014) 

See also: "Abe has no intention of limiting collective self-defense to U.S.," in: Asahi Shimbun, May 09, 2014. The article says that "[t]he Abe administration does not intend to limit Japan’s collective self-defense measures to specific nations, raising concerns that Japanese troops could be deployed all over the world without restrictions." This would violate the constitution that Japan adopted after the war, which outlaws aggression and stipulates that Japan should only have a defense force, and should only be prepared to defend its home territory in case of an aggression.

"Abe [...] said that he explained in his meeting with Obama the move by his administration to change the government’s interpretation of the Constitution" (Quote from: N.N., "Obama declares U.S. obligation to protect Senkaku Islands," in:  Asahi Shimbun, April 24, 2014
 


 
"The Philippine military has revived plans to build new air and naval bases at Subic Bay, a former U.S. naval base that American forces could use to counter China [...] The proposed bases in the Philippines, a close U.S. ally, coincides with a resurgence of U.S. warships, planes and personnel in the region as Washington turns its attention to a newly assertive China and shifts its foreign, economic and security policy towards Asia. [...] The Philippine Congress last year approved $1.8 billion for military modernization. [...] Since 2002, U.S. forces helping fight  [...][Muslim separatist]  militants in the southern Philippines have shared several bases with Philippine troops." (Quotes from: Manuel Mogato, "Manila plans air, naval bases at Subic with access for U.S., officials say," in: REUTERS, June 27, 2013

 
 
"Hardliners in the American Department of Defence are enraged by China's handling of the collision of an American EP-3 surveillance aircraft with a Chinese fighter jet in April last year which caused the death of the Chinese pilot. China detained the American crew for 11 days and insisted the surveillance plane could leave China only after being cut into pieces. [...] Many Chinese strategists openly worry about what they regard as the encirclement of China by American power in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. American troops have been deployed in Central Asia [Afghanistan, plus a base in Uzbekistan], an area where China has been trying to expand its influence. America has also strengthened its defence relationships with Japan, the Philippines and China's close ally Pakistan. “It is possible that the stationing of American troops in Central Asia will be prolonged. This could remould the strategic configuration of the area, presenting a challenge to China's security and strategic interests,” says a Chinese researcher, Deng Hao, in International Studies, published by a government- sponsored think-tank." (Quotes from: N.N., "China feels encircled / America's foreign policy has sharpened a sense of isolation,"  in: The Economist, June 6, 2002)
 

See  also: N.N., "Encircling China just Japan's wishful thinking," in:  People's Daily, Jan. 17, 2013


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Seoul Anti-Militarist Protest by sympathizers and activists of the Korean Peace Movement, March 7, 2013. The people flocking again
and again to such demonstrations are concerned because US administrations and conservative ROK politicians seem bent on contributing
to tension and real danger of a war on the Korean peninsula. The US and South Korean conservatives reject the "Sunshine policies."
 

This page was created in solidarity with the fight against Cheju [Jeju] naval base. Some wiki commons photos were used.
The copyright of quoted material and of the other photos used in this page belongs to the authors respectively photographers.
-  The editor.

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