July 15, 2016

Opposition to THAAD Deployment in South Korea Grows

Opposition to THAAD antimissile system in South Korea is growing, especially fervently by the residents of Seongju (where the THAAD system will be placed), who are concerned about adverse health effects on residents nearby the system.

Koreans in the U.S. has initiated a petition campaign:

Rescind the decision to deploy THAAD antimissile system in South Korea.

The U.S. and South Korean governments, against wide opposition of South Koreans (and strong subsequent backlash from local citizens of the deployment site), have agreed to deploy U.S.-made THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Air Defense) system in South Korea. This measure is supposedly to counter North Korean ballistic missiles and provide additional security, yet this is a controversial move that will likely to escalate tension in the region, by provoking North Korea, China and Russia into a spiraling arms race in the region that is already heavily militarized with weapons of mass destruction. Now, more than ever, is the time to step back and de-escalate tensions by pursuing negotiated settlements that will provide sustainable peace mechanism in the Korean Peninsula and the surrounding region. 

July 13, 2016

Art Exhibits of Works From Both South and North Korea

Two simultaneous exhibits:

South Korean Art: Examining Life through Social Realities (above photo)


Contemporary North Korean Art: The Evolution of Socialist Realism (below photo)

June 18 through August 14, 2016

American University Museum
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016


June 30, 2016

"Engaging North Korea" Publication

During the Korea Peace Network conference on June 23, 2016 in Washington, DC, the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) released its report "Engaging North Korea: Building Toward Dialogue with U.S. Government-Sponsored People-to-People Exchange Programs.” The report is available here: https://afsc.org/document/engaging-north-korea

"Engaging North Korea: US Policies to Improve Bilateral Relations"

Engaging North Korea: US Policies to Improve Bilateral Relations

Sponsored by Korea Peace Network and Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA)
Thursday, June 23, 2016, 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU, Washington, DC

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have arguably reached historic highs in the first few months of 2016. Relations between the two countries appear deadlocked following North Korea´s nuclear test in January, the largest ever U.S.-South Korea military exercises, several North Korean rocket launches, US-led sanction efforts, vicious rhetoric and more. Further, the Obama Administration´s policy of ´strategic patience´ has not yielded diplomatic progress and both official and back-channel dialogue have reportedly ceased.

Yet, despite the impasse between the two countries, there remain an array of policy options to help de-escalate tensions, increase understanding, build trust, and ultimately pave the way for a peacebuilding process. Join the Korea Peace Network and GWU´s Partnership for International Strategies in Asia as we explore a menu of policy options to build a more peaceful Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia. The all-day event featured discussions with academics, policy analysts, U.S. government officials, practitioners from across the foreign policy spectrum, and more.

9:30-10:45 Panel I
The Korea Exception to the Mine Ban Treaty & Obama´s Last Days in Office
11:00-12:30 Panel II
Remembering the Forgotten: Retrieving the Remains of US Veterans Left in North Korea
1:30-3:00 Panel III
Communication Breakdown: People-to-people Exchanges & Building Understanding
3:30-6:00 Film Screening and remarks on Divided Families
Film: "People are the Sky" - Dai Sil Kim-Gibson

April 19, 2016

Filmmaker Dai Sil Kim-Gibson's New Documentary on North Korea

“People are the Sky” director on documenting meanings of home, family

In the documentary “People are the Sky”, filmmaker and writer Dai Sil Kim-Gibson returns to her birthplace in North Korea after the death of her Iowa-born husband Don. Kim-Gibson, with the goal of discovering what home truly means, finds a country where people live in peace and harmony. READ MORE

March 11, 2016

A Plea for Peace in Korea

Photo: Rally in South Korea calling for the end of military exercises (war games) during the heightened tension in the Korean Peninsula.

“Heart speaks to heart”

By Simone Chun

The latest sanctions on North Korea are having immediate effects, including jingoistic reports from the foreign media on Korea and the halting of humanitarian aid to the North from international NGOs. Now is the time to bolster efforts to promote humanitarian and people-to-people exchange with North Korea: it’s the only channel left under the current political climate.      READ MORE

Protest on the Korea-Japan "Comfort Women" Announcement

The 1221st "Wednesday Protest" took place in front of the Japanese embassy (special protest in Washington, DC) with survivor and delegation from South Korea on the "comfort women"/military sex slavery issue. The following is the statement from the rally.

We Denounce the Korea-Japan Announcement on the “Comfort Women” Issue

The military sexual slavery (“comfort women”) system perpetuated by the Japanese military during the World War II in Asia was a war crime committed by the wartime Japanese government, and it is clearly sex crime and human rights violation against women (mostly Korean), including minors aged 13 to 16.

To this day, the Japanese government has made statements on this issue which attempt to whitewash its own responsibility and the coercive nature of the abusive system. The recent Korea-Japan joint announcement on this issue does not drift afar from this.

The Japanese government needs to admit the coercive nature of the “comfort women” mobilization as historical accuracy and provide its legal responsibility and direct reparations – only then will there be sincerity in its apology and lead to the true recovery of honor and dignity of the surviving victims.

We also denounce the diplomatic folly by the Park Geun-hye government of South Korea for reaching this agreement without consultation with the survivors, that does not include official apology from the Japanese government, that yielded to the Japanese pressure on possibly removing the statue (which depicts a victim) across from the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, and agreeing to “irreversible” clause that will prevent future settlements on this issue. Many Korean citizens have voiced strong anger and the survivors have proclaimed this agreement as null and void.

In solidarity with the continuing effort of the survivors on this issue, we will continue to push for full and sincere apology and legal responsibility from the Japanese government.

March 10, 2016
Participants of the 1221st Wednesday Protest, in front of Japanese Embassy in the USA

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