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평택범대위   am.10:34, Tuesday ( 2144hit )
The South Korea government must withdraw its plan for the forcible displacement of the

The South Korea government must withdraw its plan for the forcible displacement of the residents of Dachuri and Doduri and immediately reopen negotiations with them to settle the matter of the U. S military base expansion.


At the end of August the South Korean government publicly announced its plan for the forcible displacement of the residents of the farming towns of Dachuri and Doduri.  It has been confirmed that the government has selected demolition agencies and is in the process of securing resources and equipment for the destruction of homes and for laying the foundation for the base over the fields.  The militaristic operations planned by the government will leave these villages in ruins and gravely threaten to throw villagers and peacekeepers into a state of violence and bloodshed.


On May 4th, tens of thousands of riot police and soldiers swarmed into Dachuri and Doduri under government orders, wrecking havoc on fields once alive with crops by erecting barbed wires and digging trenches.  The same government responsible for this tragedy publicly swore that it would, under any and all conditions, carry out the forcible displacement of residents and the destruction of their villages within this year, in accordance with the plan for the U.S. military base expansion, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2008.  In July it filed an eviction suit and has planned to destroy vacant houses by the end of August.  The upcoming destruction of vacant houses is designed to maximize villagers' psychological distress.


However, it has been confirmed recently that the U.S. will significantly reduce the number of its troops stationed in Korea.  One American media source has even reported that the troops will be completely withdrawn by the middle of 2010.  In addition, President Roh, while acknowledged the relationship between the U.S. repositioning plan and the expansion of the base in Pyongtaek, has made reference to the reduction of U. S military forces.  Furthermore, it was reported by one Korean media source that the U.S. will review the initial plan for the base expansion in Pyeongtaek in relation to its plan for troop reductions.  These situations prove that the South Korea government is stubbornly and wrongly persisting on the course it originally set out on at a time when it should instead be reopening negotiations. That the Roh administration can only think about how to evict its own people when even the U.S. is beginning to reconsider its plans is completely ridiculous. 


We have continuously pointed out that the past agreement between the U.S. and South Korea is a humiliating breach of common sense and the Constitution and even goes against the Mutual Defense Agreement between Seoul and Washington, and that it was made with a clumsy budget and suspicious Congressional ratification. If we review the U.S. army sources, we see that the site for the expansion of the base in Dachuri and Doduri measures 2.85 million pyoung.  However, the Yongsan base currently takes up only 0.38 million pyoung.  Another 0.28 million pyoung is allotted for golf courses. The remaining 2.47 million pyoung is allotted for the second army division; however this division will be substantially reduced under the U.S.’s new plan.


As shown above, the size of the land for the base expansion is greatly overestimated.  In addition, a large amount of it is planned to be used for a leisure complex and residences for the U. S soldiers and their families.


Witnessing that the rich farms that Dachuri and Doduri residents have cultivated for decades will be destroyed to make way for an extravagant leisure complex and residence for American soldiers in accordance with a humiliating and corrupt negotiation, the people of Korea can only but demand renegotiations. It is simply insane to offer up rich farmland that gives life so that the U. S can advance its base made only for war. We can't help but ask: who the hell does this government exists for?


The violent destruction of villages and forcible displacement represent a grave infringement on the residents’ human rights, not the least of which is the devastating psychological impact of this process. In fact, the UN human rights commission has called for an immediate end to the infamous forcible displacements in redevelopment zones due to these kinds of consequences. There are many cases of displacement in which gangsters are employed and use abuse, sexual harassment and physical violence to drive residents into a state of utter fear and desperation. Looking at these instances it is clear that very lives of the residents of Dachuri and Doduri, a great number of whom are elderly, are in jeopardy.


Forcible displacement violates not only housing rights specified in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culture Rights, but also freedom of body, of residence and transfer, of expression and of association as specified in the International Covenant on Civil and Politic Rights.  The Korean government is party to both of these agreements.  In addition, it is villagers’ right to cultivate their farms their whole lives as they which, according to the Korean Constitution which guarantees the right to live peacefully.  And yet, it is the government’s plan to forcibly evict these farmers in order to support the U.S.’s base expansion and its ability to make war.


Although the Ministry of National Defense claims it is making an effort to solve the conflict through democratic dialogue, it is in fact busily working to break apart this peaceful community and has even arrested Kim Ji Tae, the headman of villages, keeping him in prison irrespective of his willingness to return to negotiations. The MND has shown now real desire to solve the matter peacefully and is likely to take all measures necessary to complete the base expansion plan by 2008. It is clear that this country has brought death to the principles of human rights and democracy.


We, peace-loving people, make the following appeal to the South Korean government sincerely and will all our hearts:  

The government should reverse its agreement with the U.S. plan for “strategic flexibility”, which is likely to bring about the crisis of war in East Asia, and review and renegotiate the plan for base expansion, which allows the U.S. to strengthen its ability to threaten peace.

In addition, the government should immediately withdrawal all military troops from Dachuri and Doduri and retract its cruel plan for the destruction of houses and villages.


As we wish ardently for peace, we will continue our struggle against the upcoming forcible displacement, the destruction of Dachuri and Doduri and the destruction of the residents’ lives.  As part of our efforts, we will carry out a great peace march, in which 100 thousand people will participate, on September 24th. In the name of human rights and peace- in Korea and internationally- we will stop the U. S military base expansion.


We join in solidarity with other peace-loving people around the world to forcefully denounce the South Korean government for abusing peace and human rights.  We will come forward in a nation-wide struggle to pass judgment on the Roh's administration.


August 18th, 2006


Pan-S. Korea Solution Committee against U.S. Base Expansion in Pyeongtaek.

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