Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Korea Updates

Sung-Hee Choi in Gangjeong village on Jeju Island standing in front of the main gate at the new Navy base


  • Many progressives in South Korea believe that a U.S.-centered approach on the current peace process (rather denuclearization of North Korea) is too risky and won't address real issues. They want to push for a Northeast Asia Collective Security Framework, Northeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, etc. I agree with them. The arms race in Northeast Asia is going mad and driving us to a hell! In the year when two Koreas are taking significant steps toward peace, Japan is on a fast track toward hyper-militarism. Very few pay attention to the military threat and ambition that Japan poses.  ~ Simone Chun
  •  Trump’s demand that South Korea increase its funding for U.S. troops deployed there has reportedly soured on-going negotiations over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) between the two countries. The SMA’s five-year contract expires December 31 and currently requires South Korea to pay $830 million per year to the U.S. for the 28,500 U.S. troops based there.
  • CNN’s recent report on “new missile base activity” in North Korea is deceptive, said a South Korean media outlet. CNN had reported on December 6 that new satellite images it obtained exclusively reveal that “North Korea has significantly expanded a key long-range missile base.”   The Yeongjeo-dong missile base has been known to the outside world since as early as 1999 when North Korea test-launched its Daepo-dong 1 and 2 missiles, according to the South Korean media outlet Voice of People (VOP). And one of the satellite photos that CNN published as evidence of new construction activity near the missile site has a 2004 date stamp, VOP noted.
  • South and North Korea held working-level talks on December 13 to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the inter-Korean railway project. A group of South Korean officials and experts traveled to North Korea for a joint railway survey of 400 kilometers of the western Gyeong-gui Line as part of efforts to connect major railways along the divided peninsula.  
  • A retired army general under investigation for illegal surveillance jumped off a building in an apparent suicide on December 7. Lee Jae-su, former chief of the Defense Security Command (DSC), was being probed for his alleged involvement in illegal surveillance of the bereaved families of the victims of the 2014 Sewol Tragedy. The sinking of the Sewol ferry killed 304 passengers aboard, mostly high school students on a field trip to Jeju Island.
Thanks to ZoominKorea for much of this information

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