Tuesday, September 20, 2016

U.S., Korean Green Parties denounce American missle deployment in Asia

Green Party Korea

by Don Ellis

The Green Party US and Green Party Korea issued a joint statement condemning President Obama's decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea and Japan.

According to the American government's Missile Defense Agency, "The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) element provides the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) with a globally-transportable, rapidly-deployable capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles inside or outside the atmosphere during their final, or terminal, phase of flight."

On September 9, Obama announced that THAAD batteries would be sent to South Korea and Japan. The decision was a reaction to North Korea's lastest nuclear bomb test.

Statement on Deployment of THAAD in Korea
September 19, 2016

On July 8, South Korean and U.S. governments launched formal talks on deploying the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD). On July 12, the Korean government decided on Seongju in North Gyeongsang Province as the best location for THAAD without any discussion.

Korean and U.S. Greens strongly urge cancelling THAAD, which will cause tensions in northeast Asia, increase the arms race, and eventually harm efforts towards global peace. THAAD should not be deployed in any location in Korea including Seongju.

THAAD threatens peace. The Korean government says that THAAD is necessary as a defensive strategy against North Korea's missile system, but the program only intimidates North Korea.

Furthermore, China and Russia feel threatened by THAAD because it helps U.S. radar systems locate missiles in their countries. Deploying THAAD would involve Korea in the U.S. missile defense system. China and Russia are strongly opposed to the U.S. missile defense system, while Korea, Japan, and U.S. prefer to move forward in enacting it.

THAAD may trigger an arms race among the countries surrounding the two Koreas, the only divided county in the world. Military tension will threaten the Korean Peninsula and world peace. Cancelling THAAD will help preserve peace.

The Korean government made its decision on a location for THAAD and notified Seongju citizens without allowing public discussion. Democracy is severely damaged when the right to participate in decision-making is obstructed.

On August 10, 100,000 people signed a petition demanding reversal of the decision to deploy THAAD in South Korea. Citizens are already aware that deploying THAAD will diminish chances for peace for both Korea and U.S. citizens, and will only profit Lockheed Martin, which was awarded the contract for the THAAD system.

Greens in Korea and the U.S. agree that funding for a Korea-U.S. military defense system should be transferred to education, medicine, and the fight against climate change.

The governments of both nations must focus on preserving peace in the Korean Peninsula, through negotiation. Korean and U.S. Greens call on them to reverse the decision to deploy THAAD.

Korean and U.S. Greens are committed to achieving peace in collaboration and solidarity.

Korean Greens
United States Greens