NCCK statement on deployment of weapons on the Korean Peninsula
We protest the site survey for the THAAD and its deployment in the Korean peninsula
We, the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), cannot repress our astonishment about the news that without any prior consultation with Korean government the United States Forces in South Korea has conducted a substantive site survey for possible stationing of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Declaring that this is a grave challenge to the national sovereignty and dignity, we state our position on the THAAD as follows.
The deployment of the THAAD will threaten the stability in the North East Asia as it triggers arms race and escalates military tension in the region. China already voiced out its concern last year, saying that “deploying missile defense on the Korean peninsula would not be in the interest of regional stability or strategic balance.” With the deployment of the THAAD in the Korean soil, China and Russia grow more militaristic and confrontational towards the US. As a consequence, Korean peninsula could turn to a flash point and its people could be victims of the military clashes between these super powers. It is in this light that Russia demanded South Korea to thoroughly weigh possible consequences of the THAAD deployment and warned that it would jeopardize the security of South Korea itself. Furthermore, the THAAD deployment will provoke a strong reaction from the North Korea and aggravate the already deteriorated relation of North and South. In conclusion, the people in the North East Asia region now see a growing sense of urgency concerning peace and security in the region as the THAAD has turned into an axis of conflict and confrontation.
Therefore we demand the US:
- To make a sincere apology to South Korea and its people for conducting the survey without a prior consultation with the South Korean government.
- To stop any attempt to deploy the THAAD in Korea.
- To stop using the attack on Mr. Mark Lippert, the US Ambassador as a pretext of the THAAD deployment
As the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan affirmed, we will continue our pilgrimage towards reconciliation and peace in Korea as well as in North East Asia until we achieve them without military forces.
March 13, 2015
Rev. Kim Young-ju
General Secretary, NCCK