WASHINGTON, D.C. — Korean Greens and the Green Party of the United States published a joint statement on Monday, Sept. 19 against deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea. The statement follows below.
THAAD is a U.S. Armed Forces anti-ballistic missile system designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles. On Sept. 9, 2016, President Obama announced that THAAD batteries would be sited in South Korea and Japan in the wake of a North Korean nuclear bomb test.
“The last thing our world needs is a new nuclear arms race. We support the Korean Greens’ call to stop THAAD and redirect the funds to education, medicine, and the fight against climate change,” said Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2016 nominee for president.
The Green Party of the United States and Korea Green Party, along with Green Parties throughout the world, count nonviolence as a key value and support diplomacy and political solutions instead of military action. Green Parties call for global nuclear disarmament.
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.
United States Greens