From No.802, August 29, 2003 issue of FLAG OF UNITY newspaper

Success of Anti-War Seoul Festival - Fruit of International Solidarity / EastAsia Anti-War Council Formed Jointly by Japanese and South Korean Peace Activists

The "2003.8.15 Anti-War Seoul Festival" was held from August 14 through August 16 in Seoul, South Korea. With the manifesto of "anti-war, anti-globalization and anti-nuclear," participants from Japan, the US, Iraq and South Korea discussed and reviewed the present international situation for three days to bring about the Seoul Declaration. The Japanese and South Korean peace groups decided to form the "EastAsia Anti-War Council" in the hope that the international solidarity would create formidable obstacles to the war machines of Bush, Koizumi and others focusing on the Korean Peninsula, while it is expected to be the powerful first step to peace in East Asia.

"Seoul Declaration" for Peace in East Asia

The "Seoul Declaration" (shown below) was adopted in the names of the entire participants of the Festival. Following the Tokyo Declaration of May 26, 2003, it calls for major efforts to create peace in East Asia by fighting and containing the hostile policies of Bush and Koizumi in association with the Korean Peninsula. President of the Student Union of Seoul National University made a welcome speech at the opening ceremony, emphasizing that the Tokyo Declaration followed by solidarity of East Asian people has inspired the hope for the peace on the Korean Peninsula where the war is still raging. On the second day, OH Se-Chul, Professor of Yeonse University and Chief of the Organization Committee, made a powerful talk that we the people have the right and beliefs to dream a different future. SATO Kazuyoshi, President of the Movement for Democratic Socialism (MDS) from Japan, reported an analysis of today's world under the title "Military Tensions in East Asia and Suggestions for Peace Settling Resolutions." They both emphasized the importance of creating the peace zone in East Asia as well as the need for struggle to dismantle the war-machine system of global capitalism. The anti-war movements of Korea and Japan, which so far have acted separately, finally have come together in the concrete form of solidarity on the basis of the Tokyo Declaration. Also at the Festival, they decided to launch a new organization "EastAsia Anti-War Council" with the joint membership of Japanese and South Korean activists. The Council will execute the action plans manifested in the Seoul Declaration, holding the conference on August 15 every year. An International Steering Committee will be set up for the joint action. KIM Jong-Sik of EastAsia Anti-War Council preparatory committee said, "I am very happy that the Festival was successful and that I have learned a lot. I am firmly convinced that we have to cross over the boundary of our nation if we are really serious about changing the world for better. Ever since 1980's, the unification issue of South and North Koreas has been the locomotive leading South Korean citizens' movement. However, our movement would not go very far just by sticking to a narrow nationalism with only North Korea in perspective. Unless we were open to the international movement, the August 15 event would end up being one of those Korean national gatherings. From the participants from Japan as well as the US, I learned that they also have the same awareness of the issues. This is South Korea's first international experience."

Full Text of the Seoul Declaration

Through the two world wars involving the entire nations, the 20th century shall be known as the most brutal and violent century that human history has ever seen. In reflecting our responsibility and remedies for the 20th century, we have gathered here in Seoul, Korea, the land of cease-fire, in an International Anti-War Convention today, the anniversary of the end of the World War II, following internationally coordinated lines of actions manifested in the Cairo Declaration of December 2002 and the Tokyo Declaration of May 2003. Threatened by the continuing wars and emerging new wars in many parts of the world, we hold the 2003.8.15 Anti-War Seoul Festival with the important manifesto of "Anti-war, Anti-globalization and Anti-nuclear."

As we call the ten years of the post-cold war the lost ten years, it has been the time of capitalism taking hold of the world. At the same time, it was the time of globalization in the interest of corporations and financial capital, as well as the time of war-machine system being established along the way. Brutal wars in Balkan, Afghanistan and Iraq are the consequences of the systematized violence, which is the natural outcome of global capitalism in pursuit of profits.

Such destructive power of the capitalism has gained momentum of aggression triggered by the 9.11 terrorist attacks. The Bush Administration, demonstrating its unilateralist approach in the Iraq war, is gradually showing its influence here in East Asia. Just as the unilateral aggression of the Bush Administration in Iraq is strengthened by the strong support of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's advent into East Asia is facilitated by the active support of Japan's Koizumi government and tacit approval of South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun.

We are seriously concerned with the Bush government who insists on launching pre-emptive military operations, and others who are anxious to enter into the arms race, riding on the same band. We already know very much through our experiences in the 20th century about the disaster and tragedies that the structure of war system would cause. In our struggle to condemn wars, globalization of capitalism and nuclear weapons, we, the activists from Japan, South Korea, the US and Iraq, propose the five agenda as well as 22 action plans with the realization that the new world of peace, equality and freedom can be materialized only when we act for the cause directly.

We condemn and oppose:

1. Pro-war policy of the Bush Administration and its followers. In particular, the US-UK alliance is the major promoter of the war-machine system worldwide. In East Asia, the alliance of Japan, US and South Korea is carrying out the same pro-war policy, intensifying the arms build-up race and military tensions. We have to demand that these allied countries scrap the plans to build up arms, legislative measures to accommodate the global war-machine system as well as their plans to withdraw from international treaties to avoid the punishment for war crimes.

2. All weapons of mass destruction, including usable small nuclear weapons and the missile defense system. The usable small nuclear weapons and the missile defense system are not "the means of defense or threat" but the powerful weapon for attack which should be stopped immediately. The governments of the US, Japan and South Korea have to cancel the allocation of the money for the purpose immediately.

3. Nuclear weapons of any kind. Nuclear-capable nations should dismantle all the nuclear weapons in their possession completely. All nuclear developments projects should be cancelled and the Treaty on Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons should be put into force. Those who unofficially possess nuclear materials have to dismantle their nuclear weapons as well as to cancel all the projects for study, development and test of nuclear weapons. The nuclear armament should not be allowed any more no matter what happens.

4. All occupations and blockades. Especially we demand the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Israel should stop its occupation and economic exploitation of Palestine. The US government should stop its support and assistance to Israel for unlawful attacks, occupation and exploitation of Palestine. The US government should scrap all kinds of blockades and sanctions, limiting the activities of various nations of the world including North Korea.

5. Globalization in the interest of corporations and financial capital. The global exploitation system and its agencies including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization should be dismantled immediately. We also condemn detrimental effects on human rights, labor, education and welfare caused by the movement of capital and profit taking.

We propose to the people of East Asia the 22 action plans as follows:

(1) Demand the Bush Administration never attack North Korea no matter what happens, withdraw all the measures of blockades over North Korea, and resume humane aids and support.

(2) Condemn the 470-billion-dollar arms build-up promoted by the Bush Administration until 2007.

(3) Fight against the hostile policy against North Korea and the arms build-up promoted by the Koizumi government.

(4) Get together jointly in Japan and Korea to fight against growing militarism of Japan accelerated by the Koizumi government through the new contingencies legislation and plan of dispatching Self-Defense Forces troops to Iraq.

(5) Find practical solutions on how to block weapons of mass destruction including usable small nuclear weapons and the missile defense system from being introduced in East Asia, which the US government has been forcing the South Korean and Japanese governments to deploy.

(6) Condemn the nuclear armament of North Korea and promote the nuclear-free zone of East Asia vigorously.

(7) Strengthen the campaign so that the six-nation talks will exceed the national interest of participating nations, and conflicts between the nations will be worked out to the abolishment of nuclear materials and the normalization of diplomatic relations in East Asia.

(8) Refuse and oppose any kind of military alliance and fight to abolish the draft system.

(9) Give support and solidarity to those who have been fighting in Japan and South Korea to get post-war compensation.

(10) Oppose the US occupation of Iraq and support actively the International Occupation Watch Center set up in Baghdad.

(11) Call for the support to the people's war crime tribunal movement to bring the war criminals to justice for their genocide against the Iraqi people.

(12) Make the Koizumi government scrap the plan of deploying SDF troops to Iraq, and make the Roh government withdraw its troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

(13) Let us have internationally coordinated demonstrations on September 27, the international day of protest against occupation and empire from Palestine to Iraq and everywhere, simultaneously in Japan and South Korea.

(14) Participate in the anti-occupation demonstration on October 25 in Washington DC.

(15) Oppose the unlawful Israeli occupation of Palestine and join hands with the people of Palestine for their rights and self-determination.

(16) Condemn all corporations which profit from war and occupation across the world, such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Caterpillar etc.

(17) Condemn media capitals, such as Fox, CNN and BBC, and Murdoch, and oppose their monopoly of media, information and broadcasting.

(18) Protest against the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization through direct action, and give active solidarity to the protest demonstration against the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, from September 10 through 14.

(19) Oppose the privatization and condemn multinational corporations which are causing mass unemployment and low wage by exploiting unskilled laborers.

(20) Help and support the struggle of women who have been abandoned in poverty and violence under the tyranny of the patriarchal system in the process of capitalist globalization.

(21) Help and support the farmers struggling to reclaim the land, seeds and water from corporate land owners who speculate on the natural resources for profit in the process of globalization.

(22) Support the struggle of indigenous people to end ethnic and racial discrimination, and to protect their rights, natural resources, culture, independence, land and territorial integrity.

Adopted by all the participants of the 2003.8.15 Anti-War Seoul Festival.

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