The US has pushed the right-wing Seoul government to massively expand their spending on military space tech. With the current US national debt now at $35 trillion, Washington can't afford to pay for its expensive and ambitious plans to 'control and dominate' space. Thus the #1 job of the Pentagon and State Department is to get the allies to help pay for the space warfare infrastructure. Currently the ROK government is building space R & D centers, satellite production facilities, new airfields likely to test hypersonic missiles and expanding 'missile defense' deployment sites. One key goal the US has is to use ROK satellite production and launch facilities to hoist mini-satellites into Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) to help fill up the already crowded orbits before China and Russia can get there.
Over the past couple of years there has been a flurry of activity linking NATO, and some of its constituent countries with the states of American East Asia, principally Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has been a frequent visitor, and in December 2023, the US embassy in Seoul arranged for senior representatives from eight NATO countries to visit South Korea to “engage in discussions on the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region and other pertinent issues”. Meanwhile back in Washington Representative Mike Lawler has introduced a bill in Congress aimed at “establishing [a] task force for NATO-like Indo-Pacific Alliance”.
On January 19, 150 people protested in front of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) office in the city of Daejeon, demanding the South Korean government stop arming Israel. While Palestine may seem like a distant conflict to South Koreans, the South Korean military-industrial complex is a key pillar in the Israeli war machine. According to Peace Momo, Hanwha, South Korea’s leading defense company, signed a major technology cooperation and export deal with Israeli weapons company, Elbit Systems, at the Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition (ADEX) in 2021.
With the US President Joe Biden waging an all-out economic war against China and aggressively pursuing new forms of collective security alliances to reinforce the military encirclement of China, the Asia-Pacific region has once again become a hotspot in Washington’s new Cold War. From the expansion of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (US, Japan, India, and Australia) to include South Korea, New Zealand, and Vietnam in 2021, the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework in May 2022, the participation of Asian heads of state in NATO meetings in 2022 and 2023, and the cementing of the Japan-Korea-US trilateral alliance at Camp David this August, Biden’s Indo-Pacific Strategy has been dead set on forging a new anti-China Cold War bloc across the region.
The United States, Japan, and South Korea will fully operationalize a missile warning system “by the end of December.” While justified as a means to counter North Korea’s missile launches, more worrisome, it escalates tensions in the region with China through the “NATOification” of all three countries, agreed upon in the “Spirit of Camp David” agreement. The agreement was hailed as a “new era of trilateral partnership” during the August 18 press conference following a meeting between the heads of state of all three countries. Western media echoed the sentiment, calling it “historic” and “unprecedented.” China, listed in the agreement as a regional concern, accused the United States of creating a “mini NATO in Asia.”
It is impossible to look away from what the Israeli government is doing to Palestinians not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. Waves of Israeli aircraft pummel Gaza, destroying communications networks and thereby preventing families from reaching each other, journalists from reporting on the destruction, and Palestinian authorities and United Nations agencies from providing humanitarian assistance. This violence has spurred on protests across the world, with the planet’s billions outraged by the asymmetrical destruction of the Palestinian people. If the Israeli government claims that it is conducting a form of ‘politicide’ – excising organised Palestinian forces from Gaza – the world sees Israeli aircrafts and tanks as conducting nothing but a genocide, displacing and massacring Palestine refugees in Gaza, 81% of whose residents were expelled from, or are the descendants of those who were expelled from, what was declared Israel in 1948.
While largely unnoticed by the US public, the trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea, and the US that took place at Camp David this August sent shockwaves throughout East Asia. US President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio punctuated the end of the three-day summit by releasing a joint declaration rife with the kinds of diplomatic ambiguities and appeals to vague principles typical of this sort of affair. The three leaders pledged their support for a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” for an international “rules-based order,” and for “peace and stability” around the world.
Is the ROK-US alliance unconditionally good? A new book raises radical questions about the ROK-US alliance on the 70th anniversary of the two countries’ mutual defense treaty, which was signed on Oct. 1, 1953. The book is “The Naked ROK-US Alliance,” written by Daegu University professor Kim Sung-hae, who completed a master’s in international affairs at the University of Georgia and a doctorate in journalism at the University of Pennsylvania. As the book’s subtitle suggests, this book lists the “reasons for resolving to break up with America” while urging us to imagine what South Korea would be like without the US or their alliance.
July 27 marked the 70th anniversary of the 1953 ceasefire to the Korean War. In the three years leading up to the anniversary, South Korean peace movements organized the international Korea Peace Appeal campaign to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty to conclude the 70-plus-year Korean War. The anniversary has come and gone, but, instead of peace, the Joe Biden, Yoon Suk Yeol, and Fumio Kishida administrations are stoking tensions in the Korean Peninsula as a smokescreen to build a NATO-level US-Japan-South Korea trilateral alliance against China. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has played his supporting role well.
My goodness. President Joe Biden and the press serving his regime pumped so much hot air into that three-sided Asian summit at Camp David last week it is a wonder the entire occasion didn’t float away like an overfilled balloon. Here’s the thing: It will. Biden brought together the South Korean president and the Japanese premier to forge some kind of new security pact that is intended to endure, as Biden bloviated, “not just this year, not just next year, forever.” You have to love it: Rarely do we get clownish hyperbole of such high quality. But we must remind ourselves from whom this silliness issues. Then we can make some minimal sense of nonsense, if you will suffer a paradox.
On Saturday, thousands of South Koreans marched in Seoul to protest Japan's plans to dump radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. Protesters are concerned about the risks to food security and marine ecosystems that the release of nuclear wastewater could cause as early as late August. Previously, on Friday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) found leaks in a hose used at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to transfer nuclear-contaminated wastewater. TEPCO conducted a probe after higher-than-usual levels of radioactive material were detected in rainwater in the dike around a storage tank.
Most people could be forgiven for thinking the 73-year-old Korean War — a conflict in which millions of people were killed — is completely over. But it’s not—at least not in the way you would think a war would be completely over — and the current conditions surrounding the U.S. armisticewith North Korea are having the opposite effect of what they’re intended to do. They’re not creating the conditions for sustained peace, they’re creating the conditions for what could be truly devastating violence. For the most part, Americans have no idea how dangerous the situation is on the Korean Peninsula. In just the last 12 months alone, North Korea has tested multiple long-range missiles and displayed enough intercontinental ballistic missiles to potentially overwhelm the U.S.’s long-range missile defense system.
The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) has announced a nationwide strike starting Thursday, July 13, unless the government responds to their demands. The trade union has been concerned about staff shortages and low wages for years and is now prepared to escalate action as President Yoon Seok-yeol’s administration continues to ignore the issues faced by health workers. In a recent press release, the KHMU emphasized that the strike aims to defend the lives and health of the people, in collaboration with citizens. Trade union officials also stated that during the strike, they would address the existing problems in the healthcare system, emphasizing the danger of a collapse in essential and public healthcare due to a lack of health workers.
A South Korean union leader has ended his life, enraged in anger and humiliation as the government attempted to bring racketeering charges against him over union activity. On the morning of May Day, Yang Hoe-dong, a chapter leader of a national construction workers union, set himself on fire at a courthouse where he was summoned to a hearing for the review of an arrest warrant for him. He was pronounced dead at the hospital the following day. The death was in protest of attacks by the government of President Yoon Suk-yeol on the 160,000-strong Korean Construction Workers Union and its rival union since February, when Yoon declared some of the unions’ activity “construction thuggery” and tried to eliminate it.
South Korea’s right-wing government, led by president Yoon Suk-yeol, has been increasing attacks on workers’ rights and unions in recent months. The government has been anti-worker and anti-union since it took power last May, with President Yoon frequently emphasizing that his administration would “strictly respond to any illegal [labor] activities. But these traits have become blatant since successfully repressing truck drivers’ second strike last November to December, which demanded the expansion of a standard-fare system that means a minimum wage for ostensibly self-employed truck drivers.