South Korea is hosting an International Fleet Review on its Jeju Island Naval Base in Gangjeong Village from 10 October, the biggest event since the base was constructed, when warships and fighter aircraft from 45 countries gather there for a military exhibition. The ‘Kick Out US Bases’ campaign has mounted a strong opposition to the base, which is seen as a US-led project that’s destroying the environment in order to provide a strategic military outpost for Nato and the United States in the East China Sea.
Julie Ward MEP is a peace activist and member of Labour CND Executive Committee. In a recent speech to the European Parliament, she argued:
Prospects of peace between the two Koreas are unexpectedly encouraging. In our support of the talks, we must focus on young people who are essential to any lasting peacebuilding processes. Young Koreans on both sides of the border have different perspectives from their elders and they should be given a voice in the peace talks.
Women also have a crucial role to play when it comes to peacebuilding so involving them in the process is a way to ensure that peace is more sustainable and more inclusive.
I am aware that the process in the Korean peninsula is still fragile. However, I believe that any step forward is good, even a baby step, as it is one-step closer to peace and to nuclear de-escalation. In the current global context, it is hugely important for us to support disarmament campaigns.
It is particularly important that the European Parliament support all efforts at the United Nations level to make the use of nuclear weapons illegal for ALL states under any circumstances.