Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eclipse Rising’s Statement for a Peace Treaty in Korea and Civil Rights for Zainichi Koreans

Eclipse Rising, a group based in the Bay Area composed of Zainichi Koreans, or postcolonial exiles of Korean descent in Japan, stand against the Obama Administration sending more artillery to South Korea and any militarized retaliation by U.S. or South Korean troops. We feel that such actions would only increase tensions in the Korean peninsula, where we have the most heavily militarized border in the world. According to Paul Liem of the Korean Policy Institute and several other Korea experts, North Korea struck Yeonpyeong only after South Korean forces conducted live artillery drills near the disputed maritime border, drawn unilaterally by the United States after the signing of an armistice agreement and unrecognized by North Korea. As these conflicts are perpetuated by the ongoing war, the only viable resolution we see fit is the signing of a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War.

As Zainichi Koreans, we want to bring attention to how the recent incident has affected the global Korean community in general, in particular the Korean communities of Japan. Only a day after the North Korean military reaction in Yeonpyeong, Japanese Prime Minister Kan told Minister of Education Takagi to freeze the process of including Woori Hakkyos, ethnic Korean schools in Japan, to the newly enacted “free tuition program,” which financially supports all high school students in their education, regardless of their nationality or which schools they go to including non-Japanese institutions such as international schools. Although the Japanese National Assembly continued to emphasize that the criteria for this program should be separated from political and diplomatic circumstances, Woori Hakkyos have continuously been excluded due to their association with North Korea, and only recently been considered to be included in the program as a result of the joint efforts of Japanese, South Korean, and Zainichi Korean communities’ outcry against their exclusion. However, the Japanese government is again using the recent political contention with North Korea as an excuse to justify their racist act against the Zainichi Korean community.

In light of these issues, we demand that the Japanese government not only stop violating the civil rights of Zainichi Korean members of Japanese society, but also make diplomatic efforts toward peace talks with North Korea along with the United States and South Korea.

Monday, November 29, 2010

DPRK Photo Journal

In light of the recent conflict in the Korean peninsula, Eclipse Rising wanted to share a a beautifully crafted photo journal by one of our members about our two members' trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 2008 through the DPRK Exposure and Education Program. Below is an excerpt from the introduction page of the website.


"This opening intro page features fierce faces of many who stood in solidarity with the “comfort women” to demand Japanese accountability for its military sexual slavery. It is with the still-flowing tears, unredeemed, of the surviving halmonis (and memories of those who passed) in mind (with lots of other thoughts in mind, to be sure!) that I set out to the trip to the DPRK, the ‘other, virtually-forgotten (if not utterly demonized) half’ of the brutally divided dear motherland of my people, and beloved home for the halmonis. Somehow, I knew, their tears of painful yearning for redemption and genuine liberation didn’t seem entirely irrelevant to those I, too, and my fellow delegates on the trip, would come to shed during our 2-week stay, as we confront the forces of brutal war, violence, and colonization still pulling our people farther from the reach of justice and reconciliation long overdue... and also apart from each other.

Reunification is synonymous with reconciliation. One cannot come to realization without the other, if it were to deliver us all from the tears of our elders and our families today. To this end, the signing of the US-DPRK Peace Treaty is a first concrete step we can strive for. Not only is it simply long overdue, but it will provide us with more opportunities to participate in shaping the course of reunification of our motherland, to ensure it is achieved on the terms of the People of COREA. And that is a fundamental right of a sovereign nation. Countries of the world, beginning with the United States and Japan, have an obligation to respect and honor this today, tomorrow, and beyond. COREA IS FOR COREANS!"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sign-making party for Protest against any further military action in Korea

Tongil Study Group of Bay Area is hosting a sign-making party for the No New Korean War rally in San Francisco on Monday, Nov. 29 at 5pm. Please see information for that below the sign-making party information.

Sign-making Party - 11/28, Sunday @ 7:30 pm.

1438 4th Ave
E. 15th and 4th Ave

5 blocks from Lake Merritt BART

rally info:

No New Korean War!
Emergency Protest in San Francisco at Powell and Market Sts. -- Mon., Nov. 29 at 5pm
Show your support for the rally by signing this statement!
Stop the Provocations – U.S. Military Out of Asia Now!

Forward to a friend Facebook button Twitter button
Korea war threats
The Obama administration and its South Korean client government led by the rabidly anti-communist President Lee Myung-bak are blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) for the latest escalation of hostilities in the Korean Peninsula.

But in reality the crisis there is the result of a policy of deliberate provocation by the U.S. and South Korea over the past several months. These provocations are targeting both the DPRK and the People’s Republic of China, countries where the often-concealed but very real aim of U.S. leaders -- Democrats and Republicans alike – is “regime change.” They could also lead to a new Korean war, one that could expand to wider regional, and potentially nuclear, conflict.

While hypocritically calling for “calm” in words, Washington is escalating the crisis by its actions. A U.S. naval group led by the nuclear “super-carrier” USS George Washington is on its way to carry out joint military maneuvers with South Korean warships in the Yellow Sea, menacing both China and the DPRK. By moving this huge aircraft carrier into the Yellow Sea the Pentagon and White House are sending a direct, threatening message of escalation since China considers these waters to be part of its sovereign territory.

On November 24, an unnamed “senior administration official” confirmed that the U.S. is escalating pressure on China: “China clearly does not like to see U.S aircraft carriers, for example, in the Yellow Sea.” (NY Times, Nov. 25, 2010)
What's needed to resolve the crisis

The DPRK wants direct talks with the United States, a formal Peace Treaty ending the Korean War, and a normalization of relations with the United States. This seemed like a realizable goal in the last months of the Bill Clinton administration in 1999 and 2000. George W. Bush scuttled these efforts shortly after taking office in 2001. The Obama administration continued this policy with new sanctions and endless war games simulating the invasion and bombing of North Korea.

The anti-war movement and all progressive people and organizations should stand against any new war, and demand an end to the U.S.-South Korean provocations.

In the latest incident, the North and South Korean armies exchanged artillery fire on November 23. Two South Korean soldiers and two civilians were reported killed and others wounded. Casualties on the North Korean side have not been reported. As in all such previous incidents, U.S. and South Korean leaders condemned the DPRK. But, as even a close reading of the universally anti-North corporate media here reveals, the first shells were fired by the South during military exercises staged in a disputed sea area close to the west coast of North Korea.
The North Korean government stated that it was "reacting to the military provocation of the puppet group with a prompt powerful physical strike," and accused Seoul of starting the skirmish with its "reckless military provocation as firing dozens of shells inside the territorial waters of the" North.

The roots of the crisis

The western sea border between the North and South is not recognized as legitimate by the DPRK. It was unilaterally created by the United States, using the mantle of the United Nations as a fig leaf and cover for its actions, at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. The U.S. and allied forces fought the DPRK under the UN flag, slaughtering millions of Korean people and leveling the northern half of the country by massive bombing. That war further divided a historically unified society into competing states. While an armistice was signed in July 1953, the U.S. has refused the demands of the DPRK to sign a Peace Treaty formally bringing the war to an end.U.S.

“War Games” = Preparation for Real War

In recent years there have been at least three clashes in the same area as the November 23 incident. The DPRK had repeatedly warned South Korea against carrying out the latest “war games” the area. In fact, the term “war games” is a misnomer -- these maneuvers should correctly be called dress rehearsals for war. No one knows, moreover, whether any particular military exercises is practice or the real thing, until it is over and done with. This is especially true when the “war games” take place in extremely close proximity to an enemy state.

The U.S. and South Korea annually stage such exercises close to both China and the DPRK. The latest and largest joint drills were held this past summer despite strong protests from both the PRC and DPRK. Those “games,” labeled “Invincible Spirit,” included a simulated invasion of the North.

China’s defense ministry especially objected to the presence of a U.S. aircraft carrier close to its coast. In typical arrogant fashion, a U.S. Defense Department spokesperson responded: “Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, using what assets and so forth, are determinations made by the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, by the United States government.” (Agence France Presse, July 15, 2010)

Imagine for a moment the reaction in Washington if the Chinese navy announced that it was planning to hold similar maneuvers right off-shore of New York or Los Angeles.

The Number 1 Provocation – U.S. Military Presence

The biggest provocation of all is the massive presence of U.S. military bases, troop, nuclear and conventional weapons in the region. In 2010, 65 years after the end of World War II, there are scores of U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine bases in Korea, Okinawa, and all across Japan. The U.S. has provided high tech weaponry of all kinds to Taiwan. Trident submarines, each of which can launch hundreds of nuclear warheads, and nuclear-armed aircraft carriers prowl the eastern Pacific round-the-clock.

This vast deployment of military power halfway around the world far exceeds that of any other country. It and the tens of billions of dollars it burns up every year is justified to the people here as being for “defensive purposes.” But that is just another Big Lie.

The real purpose of this monstrous military machine is to secure and further the interests of the U.S. corporate power and strategic domination in Asia and around the world. It is the enemy of the people of Korea, China, Japan and the people of the United States.

There will be also be emergency anti-war protests on Nov. 27 at 12 Noon in front of the White House, and on Nov. 29 in Los Angeles, please take a moment to sign an anti-war statement in support of the rally.

Please help the ANSWER Coalition continue this vital work.
Make an urgently-needed tax-deductible donation by clicking this link.

Action Alert – ONLINE DEMONSTRATION for Peace in Korea - Sun 11/28 and Wed 12/1

Action Alert – ONLINE DEMONSTRATION for Peace in Korea - Sun 11/28 and Wed 12/1

President Obama is sending the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS
George Washington (carrying 75 warplanes and a crew of over 6000) and
other warships for additional war-games with the South Korean military
beginning this Sunday, November 28.

This only escalates the already tense situation on the Korean
peninsula and brings us dangerously closer to an all-out war.

And the blogosphere is already full of hate-mongering rhetoric calling
for “retaliation” after the tragic incident on Yeonpyong Island earlier this week.

Two civilians and two South Korean soldiers have died. We say NO MORE LOST LIVES.

We need all those who stand for peace to call for de-escalation on the
Korean peninsula and an immediate end to the U.S.-South Korean war

On Sunday, November 28, from 12 noon to 3 pm EST (9 am to 12 noon PST)
and Wednesday, December 1 from 7 pm to 10 pm EST (4pm to 7 pm PST)

Join the National Campaign to End the Korean War (www.endthekoreanwar.org) in a coordinated "online demonstration" -

1. Barrage the White House and State Department with emails and urge
President Obama and State Secretary Clinton to immediately stop the
joint U.S.-South Korean war maneuvers, and sign a Peace Treaty to end
the state of war that has existed for sixty years on the Korean

2. Post replies on online media sites and blogs where they are
discussing the issue and beat back the war-mongering rhetoric with
calls for de-escalation and a peaceful resolution. Refer to the
attached factsheet for talking points. Some suggested sites are-


3. Post links to articles calling for diplomacy on listserves, blogs, facebook-

• "North Korea's Consistent Message to the U.S."
By former President Jimmy Carter in the Washington Post, November 24, 2010

• “Retaliation, Retaliation"
by Paul Liem of the Korea Policy Institute, Nov 25, 2010

• "Crisis in Korea?"
by John Feffer, Co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus in the
Huffington Post, Nov 23,2010

• Tim Shorrock
Posted on the Daily Beast.

• Tim Shorrock
on Democracy Now

• “A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex”
By Siegfried S. Hecker

• “Review U.S. Policy toward North Korea”
Bob Carlin and John Lewis

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Basic Facts and Historical Context

Facts on the Recent Artillery Duel:

On Tuesday, November 23rd, 70,000 South Korean and American military troops engaged in an annual military drill,

called “Hoguk [Defend the State],” involving 50 warships, 90 helicopters, 500 warplanes, and 600 tanks mobilized for

war simulation exercises scheduled for a period of 9 days, until Nov. 30th.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) criticized the mobilization, stating that they were provocative,

and demanded that South Korea halt the drill.

South Korean artillery units fired toward DPRK from a battery close to the DPRK coast, within a disputed maritime

region called the Northern Limit Line (NLL). The disputed border on the west coast between North and South Korea

was drawn unilaterally by the U.S. Navy in 1953; it was never recognized by the North.

After four hours, the DPRK replied with 100 artillery shells from a position north of Yeonpyeong Island; South Korea

then fired back 80 artillery shells.

Two South Korean marines and two civilians were killed and at least 16 others injured on Yeonpyeong Island, a site

with military bases as well as a fishing community of 1,300 residents. DPRK casualty and damages are unknown.

U.S. Involvement and Escalation of Tensions

Obama has responded by sending the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (carrying 75

warplanes and a crew of over 6000) and other warships to conduct additional joint war-games with the South Korean

military in the vicinity of the NLL, to begin Sunday, November 28.

Ongoing State of War

There has not been a formal end to the Korean War. In 1953, only an armistice was put into place.

Since 1953, there have been military clashes between South Korea and the DPRK in the disputed area of the NLL.

In 1999, a DPRK ship sank in a clash with the South Korean Navy, killing 3 sailors and wounding roughly 70.

In 2009, the South Korean Navy fired at a DPRK vessel that crossed the demarcation line and killed several sailors.

In March 2010, the Cheonan, a South Korean navy corvette, sank, killing 49 sailors.

10 million Korean families are separated due to the continued state of war and division in Korea.

These tragic incidents are a result of continued division and the unending state of war on the Korean

peninsula, and underscore the frailty of the Armistice Agreement – the cease-fire signed by the United States

(representing the United Nations Command, which included the Republic of Korea), China, and the DPRK

in 1953.

Without formalized relations and engagement, the potential for increased tension and conflict will always

remain very high. The U.S. should take active steps to finally end the Korean War with a peace agreement.

and use its influence in South Korea to bring both sides to the table.

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North Korea’s Nukes – Historical Chronology

Tensions were already running high on the peninsula prior to the recent tragic events, as the DPRK recently revealed a

new uranium enrichment facility and a light-water reactor to a U.S. delegation.

1993 – In response to increasingly severe sanctions imposed by the United States and its aggressive military posture,

the DPRK announced its intention to withdraw from the Non-Proliferation treaty (NPT). The following year, it kicked

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agents out of the country and removed spent fuel rods from its

Yongbyon reactor.

o In response, former U.S. President Clinton threatened a preemptive strike against the Yongbyon facility.

Senator John McCain called for “air or cruise missile strikes” on the reprocessing facility.

o Referring to the possibility of U.S. nuclear strikes against North Korea, scholar Meredith Woo-Cumings

notes, “the Clinton administration came within a hair’s-breadth of a war in Korea without so much as

consulting with its South Korean ally on an action that would have had devastating consequences for the

nearly seventy million people on both sides of the DMZ.”

1994 – Jimmy Carter visited Pyongyang, and transformed a confrontation at the brink of war into a new opportunity

for negotiations. This resulted in the 1994 Agreed Framework, in which the DPRK agreed to stop its nuclear program

in exchange for energy alternatives and a non-aggression pact with the United States. This stopped DPRK’s fuel-cell

reprocessing and restored IAEA inspection for eight years.

2001 – George W. Bush reversed this course and announced that he would not negotiate with any state that he deemed

to be “terrorist.” In 2002, Bush declared the DPRK part of an “axis of evil” and a potential nuclear target, and halted

heavy oil shipments to the DPRK. The U.S. and South Korean militaries conducted the largest joint military exercise

to date.

2003 – The DPRK test-fired a scud missile into the East Sea and withdrew from the NPT. Alarmed by DPRK’s

nuclear program, the United States proposed the Six Party talks, a series of multilateral negotiations involving the

DPRK, United States, China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.

2005 – After three years of negotiations, the talks produced the 9.19 Joint agreement, in which the DPRK agreed to

stop its nuclear program in exchange for U.S. assurance that it would not attack the DPRK and commit to

normalization of relations.

Unfortunately, no substantive progress has been made in the Six Party talks since 2005; and the DPRK has accused

Washington and Seoul of reneging on earlier agreements, including a promise to supply energy in return for shutting

down its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon.

2010 – In November, DPRK officials permitted access by U.S. nuclear experts to an advanced facility for purifying

uranium. DPRK officials made it clear that the centrifuges would be "on the table" for discussions with the United


In their recent meeting with DPRK officials, Leon Sigal, Director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project

at the Social Science Research Council in New York, and former U.S. officials Joel Wit and Morton Abramowitz

were told that Pyongyang is prepared to ship out all of its nuclear fuel rods, the key ingredient for producing weapons-

grade plutonium, to a third country in exchange for a U.S. commitment to pledge that it has “no hostile intent” toward

the DPRK. Such a pact could set the stage for reopening the Six Party talks.

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The Way Forward

Direct negotiations, as a first step toward a peace treaty or agreement, are the only way to end Pyongyang’s nuclear

weapons program and eventually move toward a peace agreement to formally end the conflict. Sanctions apparently

have not worked to retard DPRK’s nuclear development. Neither has Obama's policy of "strategic patience."

The DPRK insists on direct talks with the United States. Leaders in Pyongyang consider South Korea's armed forces

to be controlled from Washington and point out that South Korea was not party to the 1953 cease-fire. Since the

Clinton administration, the United States has negotiated through the six-party approach, largely avoiding substantive

bilateral discussions. The Obama administration has maintained that no talks with the DPRK government of Kim

Jong Il are possible until the regime abandons its nuclear weapons program.

Washington’s role on the Korean peninsula is critical because the United States maintains 28,000 ground troops in

South Korea and holds operational command over Korean forces in times of war—distinguishing South Korea as the

only country in the world in such a situation.

Without direct negotiations, North Korea is likely to keep enriching uranium, restart its reactor at Yongbyon,

conduct another nuclear test as it did in 2006, and test more missiles.” – Leon Sigal of the Social Science Research


“The only hope appears to be engagement. The United States and its partners should respond to the latest nuclear

developments so as to encourage Pyongyang to finally pursue nuclear electricity in lieu of the bomb. That will require

addressing North Korea’s underlying insecurity.” – Siegfried Hecker, former director of the Los Alamos National

Laboratory who recently toured the DPRK and saw its facility for purifying uranium

“Being realistic about the North makes no moral judgment about its system or policies, nor does it cede anything in

terms of our values or goals. U.S. policymakers need to go back to square one. A realistic place to start fresh may be

quite simple: accepting the existence of North Korea as it is, a sovereign state with its own interests.” – Robert Carlin

and John Lewis, Stanford professors who recently toured the DPRK and saw its facility for purifying uranium

Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an

agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to

replace the temporary cease-fire of 1953.” – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter

"... One item should be at the top of the agenda, however, in order to remove all unnecessary obstacles to progress,

that is the establishment of a peace treaty to replace the truce that has been in place since 1953. One of the things that

have bedeviled all talks until now is the unresolved status of the Korean War. A peace treaty would provide a baseline

for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist.” – James Laney, former U.S.

Ambassador to South Korea

As tensions continue to mount, it is critical that we urge President Obama to stop the joint U.S.-South

Korean war maneuvers and not send additional U.S. warships and planes, including the U.S. aircraft carrier

George Washington.

Instead, the United States should begin negotiations immediately and sign a Peace Agreement to end the

state of war that has existed for sixty years since the Korean War.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"homeland" politics wrongly used by the japanese government

"The first direct artillery attack on South Korean territory since 1953" (Yonhap) by North Korea killed 2 South Korean marines yesterday. As expected, Japanese and U.S. media, with a complete amnesia of HOW and WHY the incident happened, represent North Korea as a irrational and uncivilized nation that does not care about killing civilians. Can we talk about the Japanese colonization and U.S. military intervention that created the 38th parallel and 2 nations in the Korean Peninsula in the first place? Can we not assume that all of a sudden Korea was divided because Korean people were incapable of uniting the nation and have an independent sovereign government on their own?

Moreover, can we talk about how the "homeland" politics affects lives of Korean diaspora all over the world? Japanese government is again using North Korea as their justification to discriminate, marginalize and try to kill Korean education in Japan, claiming that woori hakkyo (Korean schools) are terrorist schools. Do they really think that taking away equal educational rights from children can promote mutual understanding and peaceful relationship? Now, who's being irrational?

Below is breaking news from Mainichi Shimbun, the only non-ultra-right newspaper in Japan. Senda, Chief Cabinet Secretary and Takagi, Minister of Education said that application of "free-tuition-program" to Korean schools in Japan must be reconsidered now due to what NK did yesterday.

毎日新聞 11月24日(水)11時48分配信










Monday, November 22, 2010

6th Grader in Japan Commits Suicide - Bullied because Mother is Filipina


Picture of classroom out of control emerges in wake of bullied 6th grader's suicide

MAEBASHI -- Two weeks since the suicide of a sixth grader in Kiryu, Gunma Prefecture, a picture of a classroom out of control has begun to take shape.

Akiko Uemura, 12, who was found hanged by a scarf in her room on Oct. 23, transferred from an elementary school in Aichi Prefecture when her family moved to Kiryu in October 2008. It was after her Filipino mother visited the school on parents' visitation day in 2009 that Akiko's classmates began commenting on her appearance.

After Akiko began sixth grade this past April, classmates started saying that she smelled bad and asked her if she bathed. Akiko appealed to her parents to let her transfer to another school, saying that she was willing to walk to school no matter how far. Her parents sought advice from the school on numerous occasions, and considered moving elsewhere once Akiko finished elementary school.

In late September, Akiko's classmates began to sit as far away from her as possible at lunchtime despite their homeroom teacher's admonitions to stay in designated groups. According to Akiko's mother, Akiko asked a classmate to eat lunch with her in mid-October, only to be refused.

On Oct. 19 and 20, Akiko stayed home from school. Her homeroom teacher called her at home to encourage her to come to school on the next day, as the class was going on a field trip. On Oct. 21, however, some of Akiko's classmates questioned her about why she only came to school when there was a special event and whether she was otherwise playing hooky, and Akiko came home in tears.

Akiko stayed home from school again on Oct. 22, and when her homeroom teacher visited her home that evening -- when her parents happened to be at work -- to report on the school's decision to abolish lunchtime groupings, no one answered the door. On Oct. 23, Akiko woke up around 9 a.m. and had breakfast. When her mother looked into her room around noon, she was hanging from a curtain rail by a scarf that she had been knitting for her mother.

No suicide note has been found, but after her funeral on Oct. 26, manga entitled "Friends Are Great!" that Akiko appears to have drawn before her suicide was found. In a letter addressed to Akiko's former classmate in Aichi that was found on Oct. 29, Akiko wrote: "I'm going to Osaka for junior high. So we might pass through Aichi. I'll visit you if I can!"

Meanwhile, the faces of 15 classmates found in a photo taken during an overnight school trip when Akiko was in fifth grade were crossed out with what looked like ballpoint pen, and in response to a question from an autograph book asking what she wanted if she were granted one wish, she had written, "make school disappear."

At Akiko's elementary school, located among farms and new residential areas, the sixth grade students were divided into two homerooms. One classmate said, "There was a group of students who bullied Akiko. She looked really sad when they said things like 'Get of the way' and 'Go away.' No one tried to stop them."

Another classmate said that other students had no choice but to go along with the bullying. "There were a few people who were at the center of the group, and the other students were too scared to defy them. The class was in chaos."