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Jun. 21  2018
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Christian's Photo Column 

Protests against the U.S. military continue

Shin Hyo-soon and Shim Mi-sun were walking to a friend's birthday party when they were struck and killed by a United States Army bridge carrier on June 13th, in Hyochon Village near Camp Red Cloud, 15 miles north of Seoul.

Source  :  Base21



by Terry Park/Media Activist
parkterry@hotmail.com

Seoul, Korea--Several thousand students, workers, and activists gathered at Marronier Park in Hyewh-dong this afternoon for yet another militant protest of the death of two junior-high school students.

Shin Hyo-soon and Shim Mi-sun were walking to a friend's birthday party when they were struck and killed by a United States Army bridge carrier on June 13th, in Hyochon Village near Camp Red Cloud, 15 miles north of Seoul.

Today's rally, which was hastily organized when a cultural festival in Uijeongbu was abruptly cancelled because of preparation problems, was the third such event this week. A large rally was held in nearby Jongmyo Park last Saturday, and an emotionally-intense memorial was held last Wednesday, marking the 49th day of the fatal incident.

All Together and the National Alliance for Democracy and Reunification of Korea were among the main organizers of the "people's solidarity rally." Their colorful flags and banners filled the park, some calling for "U.S. troops out now!" and others proclaiming their timely solidarity with the people of Iraq, at a time when President George W. Bush has promised a full-scale assault to oust Saddam Hussein and install a pro-U.S. regime. One large banner featured the Status of Forces Agreement document in flames with the American flag as a backdrop. The reform and the termination of the SOFA, which gives U.S. soldiers who have committed crimes against the Korean people legal immunity from local prosecution, is one of the main demands of the anti-U.S. military movement.

Large, color photos of the two schoolgirls stared out at the audience from behind a makeshift stage. Speakers made impassioned speeches, occasionally peppered with humor, shouting, "Yankee go home!" Puppets of the schoolgirls pummeled an activist donning a large "G.I." mask standing inside a miniture cardboard tank.

In reponse to apologies made by U.S. ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard and Secretary of State Colin Powell, Hae-sook Kim of the NADRK said, "The apologies are not good enough. We still maintain our demand of an apology from President George W. Bush." Hubbard called the deaths of the two schoolgirls a "tragic accident." Powell made his apology in the midst of a so-called "anti-terror" tour of Southeast Asia in which he has met strong opposition from angry protestors, particularly in the Philippines, which is experiencing the gradual reestablishment of a U.S. military presence.

Afterwards, protestors marched to Jongmyo Park. Riot police were on hand, but there were no reported clashes.

In the latest incident involving American soldiers and the local people, the Korean Herald reported on Sunday that two corporals were arrested yesterday in Pohang on charges of assaulting a Korean man during a supposed bar brawl. Witnesses claimed the soldiers struck the man first. Local police arrested the soldiers and then transferred them to the U.S. military police as stipulated by the SOFA.

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BASE21 News Desk   base21@base21.org


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