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Rallies against Deployment of S. Korean Troops

Posted March. 24, 2003 21:50,   


Various civil rights groups held rallies yesterday in front of or near the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul, voicing their opposition to South Korea`s planned deployment of solders to the Iraq war. They plan to continue demonstration today to block the passage of the bill authorizing the deployment.

50 members of an antiwar group, consisting of the Korean Confederation of Trade Union and other 700 civic organizations, held a press conference just 100m away from the National Assembly yesterday. They demanded that the Roh administration should repeal its decision to send troops. They handed over to the Assembly 40,000 sheets of paper bearing signatures of South Koreans opposing the deployment.

Female Millennium Democrats like Lee Mee-kyung, franked by leaders of women`s rights groups, held a press conference in the VIP café in the Assembly, and read a statement opposing the deployment.

Nine members of another women`s rights organization in funeral costume visited the headquarters of political parties and the Center of Representatives, and handed out leaflets, drumming up support for their cause.

Members of the People`s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy held a unique rally in front of the National Assembly yesterday morning. Each of its members, including a couple of entertainers, took 30-minute turns in holding a picket, which read "Congressmen, please don`t make me a war criminal."

In the meanwhile, about 200 novel writers are to have a march today in Chong Ro, Seoul in opposition to the ongoing war.

The group last held a rally fifteen years ago against the ruling of the military regime in June of 1987. They plan to march toward the American Embassy.

Yum Moo-woong, the group`s leader, sent letters to each of the congressmen urging them to vote against the deployment bill, and sent another set of letters to the writers asking for their united support to shoot down the ongoing war.

Sun-Woo Kim Yi-Young Cho sublime@donga.com lycho@donga.com