Mass peace protest surrounds worlds largest foreign US military base

July 28, 2023
Korea anti-war
Peace protest at the United States military base in Pyeaongtaek, South Korea. Photo courtesy of @jajusibo

Anti-war protesters formed a human chain, linked with pink ribbons and banners, around the 18-kilometre perimeter of the United States military base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on July 27, the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.

This action, at the largest US foreign military base in the world, was part of a series of mass actions demanding that a peace agreement be made as a step towards demilitarising and unifying the Korean peninsula. A mass rally was also held in the capital, Seoul, on July 22.

Korean peace supporters also rallied in Washington DC.

The independent South Korean newspaper Jajusibo reported that one protester was arrested at the Pyeongtaek action for trying to enter the US military base at the Doduri Gate to deliver a protest letter. 

Participants in the human chain had tried unsuccessfully to deliver the protest letter at each of the gates to the military base.

Near the Yoon Gate, the Pungmul farmers musical troupe marched along the wall of the military base, singing “A Song to Prevent Misfortune”.

Baek Ryong from the University Students Progressive Union Coalition in Korea said the US benefits the most from keeping the two Koreas in conflict.

“The US is trying to block the wind of unification” he said, Jajusibo reported.

The withdrawal of US troops from South Korea would be the first step toward peaceful unification of Korea, the student activist added.

Sol-ip Oh from the National Sovereignty Party called on the conservative  South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol to stop recklessly promoting war and turning  Korea into a “US war practice range”.

The protest concluded with a car cavalcade to the Korea-US Combined Forces Command.

During this pro-peace action, participants were abused by members of extreme right-wing groups, who had gathered from all over South Korea. The police put all their efforts into guarding the US military and turned a blind eye to the provocations from pro-war groups.

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