Korean civil society and popular movement organizations demand an immediate halt to all military transactions by the Korean government with Israel at a time of ongoing bombings and escalating casualties in Gaza.
Weapons exports data reported to UN Comtrade reveal that Korea has exported some $30 million worth of weapons to Israel in the last ten years, and imported around $40 million of Israeli weaponry over the same period. The Korean government does not disclose the specific types of weapons exported or imported, citing national security reasons. A large part of exports tracked by UN Comtrade consists of grenades, torpedoes, landmines, and missiles, but details regarding the subcategories of such weapons remain unknown. As for imports, press reports indicate a wide variety of Israeli weapons have been purchased, including attack drones Harpy and Searcher, Skylark II, Spike NLOS missiles (precision guided missiles imported for use against North Korean long-range and coastal artillery), and early warning radar Super Green Pine. In particular, imports of Iron Dome missiles, although currently postponed, had been pursued via an offset agreement in exchange for selling Korean battleships to Israel – despite criticisms that the particular missile system is not suitable to Korea.
Is would be a complete mistake to treat arms trade as if it were no different to ordinary commercial trade. Buying and selling weapons to Israel amounts to a strong political endorsement of the latter’s occupation of Palestine. South Korea is no longer a poor country; nor is it free from the responsibility to promote and sustain global peace.
We demand that the Korean government direct its energy toward promoting reconciliation in the Israel-Palestine region instead of selling weapons that may find use in killing women and children!
August 8, 2014
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
Palestine Peace and Solidarity in South Korea
Antiwar Peace Solidarity KOREA
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD)
World Without War
People’s Solidarity for Social Progress
Korea Alliance for Progressive Movement
Korean Federation medical activist groups for Health Rights
Imagination for International Solidarity
Civil Peace Forum
Citizen’s Solidarity for Human Rights (CSHR in KOREA)
KOREA Christian Network for Peace of Palestine (KCNPP)
Korean Act Against the Korea-Japan Military Agreement