The armed Forces are War-Making Machines

Declaration of conscientious objection

Jungmin OhJungmin OhTo be liberated or to be incarcerated? It is an unavoidably acute question. The world we live in, at the global level, is constantly at war. Not surprisingly, as of the beginning of January 2009, we can see the war currently continuing in Gaza. The 20th century is remembered as an age of wars and presumably so will be the 21st. The US government started the 'war on terror' against Iraq after the 11 September attacks. The Iraq war was nothing but another dreadful war. Not only were the nation state of Iraq and the terrorists deemed to be enemies of the US, but the US clearly declared this was a war against evil. Clarifying who is evil requires great care.

The South Korean government have been taking part in the war in Iraq. In 2003, it decided to send troops there despite the lack of proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Despite the daily demonstration against this decision, and the kidnapping and beheading by Iraqi militants of a South Korean, Kim Sun-il, the government didn't cancel the deployment plan.

Democracy is constituent power

Democracy in Korea was again set back in July and August 2004. The Korean Supreme Court, on 15 July 2004, found conscientious objectors guilty, while the South Korean Constitutional Court, on 26 August 2004, rejected a constitutional challenge to article 88 of the Military Service Act. I am against these nationalistic decisions which state that the 'duty of national defence' is more important than 'individual's freedom of conscience'. As long as such decisions continue to be made, the right to freedom will remain infringed by nationalistic reasoning. Underlying a written constitution is the practice of the people.
This is the reason for my objection to military service. I feel guilt towards my parents. This pain may be the same as what other conscientious objectors, their family, lovers, friends and their supporters have gone through up until now. I would really like to apologise to my parents for my decision to object military service while I also would like to console other conscientious objectors. I hope the step we take today will lead to another pleasurable step on our way to democracy.

Jungmin Oh
On Tuesday, 6 January 2009,
uGonG