A unity statement initiated by BAYAN-USA and Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
For over seven decades, U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), the largest and oldest of the nine U.S. unified combatant commands of the U.S. Armed Forces, has carried out military invasions, exercises, wars, and occupations throughout Asia and parts of Africa. These include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, illegally storing nuclear weapons in South Korea, the destabilization of local communities and denial of their development due to U.S. military bases and military exercises, including drone warfare, in Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, Guam, and the list goes on. The U.S. has over 180 military bases concentrated in this region alone. Everyday, the peoples of the Korean Peninsula, the Philippines, Asia and the Pacific region continue to wage life-and-death resistance to US-led war and military occupation–the biggest obstacle to genuine peace, democracy, development, and security in the region.
Asia is the largest market for U.S. exports, including military weapons exports, worth $600 billion. From November 3-14, Trump will visit five countries in Asia–Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Amidst escalating hostility, war provocations, and threats to “destroy” North Korea, Trump will seek to consolidate U.S. lackeys in order to secure U.S. military and economic hegemony in the region. Trump will seek to put pressure on the governments he meets with. Some of his stated goals include re-negotiation of the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and permanent deployment of THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense system in South Korea. Trump is expected to praise the Philippine military’s brutal implementation of the U.S.-instigated War on Terror in Mindanao and push for continued collaboration in intelligence gathering, counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism between the U.S. and Philippines. The Trump administration will attempt to dominate the East Asia Summit in the Philippines, a regional gathering of state leaders where talks determining neoliberal economic policies will translate to greater U.S. military basing to protect U.S. trade interests and control major commercial shipping routes.
As Koreans, Filipinos, and peoples of the Asian diaspora, as well as peace activists, we stand with those in the frontlines of resistance to growing U.S.-led war, militarism, and neoliberalism in Asia and the Pacific, especially with those staging massive protests in Japan, Korea (where Nov. 4 is called ‘No Trump Day Action’), and the Philippines against Trump’s visit.
We call for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of U.S. military bases, personnel, agreements, exercises, war games, and all other operations from Asia and the Pacific, and for the US government to respect the sovereignty of the countries of the region, including their right to self-determination. We demand an end to inflammatory rhetoric and anti-people policies of this Trump administration, which has already implemented anti-democratic processes in the United States.
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Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
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