Press Release from Veterans For Peace
WHERE: 335 East 45th Street, New York, New York
(between First and
WHEN: Friday, March 16, 12:30 PM .
U.S. Army veterans Elliott Adams and Tarak Kauff, both members of Veterans For Peace, were not allowed leave the airport at Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, on Wednesday, March 14.
On landing at Jeju, they were met by South Korean authorities who were holding photos of Adams and Kauff and who told them they would not be allowed to enter Jeju Island. They were instead put on a plane back to Shanghai. Another VFP member, Mike Hastie was pulled off a plane leaving Seoul heading for Jeju Island and not allowed to continue.
Adams, Hastie, and Kauff were traveling to Gangjeong village on Jeju to stand in solidarity with villagers who are resisting the construction of a deep-water naval base on their environmentally fragile island.
Located strategically in the Korea Strait, the island's potential as a military target in the event of an armed conflict in this tense region would increase exponentially with the addition of a naval base, posing a deadly threat to the men, women, and children who live there.
Kauff notes, "The U.S. military machine is at it again. We are under no illusions as to why this base is being built, even against the massive opposition of the Jeju Islanders: The United States intends to place destroyers and submarines, all with missile-launching capacity, directly off the coast of mainland China, and the South Korean puppet government has capitulated to U.S. pressure against the wishes of its own people."
Adams adds, "We are angry at being refused entry into Jeju Island. We had done nothing wrong. That our intention was to support the people is not a justifiable reason to deny us entry. But then, the South Korean government is not supporting the democratic will of 93% of the Jeju Islanders, so why should they allow us to go there in support?"
Veterans for Peace, including Elliott Adams and Tarak Kauff, will protest at the South Korean Consulate in New York City, at 12:30 PM on Friday, March 16. All who are concerned with human rights are urged to join them.