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Thursday,March 21,2019
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South Korea Is Entering a New Phase to Solve the Half-century Lasting Problem
he follow-up measures of last June's reconciliation accord between the two leaders of Korea created a great sensation in Korea and aborad. Tearful reunions of separated families and the establishment of a meeting place of long-lost kin began the collapse of last remaining "Iron Curtain." The re-linking of the railway between Seoul and Shinuju, a city at the northwestern tip of the peninsula, is a clear signal that detente has begun on the Korean peninsula.
The news has not been so rosy for Korea and the USA. The USA Army is making sensational news of another sort in South Korea. The U.S. Forces Korea's illegal dumping of toxic chemicals into the Han River, the problem at Maehyangri, one of the U.S. Air Force's bombing ranges, and the negotiation of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) are making headlines in daily newspapers.
Last Aug. 13-15, "2000 National  Unification Festival" was held in Hanyang Univ., downtown, Seoul. More than 30,000 people including umbrella labor groups, unionists and student activists joined the three-day festival and raised their voices in support of unification of the Korean peninsula.
"We are not living in independent South Korea but another colonized nation of the USA. It is natural that we demand the withdraw of 37,000 U.S. troops stationed on the Korean peninsula in the wake of the successful summit talks and reconciliation," stressed Oh Jong-ryeol, a standing representative of National Alliance for Democracy & Unification of Korea, during "2000 National Unification Festival."
It seems hard for the USA to deny the changing role and its status in Korea as an atmosphere of detente on the peninsular is in full bloom. However, many progressive activists hint that America is deeply involved in South Korea affairs and the USA doesn't want to share its pie with others.
South Korea has a long way to go before solving its subordinate relationship with the USA. It is true that South Korea is now entering into a new phase to solve the half-century lasting problem.

Lee Yong-jun  justice21@hanimail.com

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