The U.S. Military’s Toxic Legacy in Korea


By this time next year, the Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul will be in the final stage of closing down, as U.S forces shift farther south and consolidate around Pyeongtaek. South Korea intends to convert the site into a series of six parks, but there are unresolved concerns regarding alarming levels of toxic contamination.

In the decade after an oil leak became known in 2001, cleanup efforts by the Seoul Metropolitan Government removed nearly 2,000 tons of oil-contaminated underground water from areas outside of Yongsan. U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) claimed that it rectified the problem at its source in 2006, yet the level of petroleum hydrocarbon pollution in nearby groundwater continued to grow, multiplying by a factor of nearly thirteen times over the last four years. The measured level of contamination outside Yongsan now stands at well over eight thousand times the Korean government safety standard. It can only be presumed that the situation inside the base is substantially worse.


THAAD Comes to Korea, But at What Cost?

THAAD launch

The recent announcement that South Korea had agreed to deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its territory marks an important advance in the Obama Administration’s militarized Asia pivot. The THAAD battery threatens to destabilize the military balance of power and draw South Korea into an anti-China alliance with the United States and Japan.Read More »

Activists Deported from South Korea Speak Out


An Interview with Hyun Lee and Juyeon Rhee

On July 26, the South Korean government blocked two Korean-American activists from entering the country. Both activists planned to meet with their South Korean counterparts and to participate in a series of events, many of which are in response to the controversial decision to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile battery in South Korea.




US Plans for North Korea Threaten International Security

Foal Eagle

Relations with North Korea are once again in crisis mode. North Korea, we are told, inexplicably launched dual provocations with its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, threatening the security of the United States. It is a simple story, with North Korean irrationality and belligerence on one side, and Washington’s customary desire for peace and stability on the other.

Omitted from the standard narrative is anything that would make sense of recent events.


North Korea and the U.S. — War or Peace?


On Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear, host Brian Becker takes an in-depth look at the fundamentals of the virtual ‘state of war’ between the United State and North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea He is joined for the full hour by two members of the Korea Policy Institute and the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace In Korea, Hyun Lee and Gregory Elich.


Fightback in Korea


In a climate of increasing repression, the Park Geun-hye government in South Korea is launching the latest in its series of attacks on working people. A retrograde labor reform plan is being set in motion that promises to drive down wages and undermine job security. There is broad and determined resistance to the plan, and workers and farmers are taking the battle to the streets.