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South Korea: The Power of International Solidarity

(29.08.2014) It was the result of solidarity efforts between activists at home and abroad that the conscientious objection movement in this ultra-militaristic South Korean society began. In 2000 Karin Lee and John Feffer, who were staff members at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office in Tokyo and who had been working with many South Korean civic groups, recognised that movements against the Korean military, militarism, conscription system, and other related institutions in Korea were not very active. In July of the same year, Taiwan introduced an alternative military service system. When Karin and John heard this news, they thought that it might be time for South Korea to begin discussing these topics more openly and widely as the circumstances in both Taiwan and South Korea were quite similar with respect to military confrontation, economic growth, and geographical location.