Each month, we will feature a different WRI affiliate. This month it's World Without War in the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
Here's an introduction they wrote to their work:
South Korea is a highly militarised society mainly because of the Korean war, division and then military conflicts between two Koreas. Strong militarism has made it difficult for a peace movement to sprout. Until the 2000s, the nationalist-based unification movement was called the peace movement, and an anti-militarist peace movement existed only as a small group working to ban landmines and nuclear weapons. In the early days of the conscientious objection movement - which began in 2001 - they made a lot of efforts to acquire legal status including alternative service legislation.
World Without War (WWW) was founded in 2003 as a network of conscientious objectors and anti-militarist activists who wanted to point out why the objectors refused military service: that is, resistance to militarism and civil disobedience. WWW has actively cooperated with various other peace movements such as the campaign against the expansion of Pyeongtaek US military base and the campaign against new naval base in Gangjeong village, Jeju island.
Currently, we are expanding our activities to resist arms trade and working to stop the sale and use of certain weapons such as cluster munitions and tear gases and the Korean arms expo Adex. By coordinating the nonviolent trainer’s network, we are helping other social movements, including WWW ourselves, to realise their goals of freedom and democracy within the organisation too. In addition, we are working with various peace organisations at home and abroad to carry out activities for peace on the Korean peninsula and now we are discussing how can we support Asian conscientious objection movement.
The main campaigns of World Without War have been:
- Campaign for conscientious objection (2003 ~ now)
- Campaign against cluster munitions (2013 ~ now)
- Nonviolence training (2012 ~ now)
- Campaign against exporting tear gases (2014~now)
- Campaign against the ADEX arms fair (2013~ now)