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12/14: Tonight! Candlelight Vigil for Peace and Justice in Korea and Iraq

Join Young Koreans United of Chicago for a candlelight vigil for peace and justice in the Korean peninsula and Iraq.
When: Tonight at 6:30 PM
Where: Kimball/Lawrence (at the end of the Kimball El Brownline)

Join Young Koreans United of Chicago for a candlelight vigil for peace and justice in the Korean peninsula and Iraq. Commemorate the lives of Shin Hyo Soon, and Shim Mi Son.

When: Tonight at 6:30 PM

Where: Kimball/Lawrence (at the end of the Kimball El Brownline)

-Background
On June 13, 2002, around 10:45 AM, two South Korean girls, Shin Hyo Soon, and Shim Mi Son, both 14 years old, were struck by a 50 ton US armored vehicle and killed. They were walking on a road 15 miles north of Seoul on their way to a friend’s birthday party

- Outraged Citizens Rise Up

Five months later on November 21, a US military court in South Korea found Sgt. Fernando Nino, one of the two soldiers involved in the accident, not guilty in the deaths of the two girls. That same Saturday, the second solider involved in the incident, Sgt. Mark Walker, was also acquitted by the court. Since the verdict, daily protests have taken place in front of US military bases all over South Korea, and here in the US.

- Full Investigation

The case remains controversial, yet is difficult to understand how the US military court determined that no one was responsible for the death of the two schoolgirls. Further, it is questionable as to how military training would allow an armed vehicle to drive into village in the middle of the day where civilians like Shim Mi Son and Shin Hyo Soon live, work and play. The United States government must conduct a full re-investigation of the case.

- Revise SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) between the US and South Korea

Under SOFA, the South Korean government is unable to take appropriate legal action when US military personnel commit crimes or when incidents occur against South Koreans, including the ability to investigate, bring to trial, prosecute, and have the perpetrator serve time in South Korea. Therefore, the US military is not obliged to take any legal actions – US soldiers are free to commit crimes against South Korean citizens and property without fear of legal or military reprisals.

Moreover, the primary purpose of stationing American troops in South Korea is to ensure peace in the Korean peninsula. Yet, until the lives of South Koreans are respected and valued, the future relationship of the US and South Korea is in jeopardy.

Related Story: href="http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1214-04.htm">BBC reports huge protest against US in South Korea

 
 

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