South Korea: Conscientious objector Cheol-min Kang arrested


01 December 2003 - Prisoners for Peace Day

War Resisters' International learned today that conscientious objector Cheol-min Kang, a conscript soldier who turned conscientious objector in protest against the deployment of South Korean troops in Iraq, was arrested on Friday, 28 November 2003, on a protest march to the residence of South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun. He was then transferred to the military police jail in Jangseong-gun, Jeolanam-do Province. His present address is not yet known. Since May 2003, South Korea has deployed 675 medical and engineering troops in Iraq. The South Korean government is now considering sending 1,500 special forces soldiers to Iraq.

Cheol-min Kang now faces charges of desertion, which carries a penalty of 2-10 years. In addition he might also be charged with violating public service regulations, because as a soldier he is not allowed to talk in public.

War Resisters' International calls for letters of support to Cheol-min Kang. Kang, Cheol-min (Private)
POB 85-10, 31st Army Division, Ochi-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju, 500-130

War Resisters' International calls for letters of protest to the Korean authorities, and Korean embassies abroad. A protest email to Roh Moo-hyun, President of Korea, can be sent at

War Resisters' International calls for the immediate release of Cheol-min Kang, and his discharge from the Korean military. War Resisters' International also calls for the release of all imprisoned conscientious objectors in South Korea. More information on conscientious objection in South Korea is available at

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Ministry of Defence
1 Yongsandong 3ga, Yongsangu, Seoul 140-701 Tel +82-2-795 0071
Fax: +82-2-703 3109

Roh Moo-hyun (President)
Cheong Wa Dae - Office of the President of South Korea 1, Sejongono Jongo-gu Seoul 110-050
KOREA (Republic of)
Fax: +82-2-770 0084

National Human Rights Commission of Korea #16, euljiro 1-ga, jung-gu Seoul 100-842
KOREA (Republic of)
fax +82-2-2125 9666

For a list of South Korean embassies abroad, see…