SOUTH KOREA: Conscientious objector Cheol-min Kang faces arrest


Today, Cheol-min Kang (SKR13828 - a picture is available at, a 21-year old Korean private soldier, declared his conscientious objection to protest against the deployment of South Korean troops in Iraq. Kang enlisted into the army as a conscript in August 2003, and was on his first vacation now. At present, Cheol-min Kang is doing a sit-down protest at the Human Rights Committee of the National Council of Churches in Korea. There he is joined by activists from Korea Solidarity for Conscientious Objection. The latest news is that military police in civilian clothes is enclosing the building to arrest Kang. He 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. Cheol-min Kang's determination is firm, although the military police puts pressure on his family to persuade him to continue his military service.

War Resisters' International calls for urgent letters of support to Cheol-min Kang. At present, it is possible to send emails or faxes to the Human Rights Committee of the National Council of Churches in Korea: email
fax +82-2-744 6189

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 discharge of Cheol-min Kang from the Korean military, and for the release of all imprisoned conscientious objectors in South Korea.

Andreas Speck
War Resisters' International

Ministry of Defence
Fax: +82-2-748 6895

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…