Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Korea, Day 2 - The Conference
Friday, April 17 was exhausting - trying to stuff dozens of presentations on arms technology, regional military base issues, and arms-control policies into a single eight-hour day. Kudos to our Korean hosts for keeping people on a strict schedule. Foundation money allowed for a full perfect-bound proceedings book in English, Korean, and Japanese, as well as simultaneous translation in all three languages. For a full list of speakers and topics, take a look at the Global Network web site. I'm not going to reference all my videos, check my library on YouTube if you're obsessive.
We began with welcomes from Dave Webb of Global Network and Marte Hellema from GPPAC (Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict). Then Bruce Gagnon of GN gave the general conference keynote:
Obviously, I didn't film my own talk, nor could I snare worthwhile videos of fellow panelists Dave Webb or Cheong Wooksik, though I snuck a few moments of Mary Beth Sullivan (who spent most of the conference under the weather, unfortunately). Lindis Percy grabbed a photo of our opening panel, inserted here.
Oh, and speaking of Lindis Percy, not only was she at her usual best decribing US bases in the UK, YouTube below, but the British government had the audacity to arrest her yet again as soon as she returned from Korea. Some people never learn. Morning region-specific talks included ones from J. Narayana Rao, Agneta Norberg, Tim Rinne, Hannah Middleton, Anna Polo (who had some outstanding videos of the Obama Prague trip, available at the Global Network site), Koji Sugihara, Katy Rose (YouTube below), and Kang Sung-Won (camera full).
I also wanted to post Katy Rose from AFSC, giving her observations on missile tech problems in Hawaii:
Afternoon speeches were dedicated to the problems of the Pacific Rim. Presentations included ones from Atsushi Fujioka, Kazuhiko Tamaki, and the wonderful Corazon Valdez-Fabros of the No-Bases Coalition in the Philippines. The main conference concluded with a fascinating speech on the sociology of the security state, from Francis Daehoon Lee of People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy in South Korea:
We packed into a small bar Friday evening to give out awards for peace work, and to hear talks by Suh Sung, a former political prisoner in the Park Chung-Hee regime; and Dennis Redmond and Park Sung Yong, who gave details of next year's World March for Peace. Later, awards were given to J. Narayana Rao, Astsushi Fujiyoka, and the VERY deserving Sung-Hee Choi, who put this whole conference together.
And then it was on to the singing. The Korean organizers riffed on a popular political tune; Tim Rinne gave animated renditions of "Nebraskaland" and "Stickin' to the Union"; Jiho Park played guitar and sang; and Agneta Norberg twisted Frank Sinatra's "Makin' Whoopee" into "Makin' Missiles" (below). No, I didn't film her raunchy soprano Swedish pregnancy numbers.)