1. On the Protest on March 12: No War Rehearsal!
At 10am on March 12, about 12 activists of whom most were the SPARK activists gathered in front of the Rodriguez Complex Range, in Pochun, near the DMZ, to protest the US-SK marine war exercise there. Many police have been mobilized around the press interview site. Slogans such as ‘Go away, United States Force, Destroyer of Peace!’; ‘ US Augmented Force Aiming the Attack on North Korea, Go Back!” ;‘The Invasive Exercise against the North Korea Aiming at the Occupation of Pyeongyang is Illegal!’; ‘Stop, Real Fire War Exercise!’ ;and 'Stop the Invasive Exercise against North Korea, Which Destroys Peace in the Korean Peninsula!’ have been shown and shouted. About the contents of exercise, please see the summaries below (2, 3).
For more photos, click HERE (Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK))
2. On the “US-SK Military Training for the ‘Urban Area Combat & Real Fire’ and the Northern Gyunggi Military Training Field”
* Below is the parts arbitrarily translated from the article by Park Suk-Jin, a member of the Solidarity for Peace And Reunification (SPARK) . The whole article is called, “US-SK Military Training for the ‘Urban Area Combat & Real Fire’ and the Northern Gyunggi Military Training Field.”
Rodriguez Complex Range, in Pochun is near the DMZ (top right in the above photo). Along with it, many military training fields
exist in the vicinity, as well. One of those is the Mugeon-ri military training field
where the Ohyun-ri villagers have long fought and still fight against the expansion of it.
The two military training fields fenced with the red walls are located seeing each other at the both sides of stream as in the photos. According to the SPARK activists, the red walls have been set up since last year so that people outside can not see the training field inside.
"The Rodriguez Complex Range, located in Youngpyeong-ri, Youngjoong-myeon, City of Pochun is about 4,500,000 pyeong (1 pyeong=3.3058 square meters) size and the US Force’s exclusive training field, which is under the jurisdiction of the US 8th Army. This is the complex range that supervises the training of the United States forces in Korea and the place where the US striker units in mainland of the United States and Japan get trainings as well. The urban area combat and real fire trainings by the SK-US joint marines are practiced in every Key Resolve exercise, as well. This year, the urban military operation exercise and night battle medical exercise are practiced without fail on March 12, while the US marine's field-gun real fire exercise is on March 15.
One of the reasons that we notice on the Rodriguez Complex Range, Youngpyeong-ri is because of the training content that is processed here. As soon as the Combined Forces Command (CFC) announced last February that it would do the Key Resolve/ Foal Eagle exercise, the North Korea, strongly urging to immediately stop the invasive exercise that was for the attack against North Korea entered into, ‘ All Military’s Emergency Posture in War’. The CFC totally ignored the claim by North Korea, saying that the North Korea was overly sensitive on the ‘annual defense exercise.’
However, it becomes clear that it is the lie if one looks at the contents of the military exercise processed in the Rodriguex Complex Range, Youngpyeong-ri. It is because the main contents of the training are premised on such as the strike against the North Korea command headquarter and the urban area battles in the main cities of North Korea, done by the SK-US joint marine. There must Pyeongyang, capital of North Korea, be included, in the main cities that are premised. It is only questionable how the training exercise aimed to occupy the North Korean capital could be the defense exercise.
About 210 US forces of the L (Lima) company of the 31st marine expeditionary forces, dispatched from Okinawa, have participated in the SK-US joint marine urban combat training and real fire training, as part of Key Resolve last year. The 31st marine expeditionary force, composed of about 2, 200 soldiers, is one of the units that is first dispatched, in case of emergency in the Korean peninsula. To say the SK marine, the marines who belong to the 2nd division have participated. And it is heard that the each soldier of the both SK-US forces making the 1:1 fair and practicing the training, the US force instructed the ROK force the urban battle techniques that the US forces had learnt in Iraq.
Another problem of the Rodriguez Complex Range, Yoingpyeong is that the local villagers’ suffering is serious because of often misfire accidents and noise, produced during the fire trainings. In reality, a bomb was dropped in front of the cattle barn in the vicinity ranch, Yami-ri, Youngpyeong myeon, Pochun-gun, last October, 2000 and only a few days later, a caravan warhead has even been inserted into the dining table of a restaurant in the same village. The noise problem that is brought out during the fire training is serious as well. Even though the noise during the training reaches 100db, and is serious as to bring out the mental derangement, the US forces have been consistent without any response on it.
Beside Rodriguez Complex Range, there are two more US Forces’ exclusive training fields in the northern Gyunngi province. Those are the Story range (2,150,000 pyeong), located in Jangpa-ri, Papyeong-myeon, City of Paju and Dagma North Training Area (1,750,000 pyeong), located in Jangjwa-ri, Juksung-myeon, faces the former with each other across the Imjin river. (The two places are bearing many problems due to the environmental damage and indiscriminating harm against the cultural treasures, as well.) As a result, the United States forces have routinely been doing all the military exercises of such as infantry, artillery, tank, which are needed for the landing attack, through those three training fields.
Adding of the SK-US joint training field that has been provided to the US force, based on the Land Partnership Plan (LPP) in 2002, the United States force has secured the training field of 47,740,000 pyeong only in the northern Gyunggi, whose size is 53 times of Yoido (* Yoido is one of the districts of Seoul. The ROK National Assemble exists here). It is not exaggeration to say that most areas of the north of Seoul have become the US forces’ war drill fields."
3. On the training on March 12: Witness by a Tongil news reporter
*Koh Sung-Jin, a Tongil news reporter who could watch the US-SK joint marine training in the Rodriguez Complex Range, in Pochun, as a part of Key Resolve, on March 12, 2010, by the open chance to press of the war drill, reported about the training in the article called, “ROK-US Practiced Company Level Size Urban Combat Training : 'Tactic Exchange and Rapport through the Training'.. No Blank Ammunitions Were Used This Year.”
No blank ammunitions that had been used at once last year, invoking the real fire, were not used this year’s training. According to the related personnel of the Combined Forces Command, it was largely due to the safety reason. "
“ The US guys killed our loved ones. We cannot bear any more those atrocities committed by such US guys. Let’s fight for our rights. The US guys didn’t come here to help us.”
About 10 US and ROK forces in line attempted to enter Into the building where a man’s voice like above was repeatedly heard through a loud speaker. The joint forces entered and occupied the two stories building at a blink moment."
"Overall, it was often shown that the US forces informed the ROK forces the building-entering tips and movement directions. The US marine related personnel said that part of the US forces who participated in the training had had the experience to be in the defined time in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Beside the urban training, search and reconnaissance training, emergency medical training for the night battles were staged near the hill site at the same time. Otherwise, ‘Live Fire Shoot House’ training aimed at making least of the damage by distinguishing the friend forces & enemy forces, when entering buildings during the urban combat situation, were also processed.”
* For more photos on the US-SK joint marine training, Pochun, March 12, by Cho Sung-Bong, Tongil News, see HERE.