* Below is the temporary English transaltion of the article in the photo. It is the interview with Bruce K. Gagnon, Secretary of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space(www.space4peace.org, space4peace.blogspot.com) by Mr. Jeong, Yong-In, reporter from the Weekly Kyunghyang. Its website version is here.
Through this article, Bruce Gagnon was selected as the 'Today's Figure' with the title, ' “ Today’s Figure, Secretary, Bruce Gagnon, ‘Why Don’t Make the Voice Against the Rocket Naro’” by the Daum website on Aug. 27, 2009. The second site recorded the demographics of the readers.
the Rocket, Naro?”
Jeong, Yong-In, firstname.lastname@example.org
• photo captions
1. Bruce Gagnon, Secretary of the Global Network, interviewing with the Weekly Kyunghyang (photo by reporter, Kim, Suk-Ku(spelling?)
2. Bruce Gagnon, Secretary of the Global Network (third from the left) is having the denouncing statement at the press interview for the urge to stop the Ulchi Freedom Guardian training, sponsored by the SPARK, at the TANGO base, Seongnam, Kyunggi-do, on Aug. 17. (Yonhap News)
“ The South Koreans should ask themselves for what the rocket would be launched this time, whether it has only simply the good purpose as known to the public. Further, they have to ask what relationship the South Korean space program has with the space control & domination policies of the United States.
It is the ‘opinion’ by Bruce Gagnon, an United States peace activist on the launch of the rocket NARO (KSLV-1). He is in charge of the secretary of the Global Network against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (afterward, Global Network). This international organization, affiliated by the 150 groups in the world was founded in 1992. In the South Korea, Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea (SPARK) and the Peace Network have participated in it. Gagnon initiated the foundation of this organization and has worked on it.
He made a keynote speech, participating in the ‘International Conference against the Asia Pacific Missile Defense and End of Arms Race’ last April. His revisit this time for a week since Aug. 14 is after the speeches and symposiums upon the invitation of Mayor Akiba Tadadosi, Hiroshima, Japan. It was Aug. 18 that I interviewed him. A day before the launch of the rocket Naro was planned.
He said that, “It is surprising that there is almost none opinion claim even among the peace activists here” (Anyhow, the launch of the rocket Naro was stopped remaining seven minute 56 seconds for ‘the lack of software’) He claimed that we should clearly know that the rocket Naro have the military purpose such as carrying war and corporate profit. Military purpose of the rocket Naro? It has been a seldom known story. However, once researched, it is mentioned in some sites.
The Seoul sinmun [* meaning newspaper] reported on Aug. 19 that “ The Korean Aegis Destroyer Sejong, the Great carries the exercise to trace the orbit of the rocket Naro at the same time with the launch of the rocker Naro.” The newspaper predicted that “It would be a kind of an information war on the sea among the powerful countries near the vicinity of the Korean peninsula, which would check the Aegis system one another and try to detect the South Korean’s space development ability.” However, is it that the mission of the scientific technology satellite No. 2 is to measure the radiation energy of the earth and air/ overseas for minutes for two years, isn’t it?
The Unknown Military Purpose of the Rocket Naro
Does the opinion of the Secretary, Gagnon means the [satellite] has the dual purpose such as the military appropriation while it is claimed to have the peaceful use of the space on surface?
“ Yes. There are dual purposes in all the space plans by all the countries. I think there is a need to point out a hypocrisy here. There have been the blames against the North Korea when it launched the satellite and even the words of the interception of it. However, nobody blames the South Korea when it launches the rocket. This is really a hypocrisy. It should be mentioned that the military purpose is applied to the both.”
There is a difference. Hasn’t the process in case of the North Korea been secretly processed, has it? On the other hand, in the case of the rocket Naro, the process has been open. There has been the historical experience that the [South Korea’s] independent technology development of the [rocket] has been frustrated after its drive of it by the Park Jung-Hee regime because of the curb by the United States in the 70s, as in the case of the nuclear. Since then, the South Korea chose the way of the open development of it under the control of the United States.
“ That’s right. The United States tries to draw many of its alliance countries under its control. The space development of the South Korea and Japan is the one example. The Space Command in the United States boasts that the space industry project is the largest industry project in the history of the earth. Thus, it takes enormous cost and because the United States can not pay all that huge cost alone, it tries to hand over the economic burden to the other (countries). Despite that, the development process is under the total control of the United States.
Is the United States the center of the ‘Weaponization of Space?’ Was the old Soviet the same with the United states, having the space development race, for example, wasn’t it?
“ During the eight years of [President] Bill Clinton, eight years of [President] Bush and to the current administration of Barak Obama, the Russia and China have presented the resolution preventing the space weapons to the United Nations. Thus every year, these two countries have presented the new treaty on it to the General Assembly of the U. N. but only three countries have been opposing it. Do you know which countries they are?”
I don’t know.
The United States, Israel and the Micronesia. The reason that Micronesia opposes is because there is the U.S. launch base in the Kwajallen atoll. Those countries oppose it for the two reasons. The first is to control and dominate the space. The Second is to prevent the other countries’ use of access to space. If you go to the U.S. space command, there is the logo of master of space. In other words, it means who controls the space can control and dominate the earth.
Let’s return to the issue of Naro. Is the mission of the Naro for the scientific, peaceful purpose such as the measuring of air, isn’t it? You, Secretary’s words sound like the radical claim to oppose all the scientific technology such as the Luddite movement (machine destruction movement) in the 19th century.
“ I and the organization I am related to never oppose the technology in general. The organization, as its name opposes the weaponization and militarization of space. We watch the baseball game and sees the weathercast through satellite. Some of the people participating in our organization are famous scientists. Our core concern is to prevent the wars caused by the wrong use of technology.“
The Organization Widely Known for the Cassini Campaign
There are many organizations demanding anti-war. It could be thought to be far away from the issues in the reality to talk about the space weapon and war. Is there any religious background or relationship with it? For example, the Raelian often talks about the ‘space issue’ as well.
“ It is a rather moral, ethical question than the religious. We need to ask the moral, ethical question whether it is right to pay the enormous cost to it at the sacrifice of such as, healthcare, education and all the things that we can give to our next generations. During my 27 year works on this movement, I know that one can not well deal with the peace issues without dealing with the space issues. We need to inform people that the efforts of the abolishing the nuclear weapons are closely connected to the space issues.
Even though it is not known domestically, it is since the campaign related to the Cassini probe plan initiated by the NASA and the ESA[?] that the ‘Global Network’ has spread it name in the world . The Cassini probe plan, 1997 is the project to explore the Saturn and Titan, the Saturn’s satellite and to return back to earth. And the Global Network warned that plutonium was used in the Cassini space craft. As a result, the Cassini had to be changed with its original plan to orbit within 500mile from the earth to 500mile above it. It was the victory of campaign. During the trip to the Saturn, plutonium was not used as a fuel. It was only used for the maintenance of the electric facilities on board. However, Gagnon says the Cassini was like the ‘icebreaker’ or “Trojan horse’ . He recalls, “ The general public did not even know the Cassini spacecraft plan, and the NASA was telling them on it as it has only the pure scientific mission. Our job as activists was to reveal how the Cassini spacecraft had the deadly relationship with the nuclear industry. Even though it was not directly related to the military use of it, the Cassini campaign with the use of the nuclear power, was the opening gate to test its possibility .”
The military industry complex have announced that the nuclear power is the only solution for the strong propelling power for the long time space flight, and it is the claim of these grous that it has become the common sense while repeatedly injected the claim. Then why they make the matter of life and death to keep the expansion of the nuclear power?
“ The reason is that the nuclear industry thinks the space as the new market such as for the nuclear reactor, rocket and engine. They claim it to make the mining colony in the Moon and Mars in the long term. But the plutonium is the matter. According to the report of an energy related organization, plutonium has contaminated air, water and workers. We oppose it to move it to space.”
The Lee Myung Bak administration has recently gotten entangled as to announce the full participation of the PSI and postpone it upon the North Korea’s missile launch and nuclear tests. The experts are thinking that the PSI participation would be automatically linked to the participation in MD.
“ The MD issue is the core issue of the Global Network. The United States wants to deploy the Missile Defense system in many countries in the world. MD, despite its name, Missile Defense is not for the defense but for preemptive attack. For example, if Russia takes aim at the United States with 100 nuclear missiles, the limited Missile Defense system can not cover it. In other words, only through the preemptive attack, the MD can work.”
According to you, it means not defense but offense, then why did the people who drove it name it as defense ?
“ Because only by that, it could be sold. If you see the real content [of the MD], it is very expensive, provoking (the counter-part who is the target for attack) and the imperfect system. The PAC3 in the Asia Pacific is shown to be not only against the North Korea but also against the China. Last April, the United States Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, saying ‘ More Aegis Destroyers would be converted to be outfitted with the ballistic missile defense’ has had the significant remarks that ‘ It would help to counter the China.’.
The Progressive Front of the United States, Disappointed by the Stagnation of the Reform by Obama
The MD issue of the North East Asia has been long-time issue though. How is the case of Obama? Does he want to maintain the policy [of the predecessors] ? Was he elected by the support of many people, for the pledges such as the social reform , for example, health care and withdrawal of the troops from Iraq, wasn’t he?
“ Most of the progressive fronts have disappointed by all the issues he suggested. They think he betrayed them. Thus Obama is losing his supporters. The poll has become low. It is becoming more clear when you see the expansion of war in the Afghanistan. Obama will not be able to bring up the change(which was his election slogan) any more. To speak easily, if Bush is a ‘bad cowboy’, Obama is a ‘good cowboy’. The important point is that Obama is still supporting the military imperialism.”
If one looks at Gagnon’s blog or writings in the media, he often mentions the Korean examples. Last May, he submitted an open letter pointing out the injustice of the arrest of the PKAR members. Looking at his Korean trip schedule, even though there are public speeches or symposium in the PSPD & Peace Network, his participation in the various realities in Korea, such as the visit to the Pan-Korea committee on Yongan , participation in the press interview sponsored by the peace unification organization and visit to the Korean Confederation of the Trade Unions., is remarkable. It was curious how he has become concerned with the Korean issues. Is there any Korean among his relatives of his father and mother sides?
“ I was born in July 27, 1952. It is only a year before the signing of the Korea War Armistice Agreement. My father was in the air force during the Korean war. His hobbies were to take the photographs of the daily lives of the Korean people. I grew up looking at the photos. ” Once the supporter of the Republican as to act in the election movement for Nixon in his youth, his idea has become changed since his participation in the Vietnam war. (Currently he is the member of the Veteran’s for Peace, as well) Working at the [Florida] Coalition for Peace and Justice after working at the Farmers’ union at the Florida state, he initiated the ‘Global Network’. When asked whether there is any message to the Lee Myung Bak government, he shortly replied, “OUT”.
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