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Posted : 2008-10-01 19:30
Updated : 2008-10-01 19:30

Activist Detained for Streaking at Military Parade


Social activist Kang We-suck is apprehended by police Wednesday for streaking through the 60th Armed Forces Day anniversary parade. / Yonhap
By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

Social activist Kang We-suck was detained by police Wednesday for running naked into the 60th Armed Forces Day anniversary parade. Kang ran into the middle of the procession in Samseong-dong, one of the richest areas in Korea, holding a gun-shaped cookie, which he blew on before eating it.

His demonstration halted the parade for about a minute before he was taken away to Suseo Police Station.

In an interview with The Korea Times a day earlier, Kang said his acts were designed to promote pacifism and highlight the necessity of abolishing the military draft.

`` Being nude is a symbol of peace and disarmament. It represents being actively involved in a nonviolent movement for peace. The distribution of gun-shaped cookies implies that a world without arms is sweet and peace is delicious,'' he said.

``It would only cost $1.5 trillion to solve worldwide poverty and cure all diseases. We are spending over $1.7 trillion in Korea for our military budget. It caused the killing of innocent citizens in Geochang, Gwangju, and Jeju, and the overthrow of the democratic government of Korea at the same time. Recent military actions include depriving citizens of their homes and taking violent action against candlelit rallies,'' he said.

Kang said his nude performance was a way of showing that there was no compromise in his beliefs. ``First I thought recruiting soldiers could be okay. But later I thought we do not need a military system at all,'' he said.

Kang is mostly known for acts such as going on hunger strike to protest high school religious education, and finding 100 young men to reject the draft and go to prison with him.

He is also a law student of Seoul National University and leads several groups for minorities in society.

bjs@koreatimes.co.kr

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