A member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea's (STIK) peace delegation to South Korea has been blocked from boarding the plane headed to South Korea.
At approximately 9:00 AM at the LaGuardia Airport in New York City, Korean American peace activist and delegation coordinator Juyeon Rhee was told by Delta Airlines that she could not board the plane. Last year, Rhee was blocked from entering South Korea by the previous right-wing administration of recently impeached and jailed Park Geun-hye. With the newly elected Moon Jae-in in office, Rhee and members of the peace delegation expected her ban to have been lifted.
Rhee made a brief statement in response to being blocked from boarding the plane to South Korea:
This is what division looks like to overseas Koreans. I have been wrongly labeled as a "threat to national security" for the convenience of the past administration with no explanation, and yet the burden is now on me to prove that I pose no harm to the South Korean society, with onerous amount of documents. I refuse to take that as a democratic and fair process. The ban was wrongly imposed on me without any warning or any explanation.
The STIK task force is calling for a rapid response by way of sending an email to current President Moon Jae-in to demand the ban on Korean American peace activist Juyeon Rhee be lifted immediately. Below is a sample email to the South Korean President and the Blue House.
Sample Rapid Response. Feel free to modify according to your own views.
In Subject Line put – Lift the Entry Ban on Juyeon Rhee Immediately
Date and Time
President Moon Jae-in
Re: Lift the Entry Ban on Juyeon Rhee Immediately
Dear President Moon Jae-in
I am writing to strongly protest the ban imposed this morning on Ms Juyeon Rhee today at LaGuardia Airport, New York, preventing her from boarding her Delta flight to Incheon. The ban was imposed by South Korean officials. Juyeon Rhee is the coordinator for the Stop THAAD in Korea (STIK) peace delegation visiting your country and hosted by the National People’s Action to Stop the Deployment of THAAD in South Korea (NPA). The STIK delegation includes prominent peace activists Jill Stein, 2016 U.S. presidential candidate for the Green Party, USA, Medea Benjamin, founder of CODEPINK, Reece Chenault, National Coordinator for U.S. Labor Against the War, and Will Griffin, Veterans for Peace and STIK.
The delegation arrives with the endorsement of more than 80 U.S. and international organizations and 270 individuals including such widely respected peace advocates as Professor Noam Chomsky, author and social critic, Daniel Ellsberg, Women for Genuine Security member, Gwyn Kirk, Academy Award-winning director, Oliver Stone, religious scholar and public intellectual, Cornel West, and former U.S. State Department official and Army colonel, Ann Wright.
I am deeply troubled by the actions of your authorities to prevent Juyeon Rhee from entering your country especially in view of the welcome promise of your administration to seek peaceful and negotiated settlements to longstanding conflicts and to recommit the nation to open dialogue and respect for democratic processes. Ms Rhee has demonstrated a life-long commitment to the desire of all Koreans for a peaceful resolution to decades of conflict and to U.S. policies that respect the sovereignty of the Korean people and value equally the human needs of all Americans.
In the spirit of the candlelight revolution I urge you to fulfill your pledge to eradicate problems left over from the previous administration, champion democratic rights including freedom of expression without fear of reprisal, and immediately lift the travel ban imposed on Juyeon Rhee by the previous administration.
Please be sure to include your affiliation with your signature and your email address, if possible.
We are also calling on people to post the following message — “Lift the entry ban on Juyeon Rhee” — on twitter and facebook directed at @TheBlueHouseKR.