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Pacifist groups open anti-armament fair to counter military event

2013/10/28 15:01

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- Dozens of civic groups urged the government Monday to reconsider its arms export policy as they opened a fair to counter a government-sponsored aerospace and defense exhibition scheduled for this week.

"The South Korean government should review its arms export policy according to the principle of pacifism in the Constitution," the peace movement groups led by the Korean branch of Amnesty International said during a press conference held in front of the Ministry of Defense in Seoul to mark the opening of the event.

They accused the government of "irresponsibly cultivating and supporting the weapon industry without considering that weapon exports may grow conflicts among countries."

   The exhibition for peace and arms reduction is set to continue until Saturday in Seoul's city center and areas near the Korea International Exhibition Center in Goyang, just north of Seoul, which is the venue of the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (ADEX).

The peace and arms reduction fair is timed to coincide with the ADEX that showcases cutting-edge defense and satellite technologies to defense contractors and military officials across the globe. About 361 exhibitors from 28 countries are scheduled to attend the Tuesday to Sunday event.

Programs of the peace fair include an anti-ADEX rally and an exhibition of "evil weapons," according to the organizers.

"We stage the peace and arms reduction fair in protest of the ADEX and in a show of serious concern on the government policy," the civic groups said in a joint statement. "What the country should teach to children is peace education, not security."