May 31 – June 2nd, 2013 – Moana Nui Conference, Berkeley, CA

May 31 – June 2nd, 2013 – Moana Nui Conference, Berkeley, CA

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MOANA NUI 2013 – Peoples of the Pacific–Confronting Globalization, Militarization, Resource Theft, and America’s “Pacific Pivot”

By Koohan Paik* | October 24, 2013

Activists respond to the U.S. "pivot towards Asia", Moana Nui 2013.

Activists respond to the U.S. “pivot towards Asia”, Moana Nui 2013.

On June 2, 2013,  Korea Policy Institute board members Christine Hong and Christine Ahn, KPI Fellow Koohan Paik and Mayor Kang Dong Kyun of Gangjeong village, spoke at the Moana Nui 2013 conference in Berkeley, California. (Mayor Kang has been leading the fiercely peaceful protest against the construction of a huge state-of-the-art navy base on Jeju island.) The program included a screening of Deann Borshay’s film, “Memory of Forgotten War,” and was capped off by a stunning performance by Dohee Lee.

Sponsored by the International Forum on Globalization, Moana Nui 2013’s direct purpose was to respond to great threats now facing peoples of the Asia-Pacific region, stemming from recent shifts in U.S. economic and military strategies. These policy shifts, made mostly under the Obama Administration program, “The Pacific Pivot,” affect the future viability and sovereignty of indigenous peoples (like the Tamna people of Jeju Island) , and greatly accelerate dangerous power struggles underway between the U.S. and China, and potentially Russia, over trade, resources, economic and military domination of the 8,000 mile region.

The Korea panel, moderated by Christine Ahn, was chosen as the centerpiece for the conference because this year marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, and also to recognize that the first step to peace throughout the Pacific region begins with the signing of a Korean Peace Treaty, since militarization is almost always falsely justified by citing the threat of North Korea.

Here are videos from the Korea panel, including that of Christine Ahn, Christine Hong, Koohan Paik, and Mayor Kang. Also included is a video of performer Dohee Lee, with Korean drummers Jamaesori:

KPI Executive Board Member Christine Ahn at Moana Nui, 2013

KPI Executive Board Member Christine Hong at Moana Nui, 2013

Campaign Director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization and KPI Fellow, Koohan Paik at Moana Nui, 2013

Mayor Kang DongKyun of Gangjeong Village, Jeju Island, Korea, at Moana Nui 2013

Performance Artist, Dohee Lee, with Jamaesori, at Moana Nui, 2013

*Koohan Paik is the Campaign Director of the Asia-Pacific program at the International Forum on Globalization, a journalist and media educator, and a KPI Fellow.

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