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World March Blog
15 October 2009

The Base Team arrives in South Korea

10 days ago I left the Base Team as they left for Manila with a sensation that this journey couldn’t end, that I had to continue and give whatever support I could to the effort especially in countries of Asia where World without Wars isn’t present.  Also having a native English speaker could be helpful.

So I went back home, took out my credit card and started buying tickets to return to the team in Korea.  Actually we met last night in Dubai airport.  Half of the team was in Dubai on their way to Korea and the other half will come tomorrow.  Those of us in Korea already are: Rafa, Alvaro, Luis, Horacio, Micky, Stefano, Juanita, Isabelle, Renata, Pierre and Gerard.  And in Dubai everyone appeared exhausted again, especially those who had spent the previous night in a bus coming from Amritsar to Delhi…

We arrived at 4pm in the afternoon in Incheon International Airport, Korea and were met by a small welcome committee.  We were then transferred by bus to a welcome dinner.  We had a few introductory words from representatives of the 40 or so organisations that formed a committee many months ago to prepare for the World March under the guidance of Sung Yong Park from Nonviolent Peace Force Korea.

I’ve never eaten Korean food before and everything looked unfamiliar to me (and I’m sure also to others) but following the lead of the Korean friends on the other side of the table we quickly understood how to eat the food and what with.  All the food was lovely.

Then we were transferred to our accommodation which is in a Buddhist Temple an hour outside Seoul.  It’s lovely here, very peaceful, clean, minimal and just how I imagined a Buddhist Temple would be.

On the way here Sung Yong Park told us something of the history of the country.  How the country gained independence from Japan in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, how the country was divided in two by the Korean War in the 50s, how the country moved from military dictatorship in 1987 to a democracy.  The Korean War resulted in 2.5million dead and injured.  Now it is estimated that 10 million families are divided between North and South Korea with no means for families to be reunited.  It is a terrible legacy of the war which remains more than fifty years later.

Part of our programme is to visit the Demilitarised Zone so we hope to learn more.

Tonight we finish the day drinking tea while writing blogs and catching up on the hundreds of e-mails that have arrived in the last 24 hours!

Anyway, this is a quick message to tell you I’m back and to thank all of you who sent me nice messages for what I wrote before.   I’ll be with the team from Korea to Moscow.

Big hug,

Tony

11 comments to The Base Team arrives in South Korea

  • Hi Tony,
    thanks for the information and wish you the best for the next days. First I was a bit worried because I´ve seen you on pictures from Paris ;-))) and now you are in Korea.
    Tony, I have a question, may you can help me. I´m strong in the preparation of the events here in Berlin and specialy the “symposium”. The title is
    symposium for nuclear disarmament
    20 years of the fallen Wall – 20 years of empty promises: stop wars, abolish nuclear weapons

    It will take place at the Humboldt-University in Berlin and I the idea is a meeting between the peace-movement of Germany and Members of Parliament, and of course we …

    So, my question is, if there is time to speak about: I´m not so clear who is coming to Berlin and who would like to speak in this symposium for the world march?

    I, and of course our friends here from Berlin, sending you and the base team warm hugs and let all know, that every day we are with you!
    Michael

  • Roberto Benatti

    Every day i think about your world-march and i send you a breath of force and well-being …a big hugs

  • claudie

    So great you came back with the base team !!! But we were so happy to receive you also in france !!! I think your father was Hermes, because you flight so quickly from one world’s place to other one !! Your are our favorite mensager !
    Buddhist temple inspires me to go there and have a rest !!
    Thanks to share with us Tony
    claudie

  • claudie

    Did you have time to think to the MSG ‘s flag ?
    big hug
    claudie

  • juaned

    Welcome back Tony!

    The picture with the peaceful and quiet people in one side looking at the busy marchers in the other worth a thousand words! hehe

    Take care!

  • Nikos Stergiou

    Hello Tony!!!

    Thank you for your message, the description of the journey is minimal but more than full of emotions, icons and experiences…

    Wish you strength!

    warm greetings to all from Greece!

    See you all in Geneva!!!

    Nikos

  • Jan Krause Greene

    Tony, My best regards to you and the whole team. I so admire what you are doing and wish that I could have found the way clear to join the team.
    So many of us here at home (wherever in the world home is!) are with you all in spirit every day, every step of the way.
    A millions thanks for representing our hopes for peace and nonviolence.
    Jan

  • W. Poissonnet

    Amazing effort, congratulations.

  • Saul Asenjo

    Felicitaciones queridos amigos y amigas marchantes.
    Con vuestras acciones nos fortificamos todos !
    Estamos esperandolos en USA para recibirlos com merecen, haciendo cada uno en nuestras ciudades lo que mas podemos para hacer tomar conciencia sobre la Paz y la No Violencia.
    Saludos de PFA para Rafa, Tony, Charles, Michey y cada uno!
    Saul from Pennsylvania, USA.

  • Kurt Heyl

    Thanks Tony,it is such a good idea to have this blog!

  • Mary BethMoore

    THANKS TO YOU AND ALL THE MARCHERS! Here an Long Island, NY, USA, we are busy about peace and had a wonderful Interfaith service last Sunday with more than 100 folks, major press coverage, and an experience of unity and joy that was unique. Buddhist, Christian Jewish and Muslim religious leaders shared prayers for peace and we had 3 choirs. Everyone was so uplifted…

    See you in NYC on the 30th of November.

    Que viva la paz. Abrazos a todos