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31호 (일반) 미군기지 이전과 국제인권문제 / 조시현 (PDF)

민주법연 2006.09.03 18:45 조회 수 : 26785 추천:906

미군기지 이전과 국제인권문제 / 조시현

[국문 주제어]

미군기지, 용산기지이전협정, 국제인권법, 평택대추리, 사실상의 비상사태, 군사점령, 최소한의 인도기준, 팔레스타인 장벽사건



The Relocation of United States Military Bases in Korea and International Human Rights Law

Cho, Si-Hun
Professor, Konkuk Univ.


On May 4, 2006, the Korean government deployed about 15,000 military forces to crush protest over the construction of new United States military bases in areas around Daechuri, South Korea. New military bases are to be provided in return for the present base areas in Seoul following an agreement between Korea and the United States. The resulting relocation of United States stationing forces in Korea is regarded as an implementation of US led new collective security measures in North-East Asia under the banner of so-called 'strategic flexibility'. In the process of providing the new base, the Korean government expropriated large areas of land the owners of which refused government purchases. The owners of expropriated land demanded their rights to continue to live in and cultivate their land. The Korean government attempted to evict them forcibly with the use of military forces and occupied the scheduled area. In the ensuing crashes, a number of inhabitants and protestors were assaulted and arrested. The government designated the area as the protection area for military facilities and its breachers were threatened to be punished under the military penal law. The military set up barricades with barbed wires and access to the area became virtually impossible.

Against this background, this article argues that the government measures in Daechuri area had been taken in violation of international human rights law. The deployment of military forces to secure land for new US military bases is not justifiable under the relevant municipal and international law. The provision of US military bases cannot serve as a lawful ground for restricting human rights. The government measures are not deemed to be necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security and public order. The situation created by the military deployment amounts to "de facto emergency" in violation of relevant international human right norms.

The Korea-US relocation agreement also does not provide a defense for human rights violations. The terms of the agreement are to be read providing flexibility in its implementation. Further the execution of international agreements of an military character is not an exception for the protection of human rights.

While the situation may not be classified as armed conflict under international humanitarian law, the use of military force and military occupation in peacetime raise human rights issues and humanitarian concerns. Gaps in international law in this type of situation have been pointed out from time to time. The recent Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice in the Palestinian Wall Case makes clear international obligations of military occupants. Although this case is about wartime military occupation, there is no reason why the standards should not function in peacetime as "minimum humanitarian standards". The situation in Daechuri is to be assessed in this light. Much efforts are to be made to develop international human rights standards and compliance mechanisms for this type of situation.


[Key words]

foreign military bases, international human rights law, de facto emergency, military occupation, minimum humanitarian standards

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