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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1972

ABOUT THE AFKIC: AMERICAN-KOREAN FRIENDSHIP AND INFORMATION CENTER

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    The American-Korean Friendship and Information Center (AKFIC) describes its founding, organization, and activities.
    "About the AFKIC: American-Korean Friendship and Information Center," 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Korea Focus 1, no. 2 (Spring 1972): 62-64. Obtained by Brandon Gauthier. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121131
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AFKIC

American-Korean Friendship and Information Center

160 Fifth Avenue • New York, N.Y. 10010  • Suite 809 • Telephone: (212) 242-0240

On the initiative of many distinguished Americans in all walks of life, the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center was organized in 1971.

Our Center came into existence formally and publicly with our first press conference February 24, 1971. The list of close to 100 of out initiating sponsors includes men and women from a broad range of occupations and interests. While individually they represent a number of philosophical and political beliefs, they are all of an anti-imperialist persuasion and are united in a deep feeling of opposition to aggressive war and a desire for friendship and peace among nations, especially in opposition to the United States’ war of aggression in Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia.

Character and Structure of AKFIC

We are emphatically an anti-imperialist peace organization representing the interest of our people, our nation, the U.S.A.

 

We do not speak for nor do we represent a foreign government, a foreign political party, or a foreign leader or leaders.

The Center is not associated with any expression of anti-Communism, redbaiting and anti-Sovietism. These are divisive means of U.S. imperialism to divide and destroy all peoples’ movements fighting and resisting imperialist war and exploitation.

We are partisan in the struggle between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the traitorous accomplices of the U.S. and Japanese imperialists in the South of Korea; we support 100 percent the great achievements made by the people of the DPRK under a socialist system; and we are 100 percent behind the efforts of the DPRK to reunify the Korean nation and people democratically, independently and peacefully.

The structure of our Center is quite simple. It is not a membership organization. It has as its base of organization sponsors, a large mailing list of thousands of supporters, readers and subscribers of our publications. Many of them express their support with financial contributions. It has an Executive Board of 13 members- eight Vice-Chairmen and Vice Chairwomen, a Director of Education and Information, a Director of Publications, a Secretary, an Executive Director and a Chairman.

Our Program

 

The chief objectives of AKFIC are stated clearly in our Position Paper, “Operation War Shift.”

“It (AKFIC) will be frankly an anti-imperialist undertaking, in the best American interest, designed to help prevent a new holocaust which could take the lives of thousands of civilians and soldiers in Korea- and the lives of thousands of young Americans. Above all it is designed to help alter the seemingly immutable destiny of young American from one of death and destruction to a vision of life and constructive work and happiness in harmony with the Korean people, and all the people of Asia.”

“Utmost pressure must be exerted upon the government in Washington to abandon its disastrous policy in Asia, to withdraw all its troops, on a genuine basis, from Korea- and all other military equipment- and to permit the people of Korea to determine their own future, develop their own resources for the benefit of their own people, and choose a form of government according to their own needs and desires.”

Operation War shift- page 3

“Specifically, the purpose of the Center is to help organize a campaign of the utmost pressure on the government of the United States to:

1. End its Military Subsidy of a Despised Regime in South Korea;

2. Effect a Total Withdrawal of All its Military Forces and War Material in South Korea;

3. Abandon its Policy of ‘Japanization’ of Korea.

 The people of Korea want to determine their own future without foreign interference; they should have that right.”

from covering letter, p. 2 in Operation War Shift.

Our Activities

Position Paper “Operation War Shift”

1. Two editions totaling 35,000 copies published. Circulated via mailings, books stores and distribution to people in the USA of all walks of life including the members of Congress. An additional 10,000 copies circulated by DPRK friends in Japan and most English speaking countries, especially among educators and Asian scholars.

We have received dozens of requests from educational institutions throughout the country or copies of our Position Paper. It was referred to as indispensable reading matter for teachers of Asian affairs in “Focus on Asian Studies” published by the Association For Asian Studies of Ohio State University, Columbus.

2. KOREA FOCUS: The chief publication of the AKFIC Executive Board and its sponsors. The officers serve as the responsible Editorial Board and each issue is edited by an editorial task force headed by an officer and a Managing Editor on a voluntary basis.

8,000 copies of the first issue devoted in the main to “The U.N. Role in the U.S. War of Aggression in Korea 1950-53.” Published in Oct.-Nov. 1971, has been completely sold out. It was mailed to all UN delegations and was received favorably by them. It was sent to all members of Congress, many Public and University libraries, institutions specializing in Asian affairs. It was received with a great deal of interest by hundreds of Asian scholars, students of Asian affairs both here and abroad.

3. Public relations: is at present limited in the main to advertising, press releases, press conferences and trying to shatter the Establishment’s supersonic Great Wall surrounding our press, radio, TV.; we hope someday to crack it.

We have participated and hope to expand our role in seminars, conferences and other events dealing with Asian affairs, especially as it relates to Korea. We have established contact with US-Korean residents, but because of organized intimidation and terror in the USA-Korean communities by the henchmen of the Park Chung Hee (South Korean) regime and the racism in our country, our activities in this field are at a minimum.

We have participated in all major peace activities of the U.S. Peace Movement and are formally associated with the main peace organization in the U.S.-People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice.

4. Education and Information Activities: We have published and distributed tens of thousands of circulars, explaining our program and a special information document on conditions in South Korea and reprinted for wide circulation numerous statements from prominent leaders of USA-Korean residents.

Members of the delegation have spoken to members of numerous groups such as the National Council of Churches, United Methodist Church, Peace Groups and recently a gathering of over 100 people at a joint meeting organized with the Angela Davis Book Store in New Haven, Connecticut, where a DPRK motion picture received its first public showing in the U.S.

We participated with our literature and the showing of the same picture in March at a special event dealing with Korea, organized at a meeting of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars in New York.

Our Cultural Activities are as yet limited in the main to placing the DPRK movies at the disposal of interested groups. Both movies had a preview in New York City attended by about 60 people.

Members of the AKFIC delegation to the DPRK spoke at a seminar at the Roslyn Junior High School attended by the student body, The delegation manned a photo display.

We are financed entirely by contributions and support from individuals, peace activists, peace groups, readers and supporters of our publications.

We are strictly a “shoe string” operation and we appeal and welcome more and more contributions for “Shoe Strings”