Amnesty International Korea is campaigning against the National Pension Service of Korea (NPS), asking the largest public pension fund in Korea to divest its considerable investment in Hanhwa and Poongsan, two companies that produce cluster bombs.
The pension manages a fund of approximately ₩390 trillion with the purpose of supporting the well being of citizens incapable of earning income, usually from the age of 60. The pension invests in stocks with funds from working individuals. Yet many Koreas have a problem that NPS is investing in one of the largest cluster bomb production corporations. Indeed, NPS is the largest investor in the firms.
Cluster bombs are inhumane weapons outlawed by 112 countries with the Convention on Cluster Munitions of 2008 (CCM). However, Korea has been neglectful on signing this convention and continues the use, production and export of this deadly cluster bomb.
Handicap International, which counts cluster bomb casualties, says that 98% of cluster bomb victims are civilians, not military targets. One third of the victims are children. Because cluster bombs are scattered numerously around the region when dropped, distinctions between military target and villages are extremely vague. Moreover, they often leave behind unexploded bomb pieces that can cause more damage later.
NPS should reconsider the impact to our nation, and to the whole world, from its investment in cluster bombs. Considering the apparently inhumanity of the weapon, the Korean government should come to its judgement about the serious consequences it may have.