[Statement] Stop the Construction of Naval Base at Gangjeong in Jeju Island
- 2011.06.07 (19:44:24)
- 첨부 1
Jeju, the Island of Peace appointed by the government, is experiencing harsh conflicts because the Ministry of Defence and the Navy of South Korea are enforcing the construction of a naval base at Gangjeong in Jeju despite the strong opposition from people and residents. The naval base construction at Gangjeong is being pushed on the name of "national project" in the absence of justification while "national violence" is frequently employed for destroying the community.
Since the Navy announced the naval base construction, Gangjeong community dwellers never agreed with it just like previous communities which were selected as a base. Such opposition against reclaiming seashore for naval base is not surprising at all when it comes to such awesome seashore and surroundings of Gangjeong. The Ministry of Defence's argument is neither realistic nor convincing, which the naval base at Gangjeong makes the Navy advance to in oceans, secure sea routes, and even engage in a conflict with the military forces. It rather brings grave concerns that it would have South Korea be caught in hegemony races between the US and China or even military conflicts in the Northeast Asia.
The Jeju provincial government and the Navy have arbitrarily enforced the naval base construction even exerting illegal, expedient means since they failed to get people's consent. The people's opinions have been neglected and distorted. An Environmental Effects Evaluation never be appropriately carried out, which is legally required. The appointment of Gangjeong to the Absolute Preservation Zone came to be illegally lifted. Construction companies threatened the Gangjeong people with physical violences, and the police hauled the Gangjeong people, not those who used violence, to the police station and the accusations and charges amounted several dozens.
Lately, the five opposition parties jointly formed an investigation team and asked to hold the construction during the investigation. However, the Navy did not be bothered at all but has pushed the construction harder. Accordingly, the police will force eviction of facilities which display pictures of the beautiful scenery of Gangjeong and solidarity messages, and will haul those people soon or later. Meanwhile a film critic Mr. Yang Yoonmo has been going for hunger strike more than 50 days for stopping of the naval base construction, and his life is at stake.
Such situation presents that not just Gangjeong people and Jeju citizens are accountable for blocking of the naval base construction. We, the civil society, consider the naval construction is not such a urgent, fervent project that costs destruction of environment. Rather, the construction would not contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. We also strongly believe that nothing is important than the right to peace, and arguments for national security, which neglect community's security and safety and opinions of citizens, should not be allowed.
We, the civil society, will initiate campaigns for stopping the naval base construction and strengthening solidarity with Gangjeong people. The campaigns are as below;
- Publicizing the iniquities of the construction of Gangjeong naval base for immediate stop of the construction,
- Extending the solidarity with peace, human rights and environment activists and international organizations,
- Taking legal actions raising procedural problems of the construction while supporting Gangjeong people with legal services, who have been oppressed and accused,
- Urging parliamentarians to take active investigations and adopt a policy of the withdrawal of the construction of naval base as a policy of the own party, and
- Gather ideas and alternatives from various people to resolve conflicts on the naval base construction, to present itself as a "Island of Peace".