The South Korean Government is constructing a naval base on Jeju Island. Officially named an “Island of Peace” by the late President Roh Moo Hyun, Jeju was the site of a 1948 massacre in which more than 30,000 civilians were estimated to have been slaughtered during a democratic uprising.
Located strategically in the Korea Strait, the island’s potential to become a military target in the event of an armed conflict in this tense region would increase exponentially with the addition of a naval base. The threat this poses to the men, women and children of Jeju Island is unconscionable, and it can be avoided through halting the base construction.
Since plans for the naval base were announced five years ago, 95% of Jeju residents have voted against the base and used every possible democratic means to block its construction. Yet their protests have fallen on mostly deaf ears.
Jeju Island is situated in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and covers a lava plateau with a shield volcano at an elevation of 1,950 meters above sea level. The high biological diversity, unique volcanic topography and the culture of Jeju Island attract many tourists.
The home for this proposed military facility is the pristine fishing village of Gangjeong, which is surrounded by three UNESCO sites. Construction is in the early stages but accelerating daily with the dredging of the island’s seabed and its coral communities currently underway.
Many observers of the region believe that the Jeju Island naval base will serve as a port of call for the U.S. military’s sea-based component of its ballistic missile defense system. This same technology is also a proven anti-satellite weapon.
This is not only an issue of protecting the environment or preventing military expansion. Human rights and free speech are also at stake. Villagers have been arrested during nonviolent protests. Police and construction workers have assaulted elderly members of the community, who represent a large portion of the activists.
Jeju Island is under attack. “Touch not one stone, not one flower,” is its residents’ battle cry. Will you join them?
the no base campaign
Noteworthy Bloggers and Twitters Covering the No Base Campaign
Bruce Gagnon’s Organizing Notes
No Base Stories of Korea
So Is My Justice, Jeju Island Blog
Gangjeong is a Village of Peace Blog
08.07.2011 Row deepens over naval base project in Jeju | Korea Times
08.07.2011 Controversy over Jeju naval base mounts | Korea Herald
08.06.2011 The Arms Race Intrudes on Paradise | New York Times
08.05.2011 Unwanted Missiles for a Korean Island | New York Times
08.04.2011 5-party coalition announces opposition to Jeju base | Hankyoreh
07.27.2011 Endangered peace in Gangjeong Village | Hankyoreh
07.21.2011 Update on Jeju Island via Reaching Critical Will (RCW)
07.20.2011 Naval Base Construction in Jeju-do Not Something to Be Left to Navy Alone
07.19.2011 Rising tension in Gangjeong w/images | via Jeju Weekly
07.18.2011 South Korean Crackdown on Peace Activists w/satellite image
07.17.2011 The 1542nd day against the naval base construction on Jeju Island
07.16.2011 Police crack down on peaceful resistance to Jeju Island naval base
07.15.2011 More activists arrested at Jeju naval base protest site
07.11.2011 Protests Challenge Naval Base Construction on Jeju Island
06.15.2011 Korea women want nature instead of naval base on Jeju Island
06.15.2011 Koreans resume hunger strikes opposing proposed naval base
05.15.2011 Wasting Lives and Money | By Fmr. Senator Fritz Hollings
06.13.2011 Villagers resist base construction on Jeju Island
06.13.2011 Stop the Construction of Naval Base at Gangjeong on Jeju Island
06.07.2011 Protecting Natural Reserve from Naval Base Construction
06.02.2011 Escalating an Asian Arms Race
04.10.2011 Island of Peace? The peace culture of Jeju Island
02.06.2011 Maritime security takes center stage
07.16.2010 Court gives nod to big Navy port on Jeju Island South Korea
06.30.2010 Jeju islanders want love not war
05.03.2010 U.S. complicit in Jeju Island massacre?
04.27.2010 South Korea to Build Naval Base on Jeju Island
02.02.2010 Korean Navy launches first destroyer task flotilla
01.19.2010 Protestors removed from planned base site
01.18.2010 Korean Police Arrest Protesters Against Jeju Island Naval Base
08.28.2009 Beleaguered Jeju governor survives recall vote
07.15.2009 Recall Vote on Jeju Governor Gets Nod
06.30.2009 Vote to Unseat Jeju Governor Planned in Response to Base Plans
04.27.2009 K2 Tank Production Suffers Budget Cut – Jeju Base Remains Funded
10.20.2008 Protesting Aegis in Maine and South Korea
08.03.2007 Military to Buy Land for Naval Base on Jeju Next Year
07.25.2007 Korean ‘peace’ island diocese launches effort to attack ‘evil’ of naval base
07.20.2007 Jeju Residents Clash Over Naval Base Plan
05.23.2007 Priests go on hunger strike to protest naval base plan
05.10.2007 Bishop voices opposition to naval base, stating arms can’t guarantee peace
05.07.2007 Jeju still split as base decision nears
05.01.2007 South Jeju citizens resist navy base construction | Hankyoreh
04.27.2007 Priests, nuns protesting against naval base plan arrested
04.25.2007 Jeju must consider the nation’s needs