Korean Island of Peace

SOURCE: Koohan Paik (kosherkimchee@yahoo.com)
SUBHEAD: Jeju island was known as the Island of Peace until the US Navy wanted a deep water port there.  

By Bruce Gagnon on 26 February 2012 for Space4Peace - 

Image above: Historicsmall boat fishing porton Jeju island. From (http://www.igoo.com/forums/gallery/showimage.php?i=302&c=&langid=2).
Ten international activists and six Korean activists were arrested today after crawling under the razor wire at the Navy base on Jeju Island. Seven Global Network members were among those arrested including Bruce Gagnon, Mary Beth Sullivan, Dave Webb, Natasha Mayers, Agneta Norberg, Gun-Brit Makitalo, and Dennis Apel.

More than 70 activists used kayaks to get onto the rocky coast where they held a Catholic mass, sang songs, ate food, made speeches, and then moved under the the wire fence to enter the base destruction area.

Five of those arrested were moved to Dongbu police station in Jeju City. Today's candlelight vigil was held in front of Seogwipo police station where the other 11 were being held. The police arrested 20 more people during the vigil at the police station claiming it was an illegal protest. After some hassles by the authorities many of the activists were released from jail by about 11:00 pm.

Image above: Protesters face Korean mainland police at site of future US naval base under construction on Jeju island. From original article.

Jeju & Anti-Base Movement  

By bpeacoc1 on 6 September 2012 for Ohnuna  

  Image above: Rendering of part of U.S. navel base under construction on Jeju island. From (http://bemil.chosun.com/nbrd/gallery/view.html?b_bbs_id=10044&num=146457).
Jeju island is known as The Island of Peace. Jeju’s location off the Southern tip of Korea. Jeju hosts three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island is known for its beauty and also for the residents resistance in the past, notably the Jeju Uprising. Jeju is currently now a Special Self-Governing Province and is the only special autonomous province in South Korea.

Now the island’s peace is seemly threatened by installation of a naval base, or is it? In 2002 the South Korean Navy “first proposed Hwasoon village in western Jeju, followed by Wimi village in 2005. [....] Local antie-base resistance developed in both villages.” So in 2007 Gangjeong was finally chosen. Since the proposal anti-base movements have moved into Gangjeong increasing global awareness of local resistance.

Anti-base movements are steeped in historical, political, environmental, security, and social issues; just to name a few. The anti-base movement in South Korea has typically be against American bases (USFK: United States Forces Korea). But the Jeju case is different simply because it will be a Korean Naval Base.

As always different forces convening in Gangjeong, pro and con, will impose different issues. At this time it would be interesting to look at the issues a situation like this exposes.

This is exactly what Japan Focus, a peer-reviewed online journal, has done. For information on the situation in Jeju and anti-base movements in Korea and Japan.
See also:

Back to the Future: Korean Anti-Base Resistance from Jeju Island to Pyeongtaek

Anti-Base Movements in South Korea: Comparative Perspective on the Asia-Pacific

National and International Protests Challenge Naval Base Construction on Jeju Island

Overcoming American Military Base Pollution in Asia: Japan, Okinawa, Philippines

Understanding Security Relations on the Korean Peninsula

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