Korean banner for the 3rd meeting.

Korean banner for the 3rd meeting.

Tomorrow, August 15, 2013, the 3rd meeting of the movement to demilitarize Jeju “Jeju, the Demilitarized Peace Island” will meet. This meeting open to everyone will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Moseulpo, on the southwest cost of Jeju.

Moseulpo is an important place in the history of military and anti-militarist struggles on Jeju. During the Japanese colonization, the residents were forced to large caves out of the coastal cliffs of Mt. Songak to store torpedos to be used for attacks on allied forces in WW2, a part of Japans broader massive military build up of Jeju in anticipation of a stand off that fortunately never happened. Nearby is the abandoned Alddreu Airfield, also set up by the Japanese military for bombing China.

Caves along the cliff face of Mt. Songak.

Caves along the cliff face of Mt. Songak.

Later during 4.3 and Korean War, Moseulpo, like most of Jeju was also the site to several massacres including the Massacre at Seotal Oreum. In 1950, The Moseulpo Police had arbitrarily detained 344 people in the police station, a fishing storage, and a potato storage. 211 of the detained were eventually slaughtered without any legal process and secretly buried. 20 people were killed on July 16 and 193 on August 20. 41 other people went missing.

Later from 1987-1989, the Korean government attempted to build an air-force base on Mt. Songak, but strong local resistance won after a two year struggle and the plans were scrapped. However, the Korean Ministry of National Defense still owns land in the area and recently there was has been rumors that they again plan to build an airfare base there, perhaps on part of the old Alddreu Airfield (part of which has been declared a national heritage site). Meanwhile, the ROK MND has a small radar base in Moseulpo, formerly the U.S. owned Camp McNabb (for 53 years until it was taken over by Korean in 2005.

Moseulpo Radar Base, formerly U.S. Camp McNabb.

Moseulpo Radar Base, formerly U.S. Camp McNabb.

In light of this history of oppression and resistance, Moseulpo is a key location for the movement to demilitarize Jeju.

Peace loving people from across Jeju and Korea will come together to tour the historical sites, hear about the successful struggle against the air-force base and discuss and plan the demilitarization of Jeju. Join us!

Contact gangjeongintl@gmail.com for for details.

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