Civic groups hold a press conference on Feb. 7 in front of the entrance to Jeju Naval Base to criticize the South Korean and American governments’ discussion of the deployment of the USS Zumwalt, a stealth destroyer. (by Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Repost from here. See the related article, Solidarity Statement from Jeju Island to BIW Protest in June 18, 2016

Protesters worry that Jeju will become a front-line in a military confrontation between the US and China

After it was reported that the US navy has suggested deploying the USS Zumwalt, a stealth destroyer, at the Jeju Naval Base, civic groups in Jeju held a press conference on Feb. 7 in front of the entrance to the base to criticize the South Korean and American governments’ discussion of its deployment.

On the morning of Feb. 7, the Gangjeong Village Council, the Island Residents’ Action Committee for Blocking the Jeju Military Base and Realizing an Island of Peace, and the National Action Council for the Jeju Naval Base held a press conference in front of the entrance to the Jeju Naval Base in Gangjeong Village, Seogwipo, to condemn discussion about the US navy deploying the Zumwalt.

“We have recently learned that US Pacific Commander Harry Harris proposed deploying the USS Zumwalt, a stealth guided missile destroyer, to the Jeju Naval Base. If this destroyer is deployed, it is obvious that Jeju Island would become a front-line American outpost against China,” these groups said.

“We have been concerned that the Jeju Naval Base would be used as an American front-line outpost against China, but the [South Korean] navy has strenuously denied this, stating that the [South Korean] government’s approval would be required before American naval vessels could enter or leave the base. Deploying the USS Zumwalt would begin the transformation of the whole island into a military base,” the groups said.

“If a Zumwalt-class stealth guided missile destroyer is deployed at the Jeju Naval Base in addition to deploying THAAD on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea and China will be forced down the road toward inevitable military conflict. The ultimate result of deploying American combat vessels to Jeju will be further increasing military tensions in Northeast Asia,” the groups said. They urged the US to retract its comments about deploying the USS Zumwalt to Jeju and urged the South Korean government to flatly reject the proposal to deploy the ship to Jeju.

The USS Zumwalt on the Kennebec River in Maine (AP/Yonhap News)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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