An international petition in English language which demands to call off the Jeju 2nd airport (air force base) has begun on Dec. 9, 2019. It was followed by Chinese and Japanese language versions on Dec. 15th, also.
In its press release on Dec. 18th, the Jeju Islanders’ Emergency Committee to Stop the Jeju 2nd Airport (hereafter, ‘Island Committee’) stated that total 507 internationals including Prof. Noam Chomsky and feminist Gloria Steinem, as well as other renowned scholars and activists in the world signed on the petition as of 7am, Dec. 18th (Korean time). Many of media in South Korea covered the news of international petition as to draw attention from one of main South Korean portal sites.
Some English articles regarding the international petition also came out. Please check them out, here (this article also explains some backgrounds around the issue)and here. For the Japanese language article of former, see here.
It is not so certain to what degree the international petition in opposition to the Jeju 2nd airport project has helped to change a course for the benefit of people. However, on Dec. 19th, Minister of Environment (MOE) announced its decision to demand supplements on the Jeju 2nd airport project-related Strategic Environment Impact Assessment (SEA) draft again to the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT), which was a great release for the people who oppose the project.
People’s worst imagination before MOE’s decision on Dec. 19th was that MOE might agree or conditionally agree with the MOLIT’s SEA draft, which must be followed by the MOLIT’s public notification on the Basic Plan of the Jeju 2nd airport project, making the project legal to the difficulty of people who oppose to it. In such circumstance, Kim Kyung-bae, a resident in the planned area of 2nd Jeju airport in Seongsan, eastern Jeju, has decided to carry out his 3rd time fast in front of MOE and MOLIT building in Sejong City, main land of Korea from Dec. 11th. (please see his story, here) Otherwise, the need of international petition to halt the project also came out from such urgent situation.
The result of people’s efforts is positive, one can say. Without MOE decision on the MOLIT SEA draft this time, the SEA draft is full of flaws, lies and missing. From its start on the project, the MOLIT has been focusing only to enforce the project for years, thoroughly ignoring many Islanders’ opinions against the project. However, its greed is now blocked by the MOE demand on supplement of SEA draft. There is no deadline defined for the MOLIT to give supplements to the current SEA draft which will be back to the MOE. Once MOLIT gives answer to MOE, the latter should make final decision of either agreement of disagreement with the SEA draft. People greatly want the MOE’s ultimate answer to MOLIT is latter because it would critically thwart the MOLIT’s drive for the Jeju 2nd airport project. It will be ideally good because the 2nd Jeju airport will be very likely to be an air force base. To halt the 2nd airport project means to stop further militarization of Jeju, also.
Therefore, we are so grateful to all the internationals who signed to the petition during this critical time.
The MOE and other government institutes can pretend to ignore the news of international petition. Still, some of the government employees such as one of aids to the MOE Minister Cho clearly said that he saw the news. And he said he would deliver the internationals petition to Minister Cho. We hope Minister Cho and President Moon Jae-in, and other politicians sincerely hear international voice. The issues of Jeju 2nd airport is not only for the Jeju islanders. As the petition reads, it is much related to our effort to save the Earth and human beings from environment destruction, democracy regression, militarization and moreover climate crisis. We so thank internationals who shared concerns.
Our update on the struggle will be continued. And collecting signs for the petition is continued. If you haven’t signed to the petition yet, please take one minute for sign (please choose one language per person). If you have done, please consider to spread petitions so that we can more pressure South Korean politicians to halt the project!
Here are the petitions again for your reference. Please spread it. In each petition, you can see the names of signers who agreed for their signature to be made public.
Stop the Jeju 2nd airport(Air Force Base) Project! (English language petition)
中斷濟州第二機場(空軍基地)建設國際連署書! (Chinese language petition)
済州第2空港(空軍基地)中止のための国際請願 (Japanese language petition)