A, F, G: Planned areas for a new airport that the Jeju Island has made public (* It is told that it was around 1997 that those were mentioned as the planned airports). One of them will have a high possibility to have an air force base along with a new airport.
B: Alttre Air field, Moseulpo. The ROK air force has wanted to use it as the base for the South zone search and rescue corps unit. Very close to Daejeong eup, the planned area for a new air field
C. In case the Jeju Marine Corps are established, field artillery and armored forces might enter. In the Hwasoon port, there is a coast guard-only dock and caissons are being made. The caissons are used for the building of the Jeju naval base project in the Gangjeong village.
D. Gangjoeng village where the Jeju naval base project is being enforced.
E. Seogwipo City. Even now, the Marine Corps’ warships are being moored. If the Jeju marine corps unit is established, headquarter might enter, too,
(Source: Lee Jubin and Kim Do-Kyun, Ohmynews, Sept. 3, 2012, translated)
On Oct. 18, the issue raised in the National Assembly inspection on the ROK air force was on the ‘South zone search and rescue corps’ that is being discussed to be installed in the old but currently unused Alttre air field, Moseulpo.
Kim Jae-Yoon, Democratic United Party, a member of the Defense Committee of the National assembly claimed that it is a tactic ultimately to build an air force base. He claimed that the Jeju, Island of peace is at the risk to be degraded as the ‘Island of military base.’
Saying that “when I demanded the air force on the material on the ‘South zone rescue and search corps unit, the air force replied me that it is planning a creation of it for national security and people’s safety,” Kim interpreted that “However, given that rescue and search corps unit is a non-combat corps that is in charge of search and rescue, its words that it creates it for the securing of national security connote that the rescue and search corps unit is, after all, a combat corps.”
He pointed out that “the South Zone Rescue and Search Unit is roundabout tactic to prepare for the bridgehead for an air force base. It is like the Jeju naval base has been faked as the civilian-military complex for tour beauty.”
It is told that Sung Il-Hwan, the Chief of the General Staff of the Air Force replied him that “Currently, there is no plan to build the air force base.’ Regarding the location for the South Zone Search and Rescue Corps, he stated that “Since the location has not clearly been decided, we plan to arrange it connected to the Jeju new air port, if it is built.”
Kim’s claim is not new but has constantly been raised by many observers. According to Ohmynews on Sept. 3, 2012, Roh Hoe-Chan, Progressive United Party, has made a remarkable claim in the National Assembly inspection session in May 2007, that “the Ministry of National Defense and Jeju Island have agreed that the Island provides 300,000 pyeong (about 99 ha) to an air force in case the 2nd new air port is built on the condition that the air force concedes the Island old Alttre air field of about 600,000 pyeong (about 198 ha). It meant the Air Force is ready to use the Alttre Air field as an area for the South zone search and rescue corps unit unless the Jeju provides an alternative area to the Air force. (* For reference the Jeju naval base project is of about 48 ha.)
The Alttre airfield (1.2 km runway), constructed during the Japanese imperialism is currently unused. But it used to be utilized for the Japanese attack to Nanjing, China, 700 km away, during Chinese-Japanese war in 1937 and is currently owned by the Ministry of National Defense. See here.
It is not only an Alttre Air Field. According to Ohmynews, there is a concern that the Hwasooon area and Seogwipo in the both sides of Gangjeong might be utilized as military fortress as well. It is because the navy plans to reorganize the Jeju Defense headquarter to the Jeju Marine corps (brigade level) in 2015. The Ministry of National Defense has issued the Basic Plan of Defense Reform (2012~2030) on Aug. 29, 2012.
Since Roh Moo Hyun, ex-President declared the Jeju, as the peace Island on Jan. 27, 2005, the Alttre Air Filed has been mentioned for the Jeju Peace Park. But there has been only a small progress on it because of the demand mentioned above by the MND.
Realization of the Jeju, as true Peace Island is ongoing supreme task for the people.
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