Re-blogged from the Organizing Notes, March 4, 2012, ‘From This to This’





Which view do you like? Which vision of the future do you support?

Below Sung-Hee Choi brings us the latest twists from Jeju Island. Things are moving swiftly. You see the internal debate raging in South Korea. Please know that what we each do in our own community to support the villagers on Jeju Island will have some impact.

Sung-Hee Choi writes:

On the matter on the blast of the Gureombi, the Island provincial council would have an emergency general informal gathering at 11am on March 5. Three National Assembly men based on Jeju Island warned the Lee government. The Jeju regional branch of the Democratic Unity Party warned the possibility of the 2nd Yongsan tragedy, as well.

Upon the navy’s plan on the enforcement on the blast of the Gureombi, the Island council members and Jeju-based National Assembly men are all together denouncing the central government.


1. Oh Choong-Jin, chairman of the Jeju Island Council said in his interview with the Headline Jeju that “In the government measure this time, the opinion of the Jeju was harshly cut. The central government declaration on the enforcement of construction (destruction) is very disdaining of the Island people. In our meeting, we would seek for our own measures and would strongly urge the government to stop construction as the Island governor has rights to stop it.”

If the members of Saenuri Party (Former Grand National Party, the ruling party) are passive or express their opposition on such move, confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties are expected. Currently in the Jeju Island Council, the numbers of the ruling party members are smaller.)


2. Kang Chang-Il, Kim Woo-Nam, and Kim Jae-Yoon, three members of the Jeju-based National Assembly (All are members of the Democratic Unity Party) warned the central government in their joint statement, saying that, “If the Gureombi Rock is blasted , bigger disaster will come. The Seogwipo Police Station should not approve the navy’s blast on the Gureombi Rock.”

“The navy has re-applied for the blast of the Gureombi Rock to the Seogwipo Police Station, riding on the Lee government’s drastic measure. It is told that the matter has already been decided in the ‘secret meeting’ by the related offices of the Prime Minister Office, excluded of the Jeju Island. The Lee Myung-Bak government is showing an attitude of through ignorance on communication, full of arrogance and self-righteousness in its drive for the Jeju naval base.’

“How much more pain the Lee government is to inscribe into the Island people, by its enforcing of the construction masking the naval base as a ‘civilian-military combined port of call,’ ignoring the opinion of the National Assembly and villagers? How many people in the Gangjeong village should be arrested, taken away and imprisoned under the charge of obstruction of business for the government to pay attention to the voice of the Island people?”

“The Jeju Island and all the Island people have constantly demanded the central government to stop the enforcement on the naval base project and to form the objective and neutral verification committee on the layout. The police should never approve the navy’s blast of the Gureombi Rock.”


3. The Jeju branch of the Democratic Unity Party demanded the navy and its contracted companies to immediately stop their attempt to blast the Gureombi in their emergent statement on March 3.

The Democratic Unity party members said,

“In case of the blast on the Gureombi rock, the Gangjeong matter could bring an unexpected results and further concern on the possibility of the 2nd Yongsan tragedy has been raised. (The Samsung and Daelim companies who are leading the base construction, both were involved in the 2nd Yongsan tragedy in January, 2009. At the time five men resisting against forceful eviction were killed by the SWAT teams. These corporations were bulldozing entire neighbhorhoods and building high rise building that they would control.)

“The fact that the National Assembly has cut most of this year’s [base construction] budget with the agreement by the ruling and opposition parties is because the National Assembly has publicly acknowledged the problems of the currently driven Jeju naval base business. If the Lee Myung-Bak government is to drive the business despite that, it is a behavior thoroughly ignoring the National Assembly, the representative institute of the People.”

“In the condition when the ‘continuous business,’ is not guaranteed even though the construction including the blast of the Gureombi is enforced, it may remain disgrace of the totally unreliable national business that remains only a serious wound.”

“ The Jeju Island having publicly announced that the justification on the business has been in fact damaged though it is a national policy, has to make all the efforts to stop the blast of the Gureombi as a manager on the public water and its adjacent surface.”

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