Cherry flowers blossom…Spring in Gangjeong

Collection of photos by Cho Sung-Bong on the struggles in Gangjeong
  • An old warrior, Mr. Kwon Sool-Yong

  • Peace bows are refreshed every time.

  • " You cannot love holding weapons."

  • The Jeju Police suppressing Jeju people..

  • The endless struggle of Sisyphus...

  • "Here is the Gangjeong village that we have to save together to the end."

  • "Civil disobedience." Yoon Sang-Hyo, a village elder sitting in front of sit-in tents.

  • "You cannot love holding weapons."

  • The main gate became a battle field again on March 21, the World Water Day.

  • "The Sea of Peace with dancing lives."

  • A woman nicknamed 'Joan of Arc.'

  • A female company worker whose job is 'security'

  • Young policemen under the Jeju-native cherry trees

  • Police march under the cherry tress in the night.

  • A sign on 'civil disobedience.'

  • A sign' for Dungree who hit his 4th day prison struggle as of March 28. He chose prison labor instead paying fines.

  • Dungree on March 7, 2012, the start day of the blast on 10% of the Gureombi Rock for two months

  • Dungree cried on the day for exhaustion...

  • People's sit-in tent threatened for demolition... under the cherry trees..

  • A red moon.. 65th anniversary of Jeju 4•3 uprising is approaching..


Translations of excerpts from Dir. Cho Sung-Bong’s photo essays here and here.


Where do you find flag? Flag is not for holding. It is for burying in reality again and again.”

(Kwon Sool-Yong, ‘an old warrior’)


‘I remember when I jumped  from the port into the sea  only with a vest. While struggling in the freezing sea in March, I was repeatedly picked up by the coast guards. Then I was carried in truck for shower while shivering. Then I dug up and wore cloths that were given as supports to us but disorderly filed up. Days that I used to run into the spots by the village sirens and to return back from those  continued. I confronted with the police, setting up plans, while the village elders crying and I was not grasping the whole matters. Still I did those since the whole situation was so unacceptable.’

(Mooming, a young female peace activist in her 20s, reminding the Gureombi-blast period in 2012)


“It was Oct. 25, last year. On the day, the 24 hour entry/ exit of construction trucks started. 500 police personnel began to stay here for 24 hours. Feeling hard and being bruised all in my body had been natural for me when we were circled by the police several times a day but now I heard that the police would be mobilized every 30 minutes. For me, it had been routine that I finish a day in the night with chatting with people in the meeting room of the Mayor’s office building but now even such thing’s gone. I had to adapt all myself including washing and sleeping between those ‘police circling’ and ‘police circling.’ [..] While the police was rotating three times a day, we were so a few. Even though I wanted to sleep, my eyes just opened up. Even though I wanted to have breaks, I felt I should not leave the field. [..]”

(Sanho, a young female peace activist in her 20s, reminding the starting period of 24 hour construction in 2012)


“There were times when I thought ‘I would leave,’ because I felt so hard. [..] But at every such time, I happened to hear ‘thank you,’ from somebody. [..] When I was quietly crying behind a communal restaurant, a villager who used to say only ‘hello’ to me came to and told me that “Thank you for your efforts. I thank you for your coming.” And I saw a sunset glow that I so love behind him.”



Dir. Cho Sung-Bong excerpted those from the writing of interview with the both young activists. See here.




By Shin Dong-Yup (* 1930 to 1969)


The spring

Does come

Neither from the South Sea nor from the north

The magnanimous

And shining

Motion of spring,

The unification

From the Jeju to Tuman River

Sprouts on the beautiful rice paddies and fields

That we step on

With our power

Even though

The winter

Has brought sharp winds

From the beyond of seas and continents

The magnanimous spring

That would come now

Will sprout.


In every village of the 3,000 ri*

It would melt

The iron scraps of hatred that cover river and mountain

To jelly as if melting snow



*3,000 ri a metaphor of the Korean peninsula whose length is 3,000 ri, which is about 7,320 mile


‘It was the day when people made barricade with vehicles on the bridge of the Gangjeong stream to block the blast of the Gureombi Rock on March 7, 2012.

Dungree who fought in the front..

He, laying himself on the ground, cried for exhaustion.

His camera was always beside him.


A red moon rose up on the Tiger Island seen from the Gangjeong stream.

Here is the Gangjeong village, the village that we have to save together to the end.

It is our village…’


(Cho Sung-Bong)