‎”Endless labor of Sisyphus to make barricades. . .leading to tears. ..Gangjeong, however, is still young here. . .” Image: Cho Sung-Bong

Around 9 pm, Jan. 3/ A cold night. A young man in his 30s stops a construction truck alone. The police threaten him that they would arrest him under the charge of ‘obstruction on business.’ The young man protests in state asking why the police ignore 70 days’ verification and construction stop period and side with the navy that enforces construction, despite the National Assembly subsidiary opinion. The sign reads, ‘Construction stop for 70 days! Carry the [National Assembly] agreement by the ruling and opposition parties!’


Jan. 4, 2012/ A peace activist with a civil disobedience sign. For more photos, see here.

The navy says it can do enforcing construction ON CREDIT, despite the agreement by the ruling and opposition parties on 70 days’ construction stop and verification.

According to Jang Hana, National Assembly woman, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance  considering 70 days’ construction stop period according to the National Assembly subsidiary condition on Jan. 1, 2013, compiled only 16.2 billion won for the 1st quarter period, regarding the execution on the National Assembly-passed 2013 Jeju naval base budget (about 200 billion won) .  The 16. 2 billion won is applicable only for remaining 20 days of the 90 days , a quarter of a whole fiscal period.  Still the navy is pushing for the construction saying it would get the budget later after ON CREDIT -construction anyway (See the Jeju Sori article). Prof. Shin Yong-In, a legal advisor to the village strongly refuted on it on Jan. 4. Here is a translation of most part of his article.  You can see his Korean writing here


Why the Navy’s enforced construction is Illegal. The civil disobedience campaign is not guilty!!

By Shin Yong-In

By the law, a long term continuing construction needs construction contract every year before construction (item 2 of article 69, enforcement decree on the law on the state contract). Therefore, for the navy to do construction in 2013, the navy should conclude the 2013 construction contract with the construction companies and then start construction.

Related to it, to understand the matter of illegality on the currently enforced construction, broad understanding on the procedures on the execution of budget of annual expenditure is needed above all.

By the common procedure on the execution of budget of annual expenditure, the Office of Budget of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance allocates budget, then the department of the National Treasury allocates funds, and each ministry and office execute allocated and placed budget.

And by the law, the conclusion on construction contract is possible only after the budget allocation (article 20 of the law on the management on the national treasury). While at least contract cost is needed to conclude contract, the provision of contract fund is possible only after allocation of fund. It means the navy can neither conclude construction contract nor carry on construction until the budget is allocated to and received by it. If the navy concludes construction contract without the allocation of budget or fund, it is an ILLEGAL construction.

On Jan. 3, 2013, the government has allocated Jeju naval base budget for the 1st quarter (1st 90days) and the amount is about 16 billion won. Since the 2013 Jeju naval base budget is about 200 billion won, the government should originally allocate 50 billion won, a quarter of the whole amount for the 1st quarter period. The reason that the government allocated only 16 billion won not 50 billion won is because it allocated the budget only for the operation and construction costs after 70 days ( so construction costs for remaining 20 days). In other words, it did never allocate the budget for the 70 days’ construction costs.

Otherwise, nothing on the allocation of fund has been carried on in relation to construction. According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the allocation of fund is told to be done after the government carries on the three items of the National Assembly recommendation and report the result of it to the National Assembly. In other words, the navy should receive allocation of fund after its report to the National Assembly then start on construction even though it is allocated of budget.

The interesting point is there will be no allocation of budget on the currently being enforced construction even after the navy’s report of the result to the National Assembly since there has been no allocation of budget as mentioned in the above. If the [government] expend the construction cost later, it will be an illegal expense. In other words, the construction companies cannot receive construction cost even after the navy report the result to the National Assembly. It becomes a construction for free not a construction on credit.

To summarize again, there was no budget allocation on 70 days and there will be no allocation of funds during the period. Then how can they do construction? Does the navy personnel plan to make it up with their private money?

Otherwise, the position of the Ministry of Strategy and Defense is that contract and construction can not be processed, either. It says contract cannot be done because contract is done annually and [the navy]can not do a year unit contract only with 16 billion won; and the [navy] cannot provide [construction companies] contract cost because allocation of fund related to construction cannot be done before its report to the National Assembly, too. The ministry just explains on the reason that it carried on allocation of budget in part; it is because without allocation of budget in part, all other works excluding the construction on facilities would stop. Therefore the Ministry explains that it allocated budget of only 16 billion won applicable to the operation of the project committee and 20 days’ construction cost(after 70 days), considering the project committee operation and possibility of construction resumption after the navy’s report to the National assembly.

Whatever, even with the position of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the navy’s currently enfporced construction is clearly ILLEGAL.

Therefore I see the civil disobedience activity to stop construction with one’s body is NO GUILTY. For a charge of obstruction of business to be established, the business should be a just business. However, since the construction being enforced without allocation of budget or funds is illegal, it is not a just business. Therefore, the charge of obstruction of business cannot be established.

Also the police’s circling of people  to illegally detain innocent citizens  is applicable to the crime of illegal detention by the criminal law. Therefore I think it is necessary for the Democratic United Party to accuse the police with the charge of illegal detention. If it is done, will it be possible for the police to detain people, continuously cooperating with the navy?

I am closely observing this state of things. By now, the navy has kept at least formal legality even though it has carelessly committed substantial illegality. However, in case of this situation, it is not keeping even a formal legality.

Prof. Shin also says the police does not have the right to arrest people under the charge of obstruction of business. If the police threaten people, people can say to the police that they could be punished under the charge of illegal detention, which can be punished seven years’ imprisonment and 10 years’ qualification stoppage at maximum.  It is according to the article 124 of the criminal law (illegal arrest, illegal detention), he says.


Photo by Jang Hyun-Woo on Jan. 4, 2013/ Illegal Construction is going on. For more photos on maritime construction, see here.


Two former and current National Assembly men (Democratic United Party)visited Gangjeong

Jeong Bong-Ju, a former National Assembly man and a member of Nakkomsou and Kim Gwangjin, a current National Assembly member visited Gangjeong, Both are the members of the Democratic United Party.

Jeong has been in prison for a year for his raising suspicion on the BBK in relation to the President Lee Myung Bak. Jeong is also a member of Nakkomsou who visited the Jeju City in Dec. 2011. With his spicy and humorous criticism on the politics, he has been popular, especially among young generation.

The both expressed their concerns on the navy’s illegal enforcement of construction despite the National Assembly subsidiary condition on 70 days.

Meanwhile in the village, the daily protest and 100 bows still went on despite the police interruption.


In the photo, the National Assembly man Kim Gwang-Jin entered the naval base project committee building complex. For more photos by Jang Hyun-Woo, see here


# The incident of the stock manipulation by the BBK: Kim Kyung-Joon, a Korean American (Christopher Kim) manipulated the stocks through the company, BBK, founded in 1999. Kim claimed that President Lee Myung-Bak is the real owner of the BBK and he, himself, is a victim, too, while President Lee claiming that he was also victimized by Kim, too. The prosecutors indicted Kim while made no guilty decision on the President Lee. (See here)


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