American nuclear submarine enters Jeju Naval Base

Posted on : 2017-11-24 21:14 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
The USS Mississippi docked at the base despite protests from civic groups
 but in the case of the submarine
but in the case of the submarine

With an American nuclear-powered submarine entering the Jeju Naval Base for the first time since the base was built, civic groups opposed to the naval base protested and called for its immediate withdrawal. At noon on Nov. 23, the Action Committee Opposed to the Naval Base at Gangjeong Village and the Island-Wide Action Committee for Blocking Military Bases on Jeju and for Achieving an Island of Peace held a press conference in front of the Jeju Naval Base.

“Jeju should be an island of world peace that aims to overcome the pain of the Apr. 3 Incident [a massacre that occurred in 1948], not a base for strategic assets of the US military. The US must immediately withdraw the USS Mississippi, a nuclear-powered attack submarine that threatens peace on the Korean Peninsula and in northeast Asia,” the committee said.

The USS Mississippi, which is reportedly one of the newest nuclear-powered submarines built by the US, put in at the Jeju Naval Base at 10 am on Nov. 22 to take on supplies and give its crew some shore leave.

“The USS Mississippi’s visit to the Jeju Naval Base confirms that this is a place where cutting-edge strategic assets in the US military can stop by whenever they please according to American interests. The USS Mississippi is a nuclear-powered American submarine that is heightening military tensions on Jeju, the Island of Peace, and it needs to leave the island immediately,” the groups said.

The National Action Committee for the Jeju Naval Base released a statement of its own that afternoon calling for the withdrawal of the USS Mississippi. “When the government moved forward with the construction of the naval base, it claimed that the base was unconnected with the American military, but the reality is completely different. Since the base was completed, its use as an American facility has been gradually expanding, with destroyers and minesweepers from the US Navy constantly entering the waters around Gangjeong Village,” the committee said in its statement.

“The presence of American strategic assets off the coast of Gangjeong not only does nothing to help relax the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, but it also further heightens the military confrontation and conflict in Northeast Asia. The Jeju government and provincial council need to make every effort to prevent nuclear-powered submarines from putting in at the Jeju Naval Base,” the committee said.

Beginning with the arrival of the USS Stethem, an Aegis destroyer, in March, six foreign naval vessels have put in at the Jeju Naval Base since it was completed in Feb. 2016.

The USS Mississippi nuclear submarine enters the Jeju Naval Base on Nov. 22. A variety of photos were provided when Aegis destroyers entered the base
The USS Mississippi nuclear submarine enters the Jeju Naval Base on Nov. 22. A variety of photos were provided when Aegis destroyers entered the base

By Heo Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent

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