Jeju Provincial Council announces opposition to naval base

Posted on : 2011-10-05 12:09 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Following 22-day investigation, council cites procedural flaws and exposes misleading military-tourism concept

By Heo Ho-joon, Jeju Correspondent 


The Jeju Provincial Council announced Tuesday that it had concluded from its administrative investigation that the construction of the Jeju Naval Base must be immediately stopped, citing clear and serious procedural faults and errors.

The council initiated a 22-day investigation on Sept. 15 that concluded Tuesday to reach a decision over whether to continue with or oppose construction for the naval base. In its report, the Jeju Provincial Council claimed the construction plan must be entirely reconsidered, since the concept of a combined military and private tourism site was determined to be infeasible, while other serious procedural errors were also discovered. The council said that the South Korean Navy pushed the military-tourism concept in order to win over local residents.

On the issue of two different basic agreements with Jeju, the Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs reached in April 2009, the council argued in the report, “Although it may be legally valid, it is a direct insult to the Jeju residents, since the two different agreements were reached with the intent of deceiving local constituents into believing that the base will incorporate aspects of a tourist site.”  

The Jeju Provincial Council also proved two 150,000-ton-class Cruises cannot dock at the same time, as alleged in the military-tourism concept.

“The fact that nobody has taken responsibility and the construction is still ongoing, despite the discovery of a range of serious problems, is indicative of the serious flaws in the project. The construction must be stopped,” the Jeju Provincial Council said in its report.  

The Jeju Provincial Council plans to accuse Navy Chief of Staff Kim Sung-chan, Chief of the Naval Base Project Lee Eun-gook and the Navy Headquarters for the violation of the administrative order that requires experts are present during the installation of a fence prior to excavation efforts.

On unresolved issues regarding the construction that the provincial council could not conduct an investigation due to its limited statutory powers, the Jeju Provincial Council plans to request a parliamentary investigation.

During the opening address for the provincial assembly session, Assembly Speaker Moon Dae-lim said, “It is the time for the government to respond,” urging it to listen to their pleas and start to openly talk with the Jeju residents on the issue. Moon added that the concept of tourist site needs to be reexamined, since it was only presented to appeal to residents without factoring in feasibility.

(Translated by Kang Jin-kyu, Intern) 

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