Rocky seas around Jeju naval base

Posted on : 2012-02-18 11:51 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
New report finds technical issues with capacity and construction
 where they will attend a press conference objecting to the construction of a Navy port
where they will attend a press conference objecting to the construction of a Navy port

By Huh Ho-joon, Senior Staff Writer

Contrary to the promise of the Ministry of National Defense to build a combined civilian and military tourist port that allowed access to 150,000 tonne cruise ships, large ships may be able to pass safely through the port as it currently stands.

According to a report released on Friday by a technical committee formed by the Prime Minister's Office to investigate the docking of cruise ships at the port, the design wind speed for 150,000 ton cruise ships (based on the Queen Mary 2) entering and leaving ports had to be 14 meters per second according to guidelines for marine transport safety inspections, but the navy had applied a wind speed of 7.7 m/sec in its simulations. 

An area of 13,223.8 m2 on cruise ships for exposure to crosswind, too, should have been applied in simulations, but the navy was estimated to have applied 8584.8 m2, an area too small.

The committee also judged that free access to the port would be difficult because the “sea route alignment,” which ensures a safe distance for sea routes, was inadequate. 

The navy and Jeju authorities disagreed on the necessary size for turning area, a key matter when it comes to alteration of the seawall. The navy sought an area of 520m2 while Jeju officials insisted on 690m2, which led to a still-unresolved stalemate. The navy used standards for military vessels, while Jeju officials went by the dictates of trade or coastal ports. 

Nonetheless, the technical investigation committee chose to instruct in its report that simulations be conducted without making significant changes to the port plans, prompting criticism that it was trying to avoid making changes to the Jeju naval base plans.

Groups including the local Gangjeong village association and a national committee to stop the building of the naval base urged a cessation and comprehensive review of construction inasmuch as errors in the plans had been acknowledged. On Thursday, the Democratic Unity Party adopted cessation of military base construction and a total reconsideration of the project as pledges in its manifesto for the coming general election.

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