Supreme Court overturns ruling on Jeju naval base

Posted on : 2012-07-07 12:24 KST Modified on : 2012-07-07 12:24 KST
Residents will continue to protest construction they say is damaging local environment
 the afternoon March 7. (by Staff Photographer Ryu Woo-jong)
the afternoon March 7. (by Staff Photographer Ryu Woo-jong)

By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent

The Supreme Court in the Ministry of National Defense’s favor in a lawsuit opposing the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island. Gangjeong village residents and civic groups are strongly opposing the ruling, saying they will continue to protest.

438 Gangjeong residents, including Kang Dong-gyun, 55, won initial rulings by district and high courts against the Ministry of National Defense, to end construction of the base. On July 5, however, the Supreme Court panel of judges, led by Chief Justice Min Il-young, overturned the ruling against the defendant and ordered a retrial in Seoul High Court.

On the ruling, the panels said, “Originally, the High Court ruled the approval of the construction invalid because the chief of navy operations or the project implementer didn’t submit an environmental impact statement. But the decision was a misunderstanding.”

Gangjeong residents filed a lawsuit on April 2009, arguing that the project was approved without submitting a proper environmental impact statement. While the suit was going on, in March 2010, the Ministry of National Defense approved the new construction plan even though a proper assessment of environmental impact had not been submitted. The residents and anti-construction organizations could scarcely hide their indignation.

“In the first and second trials, the judges nullified the Ministry of National Defense’s January 2009 approval of the construction,” said President Ko Kwon-il, from Committee against Jeju Naval Base Construction. “We are in despair after the Supreme Court reversed the judgment.”

“The Jeju naval base construction was originally intended to be a beautiful port to be used by both civilian and military vessels. The current construction, however, doesn’t satisfy those requested collateral conditions by the National Assembly,” said Hong Ki-ryong, executive chairperson of the Provincial Committee Against Jeju Naval base construction.

"We are going to continue the protest, demanding a parliamentary investigation, and Jeju Governor’s order of suspension of the construction,” Hong added.


Translated by Kim Ji-seung, Hankyoreh English intern


Please direct questions or comments to []


button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Most viewed articles