There will be a peace culture festival on Dec. 4, 2010,
hosted by the Pan-Island Committee for prevention of the Jeju military base and for realization of Island of Peace
김경덕, 서귀포 일간 신문, 2010년 11월 30일
Summary: The Gangjeong villagers say security comes from peace rather than from the planned naval base, upon the moment of the Yeonpyeong-do incident/ The Pan-Island Committee would have a peace culture rally on Dec. 4
While there would be probably the most important court judgment in the history of the Jeju Island on Dec. 15, for which the Gangjeong villagers have filed a lawsuit that demands the annulment on the cancellation of the absolute preservation area by the [former] Island government and [former] Island assembly that has passed the bill in snatched way last December in 2009 (at the time, majority of the Island Assembly members were those of the Grand National Party, a conservative wing), there was a current Island governor’s explanation meeting with the Gangjeong villagers on Nov. 29. His purpose was to persuade the villagers who have struggled for more than three years against the naval base plan, with the central and Island governments’ plans on the local development of the planned naval base area.
There had been controversy among the villagers on the issue of whether they would even accept his visit to the village or not. But the villagers decided to have the meeting with him and there seem a little clashes between them and the Island governor Woo Geun-Min when he visited the village.
As in the photos, all the Jeju media showed big concern on the meeting that has gone thorough about 4 hours. Overall, the villagers were not satisfied by his abstract plans and according to a Gangjeong villager, the villagers loudly cheered when some of them said to the governor that,
"You can be a hero only if you reject to set up the naval base and profit-based hospital plan in the Jeju Island." The important mention and villagers' big response in favor of it seemed to have been cut by the desks of the editors in the Jeju media.
The Jeju media has mostly only reported that the villagers complained to the governor that he should rather set up the measure for the villagers’ migration because little villagers would want to remain in their village, Gangjeong, once the naval base comes in. The Island governor has recently announced his decision to drive the naval base plan in the Gangjeong village despite much criticism not only from the villagers and activists but also from the members of the assemblies of Island and Seogwipo City where Gangjeong belong to, because he has little consulted not to mention the villagers but also them.
Among many Jeju media that has reported the event, a reporter, Kim Kyung-Duk, Seogwipo Daily Newspaper reported the event with a remarkable quote from a Gangjeong villager (A Gangjeong activist later told me that many villagers have mentioned the similar remarks at the meeting):
‘The villagers poured out their concern watching the Yeonpyeong Island artlillary exchange incident through media [on Nov. 23]. A villager said, “Looking at the Yeonpyeoong Island incident, I became to know that there would be NO guarantee that the Gangjeong village would not be the 2nd Yeonpyeong Island [if the naval base is built up]. Since it is the matter of life, the villagers became to have fear that Gangjeong would be dangerous, too, even though whatever amount the SK government would give money to the villagers for the compensation of naval base building in the village.”
The villager’s quoted mention is remarkable because it resonates with a mention by a resident of the Yeonpyeong-do where the artillery exchange has occurred on Nov. 23. According to the SPARK statement on Nov. 30:
‘The Yeonpyeong Island residents saying that, “Even though others say that the South Korea should chastise North Korea and spend more on the defense budget, they are saying that because they do not know our situation. What use of strong [military] response for the very Island residents who should go through things? Even only several years before [* that was 2007] there was a plan to build the maritime freedom park in the Yeonpyeong-do to maintain peace in the five Islands of the West Sea (Yellow Sea), but with all those peace plans cancelled, such incident on [Nov. 23] eventually happened,” are demanding the conversion of the ROK government’s hard-line policy against North Korea [to peace policy].
While the Ministry of National Defense is trying to increase its defense budget more than 5. 8% upon the moment of the Yeonpyeong-do incident, the very residents who are victimized or might be victimized are saying peace is rather security.
Otherwise, the Pan-Island Committee for prevention of the Jeju naval base and for the realization of Island of Peace will hold peace culture festival on Dec. 4(above poster)