Korean naval base to bring unwanted change

The Jeju Weekly
November, 12, 2009

Gagnon encourages Jeju residents to fight for the preservation of the Island
Bruce K. Gagnon gave a speech in Gangjeong village to oppose the construction of the navel base due to environmental concerns and fear the base will make the “island of peace” a military target in the future.

Despite heavy opposition from Jeju residents the proposed Korean naval base is scheduled to begin construction later this year. Jeju Governor Kim Tae-hwan survived a recall vote over his plan to allow the base in early October. The Jeju Elections Commission resolved the vote was invalid after a turnout of only 11 percent of the 33 percent required showed. In lieu of the negative attention surrounding the contradictory notion of missile defense warships docked at Jeju’s proclaimed “Island of Peace,” people from all over are coming out of the wood work to shout about how destructive the base would be not only to the ideal of a peaceful society, but to the precious environment that will inevitably suffer as well.

The southern part of the island, specifically Gangjeong, the proposed location of the base, bears international significance for multiple reasons. Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and recently, he visited Jeju to determine the severity of the proposed naval base. He says the most noteworthy reason for the base is structured around the fact that Jeju is the crossroad for the Malaka Straight where 80% of China’s oil is transported from the middle east.

“If the United States is able to militarily choke off the straight then the U.S. would be able to hold the keys to China’s economic engine. As the U.S. economy is collapsing the U.S. military strategy has been determined that the way we will control the world is to control the distribution of oil and natural gas…I believe that the base at Jeju is the key for this particular strategy and particularly for choking off the straight and controlling China,” said Gagnon.

Gagnon believes the base to be a “provocative, dangerous base that makes Jeju Island a target. It makes the island of peace, not an island of peace, but an island of power projection for the US empire… Especially a place that sees itself as a tourist destination to have a military base that would clearly be a target for the Chinese.” …