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S. Korean Opposition Calls For End To Jeju Naval Base Project
Mar 02, 2012
The leader of South Korea's main
opposition Democratic United Party urged the government Friday
to end the contentious project to build a naval base on the
southern resort island of Jeju.
DUP Chairwoman Han Myeong-sook issued the appeal days after
the government said it will push ahead with the project despite
objections from opposition parties and civic groups. Han said
that the base will negatively impact the island and cause
security tensions in the region.
"The attempt to push ahead with the construction should be
halted, as nobody knows what catastrophe the base will cause,"
Han said, adding that the previous administration's plan was to
build a base for civilian and military use, but the current
administration changed the plan to build a naval base.
The project, which was launched in 2007 during the previous
administration of late President Roh Moo-hyun, has been one of
the most contentious issues in South Korea recently as
opposition parties, environmental groups and other activists
staged strong protests against it.
Construction began last year in Gangjeong Village on the
southern tip of the resort island for a harbor that will
accommodate around 20 naval vessels, and is now about 17
percent complete, with the government planning to complete
construction by 2015.
The government says not only naval vessels, but large
civilian cruise ships can use the port.