Solidarity with people of Jeju Island, South Korea
A call from SPARK
Pax Christi International’s member organization in South Korea
Seoul moves to destroy Jeju Island coral habitat to make way for an Aegis destroyer base aimed at China.
Jeju Island, a World Heritage Site, is a jewel of biodiversity whose southern coast is home to a soft coral habitat. In 2001, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration designated it a national monument protection area. Its Gangjeong coast is also a seasonal habitat for hundreds of dolphins that live there from June until September. They migrate from Alaska through the North Pacific Ocean to Jeju Island, the only dolphin habitat in South Korea.
And now the Seoul Government is about to destroy the dolphin habitat and the traditional farming and fishing village of Gangjeong to transform an island known for biodiversity, international peace, honeymoons, and school trips into a focal point of rising militarism and an arms race in East Asia. Seoul's target: China, ironically the home of many of the tourists who visit Jeju.
On Christmas Day, there was a peace mass, called, ‘the Christmas mass to save life and peace of the Jeju Island.’ It was led by Bishop Kang Woo-Il, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea and the Bishop of the Catholic Jeju diocese, along with many priests and women religious on Jeju Island. The event was hosted by the Special Committee for the Island of Peace, Catholic Jeju Diocese. About 400~500 followers and Gangjeong villagers gathered and declared their commitment to save Jeju, Island of Peace, from the naval base construction. Bishop Kang Woo-Il, who led the mass, said “Military bases cannot save peace and life” and that he “would be together with the lonely and oppressed Gangjeong villagers.”
The latest report says that the navy is making moves against the people who have been trying to block the construction machinery from beginning work.
(Praying for the cessation of construction of a navy base on Jeju Island at the Christmas mass to save life and peace of Jeju Island held on Gangjeong's rocky coastline, nuns hold signs stating simply "No War.")
• Please contact the Embassy of South Korea in your country and ask them to stop the construction of the Navy base for U.S. warships on Jeju Island.
• Organize a prayer vigil.
• Write a letter of solidarity to Bishop Peter Kan-U-Il, president of the Bishops Conference of South Korea. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For information, you can contact Regina Pyon from Korea: email@example.com
Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) is a member organisation of Pax Christi International
Brussels, February 2011
Fr. Paul Lansu
Pax Christi International
Rue du Vieux Marché aux Grains 21
B-1000 Bruxelles - Belgium
Office Phone: +32 (0)2 502 55 50 - Direct Phone ++32-(0)2 213 49 11- Fax: +32 (0)2 502 46 26
Mobile Phone ++32-(0)475 38 21 70