Sung-Hee Choi's translation/summary of news from Sisa Jeju, News Jeju, and the Life and Peace Fellowship website:
The Pan-Island Committee for Prevention of Military Bases and for the Realization of Peace Island and the Life and Peace Fellowship are rallying for peace and against the construction of a new naval base on Jeju Island, known as "Peace Island." The two peace groups are getting ready for peace pilgrimage and peace culture festival.We are with them in solidarity in our hearts.
Concerned about tensions in the inter-Korean relationship after the Cheonan sinking and Yonpyeong-do Island incident, on Feb. 25, the Life and Peace Fellowship stated its sponsorship of a peace pilgrimage of 100 persons for 100 days. Their pilgrimage is a walking prayer for life, peace, and community across the Korean peninsula.
The 100-day peace pilgrimage began on March 1 at the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park (which memorializes the lives of tens of thousands of indigenous inhabitants killed on Jeju Island on April 3, 1947, during the South Korean government's violent repression of demonstrations calling for humane living conditions. The pilgrimage will leave Jeju Island on March 7, and will end in the Demilitarized Zone after walking throughout the country.
Dobub, a Buddhist monk who was born on Jeju Island, led the pilgrimage benediction on March 1. He engaged in dialogue with Fr. Kang Woo-Il, Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, & the bishop of the Catholic Jeju district, during the designation of Jeju as a "Peace Island" in 2007.
After the ceremony, the Life and Peace Fellowship visited Gangjeong village, to meet with the villagers and to spend the first night of the pilgrimage in the Gangjeong village. Today, from Gangjeong port, they are walking westward.
Reverend Jeon of the Life & Peace Fellowship said, “Our organization opposes those things related to war. We oppose the naval base plan (in Jeju Island) with the thought that the peace in the Korean peninsula and North East Asia will be threatened if it is built on Jeju Island." He added: “We are walking with our praying hearts.”
More on Jeju Island:
• "Another Peace Pilgrimage" by Bruce Gagnon, Organizing Notes (March 2, 2011)
• "A Place of Peace & Life" by Michael Lujan Bevacqua, No Rest for the Awake (Feb. 14, 2011)
• "Seoul Moves to destroy Jeju Island dolphin habitat to make way for Aegis destroyer base aimed at China", TTT (Dec. 28, 2010)
• "Villagers protest construction of nuclear naval base at Jeju Island--a biodiverse World Heritage Site & Korea's "Island of Peace", TTT (Jan. 19, 2011)
• SPARK and Pax Christi Int: Call for Solidarity and Action for Gangjeong Village & Sea, Jeju Island, South Korea
• 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 in Korea: email@example.com
Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) is a member organisation of Pax Christi International