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Second airport in Jeju (air force base), south coast, South Korea


Description:

Jeju, also called "The Island of Peace", is located off the coast of the South Korean peninsula. It is the biggest island of the Jeju autonomous province. The population of the island measures 604,000 [1]. It was argued that Jeju International Airport in Yongdam-dong, Jeju City, which has served the island since 1958, lacks the capacity to handle the rapidly growing numbers of tourists and flights [8]. In November 2015, the development plans for a second airport on Jeju island were released. The villages which will be affected by the project are Onpyeong, Sinsan, Susan 1, Nansan and Goseong. These villages were not consulted and were not asked to give their consent to the new airport being built [1]. The provincial government considered three alternatives; expanding the current airport, built a new airport with two runways, or build a second airport at another location. The third option was chosen, arguing it would cause less environmental and social disruption than the other two, and also it was the most cost-efficient of the three alternatives [16]. Apart from the airport itself, the plans include also an accompanying Air City, constituted by surrounding aviation dependent facilities such as malls, hotels, resorts, theme parks, golf courses and other facilities [1].

The megaproject is expected to be finalized by 2025 [5]. Initially, the airport would have one single runway, but with the possibility of extending it with one more runway within the coming 20-30 years [1]. It is expected to accommodate 25 million visitors per year [16]. The fact that Jeju is located close to the coast in a volcanic landscape gives tourists the opportunity to enjoy black sand beaches and lava caves among other attractions. The new Air City would allow for a bigger inflow of tourists to the island [1].

The Jeju Governor has claimed that a new airport is economically necessary to achieve balanced regional development, but that the safety of the Jeju inhabitants and tourist is of biggest importance [3] [16]. Despite this, the airport project threatens to disrupt farming activities, nature and culture [1]. Around 70% of the land is farm land, threatening local food production [1]. Thus, the airport is constructed to the detriment of local activities and lives, in order to favour tourists and business.

The area proposed for the airport has unique ecological characteristics, such as 18 lava tunnels below ground. Further, the sacred Honinji Pond is located close to the site, which many consider to be the heart and soul of the Jeju island [6]. The area of the five villages is deeply shamanic, exhibiting many features of Jeju Island’s native religion even in its communal Confucian-based rites. There are several historic holy groves that would be destroyed in the construction of the airport. Rituals held at the sanctuaries are integral to the spiritual and social life of residents [14]. 60 families will be moved from the area, but many more will be affected by the noise pollution.

Red and yellow protest flags could be seen in Onpyeong, Sinsan, Susan 1, Nansan and Goseong villages, showing the concerns of the villagers [6]. Due to local uprisings and acts of contestation in 2016, the police is visiting the region daily, with special attention to Onpyeong village, in which 76% of the airport will be located on 46% of the village land [6]. The message hanging from flags here is clear: “Gieonara!”( Get out! in the Jeju language). Governor Won Hee-ryong has vowed to compensate any families displaced by the Project [6]. Villagers demand the numbers and studies leading up to the third option being chosen to be made public.

From 2015 until now, local residents and organizations have protested using many forms of mobilization. In December 2017, villagers from Seongsan were having their heads publicly shaved (a traditional form of desperate protest) by the fountain in front of the South Korea’s presidential office. Their direct call to the president came after a meeting with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) where, they allege, a high-ranking official simply reiterated plans to build the second airport in order to accommodate a projected huge increase in already-high tourist numbers [4].

The government ordered another study, plus a plan to devise the airport's master plan at the same time. A consortium led by Yooshin Engineering was selected to conduct the study and devise the airport's master plan [3]. After the ministry's re-evaluation results came out, the protest grew tougher, with some residents and members of the Green party steering committee staging a hunger strike in front of the provincial government building for an indefinite period of time demanding the immediate stop of the Jeju 2nd airport project, de facto Air Force military base [7, 11]. Some of them had to be admitted to a hospital [13, 11]. In January 2019, the ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport reinitiated the project as they ordered the service to start the general plan of the airport [9]. However the local resistances and protests against the 2nd airport have intensified.

According to the No Naval Base on Jeju! Facebook website [11] On February 14th, The residents of Seonsan dissipated the unilateral presentation on the basic planning of the 2nd Jeju airport by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT). The MOLIT announced the presentation leaving only one day. Residents, especially hundreds of farmers blocked the entrance of the venue with farm tractors. And citizens joined them with pickets ready to stop the representative of MOLIT. Finally, Kwon Yonng-Bok, the director of airport policy, MOLIT could not enter the venue. The Alliance of the People of Jeju was created with the participation of 9 organizations based in Jeju, including Jeju green party, Jeju labor party, women peasants'movement Jeju, federation of farmers'associations Jeju, Minjung Party, and so on. They are against Jeju 2nd Airport and demand governor Won to step down from his position [10]. Indigenous residents of Jeju Island’s southeastern region are employing traditional shamanic culture to protest the airport that is slated to displace the populations of five villages [14].

Updates until February 2019 [11]:

On 8 of February Yoon Kyung-mi (co-chair of the Jeju Green Party steering committee) was taken to the hospital after losing strength and experiencing muscle pain for consecutive days, on the 23rd day of her undefined hunger strike. She wrote on Jan. 29, "We three who are in the midst of an undefined hunger strike demand to the Moon Jae-In government, the Jeju Provincial government, the Jeju Assembly and the three Jeju members of the National Assembly: Listen to the voice of the people of Jeju. Stop ignoring our voice and silencing us in a dictatorial manner. Problem solving will begin when the Jeju 2nd airport plans are stopped, then let's talk again."

Sung-hee on her 24th day and Oum Mun-hee's 33rd day of hunger strike had to go to the hospital to get recovered. Mun-hee Oum, the Gangjeong peace activist who has been fasting 34 days in a tent village set up in front of the Provincial Hall, and many other Jeju Citizens will gather to call on the Jeju Provincial Council to pass legislation to stop the basic plan of the Jeju Second Airport.

On Feb. 25th, around 100 people gathered in front of Jeju Island government hall to carry out 100 life and peace bows. Before and after 100 bows, they held the signs in silence.

Nog Min-kyu wrote: "Each of 100 shining stars

had an urgency in one's heart. The urgency was flowing like a prayer.

The prayer was flowing to head, hand, and knee and feet. As such, the

sky and earth were connected together."[11]

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Second airport in Jeju (air force base), south coast, South Korea
Country:Republic of Korea
State or province:South Korea
Location of conflict:Susan-ri, Sinsan-ri, Nansan-ri, Goseong-ri and Onpyeong-r in Jeju
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Military installations
Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Transport services, military services

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The second airport project includes building a 3,200-meter runway with a budget of 4.87 trillion won ($4.3 billion) to handle over 25 million visitors to the island a year [3, 17].

Project area:495
Level of Investment:4,300,650,000 [3]
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises: Posco Engineering & Construction (POSCO) from Republic of Korea
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation
Ministry of Strategy and Finance
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alliance of the People of Jeju, Jeju green party, Jeju labor party, women peasants'movement Jeju, federation of farmers'associations Jeju, Minjung Party

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Trade unions
Women
Religious groups
Jeju green party
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Villagers were having their heads publicly shaved — a traditional form of desperate protest — by the fountain in front of the South Korea’s presidential office
are employing traditional shamanic culture to protest the airport that is slated to displace the populations of five villages [14]
100 life and peace bows [11]

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:There was a substantial victory for the protesters: The two parties agreed to reevaluate the original feasibility studies done on the proposed area [12,15]. However, the ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport reinitiated the project as they ordered the service to start the general plan of the airport. They re-conducted the feasibility study regarding the site of the construction of the airport [9]. The mobilizations continue.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[2] Roser Bridger (GAAM) 2017. Second Jeju airport resistance intensifies – protest camp and hunger strike (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://antiaero.org/2017/10/23/second-jeju-airport-resistance-intensifies-protest-camp-and-hunger-strike/

[1] Roser Bridger 2016 Jeju Islanders resist airport megaproject. The Ecologist. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://theecologist.org/2016/jun/10/jeju-islanders-resist-airport-megaproject

GAAM. Indigenous Islanders Continue Fight Against 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea–Hunger Strike Passes its 40th Day (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://antiaero.org/tag/jeju/

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] Plane Madness? Second Airport Plan Angers Jeju Islanders. Ben Jackson. 2017. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://www.koreaexpose.com/jeju-airport-plan-angers-locals/

[7] Protest grows over construction of new Jeju airport (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/02/113_263621.html

[9] 제주 2공항 건설 행정절차 6개월만에 재개 (4th of Jan. the ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport reinitiated project as they ordered the service to start the general plan of the airport.) (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/01/04/2019010401482.html

[10] 제주민중연대 출범…"영리병원 철회·제2공항 반대"16th Feb Alliance of the People of Jeju is created with the participation of 9 organizations based in Jeju. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.jemin.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=571149

[12] Substantial Victory for Indigenous Villages Opposing 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea? (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://pagansweare.com/2017/11/14/substantial-victory-for-indigenous-villages-opposing-2nd-airport-on-jeju-island-south-korea/

[3]Jeju reviews second airport plan again (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/07/281_251744.html

Construction of new Jeju airport delayed due to protests (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2019/01/113_262272.html

[6] Villagers fight second airport plan.2016 (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=5060

[8] Jeju, Gimhae airport projects stir renewed controversy (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20190212000491&ACE_SEARCH=1

[14] Indigenous Islanders are Employing Shamanic Symbolism to Resist Jeju Island’s Proposed 2nd Airport. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://pagansweare.com/2015/12/28/indigenous-islanders-are-employing-shamanic-symbolism-to-resist-jeju-islands-proposed-2nd-airport/

[15] 부실의혹 검증 전격 합의...제주 제2공항 갈등 해결 전기 (accessed on 20.02.2019)
http://www.jejusori.net/?mod=news&act=articleView&idxno=197041

[16] New Airport to Bring Growth to Jeju Island (accessed on 21.02.2019)
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2015/11/203_191914.html

[17] Central for aviation
https://centreforaviation.com/data/profiles/newairports/new-jeju-airport

[13] Indigenous Islanders Continue Fight Against 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea–Hunger Strike Passes its 40th Day (accessed on 20.02.2019)
https://pagansweare.com/2017/11/20/indigenous-islanders-continue-fight-against-2nd-airport-on-jeju-island-south-korea-hunger-strike-passes-its-40th-day/

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[11] Activist facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/groups/nonavalbase/permalink/10157078678514815/

[5] Save Jeju now website
http://savejejunow.org

A video by Lee Ki-cheol. On Feb. 25th, around 100 people gathered in front of Jeju Island government hall to carry out 100 life and peace bows
https://www.facebook.com/100009925961508/videos/852138905126967/?fref=gs&dti=214237379814&hc_location=group

제주 제2공항 반대대책위 공식출범 ‘총력투쟁’ 예고 (Jeju 2nd Airport Anti-Air Police Officially Launched)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLI6PUR8Txk&list=PL5uAMxBG-Blwa_M0Avel_X_99jyc5NlC7&index=7

Other documents

Sign reads ‘You’re trashing our hometown and we’ll have nowhere to go’. Photo: Pagansweare.com
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/youre-trashing-out-hometown.jpg

Campaign against 2nd airport press conference outside Jeju Provincial Office launching the protest camp on 10th October 2017 Photo: 연합뉴스

https://antiaero.org/2017/10/23/second-jeju-airport-resistance-intensifies-protest-camp-and-hunger-strike/
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Jeju_Airport.jpg

Source:http://www.jemin.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=571149 Protests February 2019. It can be read "Bypassing Procedure & Local communities! Stop Jeju 2nd Airport"
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/571149_181685_2620.jpg

Source: https://pagansweare.com/2015/12/28/indigenous-islanders-are-employing-shamanic-symbolism-to-resist-jeju-islands-proposed-2nd-airport/ Residents dressed as Jeju’s three founding father figures, Go, Yang and Boo, the mythical original residents of Jeju Island.
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/img_2997.jpg

Photos by Song Dong-hyo Feb. 25th, 100 people's 100 bows to stop the 2nd Jeju airport (air force base) project in front of the Jeju island government hall
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/52720937_2153438118058510_365315478517710848_o.jpg

Source: https://www.koreaexpose.com/jeju-airport-plan-angers-locals/ Villagers from Seongsan having their heads shaved publicly, which is a traditional form of protest
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/Screen_Shot_2018-06-08_at_10.37.07.png

Meta information

Contributor:Emmy Iwarson, Rose Stay Grounded, Hyerim Yoon, SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update27/02/2019

Images

 

Campaign against 2nd airport press conference outside Jeju Provincial Office launching the protest camp on 10th October 2017

Photo: 연합뉴스 https://antiaero.org/2017/10/23/second-jeju-airport-resistance-intensifies-protest-camp-and-hunger-strike/

Source:http://www.jemin.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=571149

Protests February 2019. It can be read "Bypassing Procedure & Local communities! Stop Jeju 2nd Airport"

Photos by Song Dong-hyo

Feb. 25th, 100 people's 100 bows to stop the 2nd Jeju airport (air force base) project in front of the Jeju island government hall

Sign reads ‘You’re trashing our hometown and we’ll have nowhere to go’.

Photo: Pagansweare.com

Source: https://pagansweare.com/2015/12/28/indigenous-islanders-are-employing-shamanic-symbolism-to-resist-jeju-islands-proposed-2nd-airport/

Residents dressed as Jeju’s three founding father figures, Go, Yang and Boo, the mythical original residents of Jeju Island.