Posted March. 06, 2012 05:44,
The government of Jeju Island demanded Monday a temporary suspension of the construction of a naval base in the village of Gangjeong in Seogwipo that the central government is pushing through.
In cooperation with the Jeju Special Self-governing Provincial Council and the island`s branches of the ruling Saenuri Party and the main opposition Democratic United Party, the Jeju government said, "We demand a temporary suspension of the base`s construction for a fair and objective verification of the possibility of the entry of a 150,000-ton cruise ship into the harbor." This is the first time that the council and both the ruling and opposition parties requested a suspension.
In a joint news conference, Jeju Gov. Woo Geun-min said, "The central government concluded that the entry of a 150,000-ton cruise ship into the harbor is possible. But Jeju was excluded from the ship pilot simulation process. I will accept the construction if Jeju Island and the Navy execute the simulation and derive a positive outcome."
If the outcome is derived, Jeju said it will accept the construction plan after residents agree to it.
The Defense Ministry and the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry agreed to build a naval base in Jeju allowing the simultaneous entry of two 150,000-ton cruise ships.
An official at the Prime Minister`s Office said, "We already held a national policy adjustment meeting chaired by the prime minister and decided to execute the construction. Experts have already carried out simulations with standardized techniques set in 2010 based on marine transportation safety rules."
The Defense Ministry also reiterated the plan to finish the construction by 2015 as planned. "The Jeju naval base is an important national project linked directly to national security. Unnecessary debates and social conflicts should be stopped for the construction to normalize as soon as possible," a ministry source said.
The Navy requested police Friday last week to permit the demolition of coastal rock fields. An answer will come by Thursday.