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School on Base Site to Be Evicted

Posted May. 04, 2006 08:29,   


The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday said that it will enforce the establishment of barbed-wire entanglements around Daechu-ri and Dodu-ri, Paengseong-eub in Pyeongtaek City, a place to where the U.S. military bases would be relocated, and proceed with the forcible removal of Daechu Elementary School.

At an emergency press conference held at the MND building in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung said, “Deploying forces to support the construction [of U.S. military bases] is inevitable in order to proceed with this historical national project.”

Minister Yoon’s statement of “deploying forces” can be interpreted as saying that it is unavoidable to deploy engineering corps for removal.

Regarding the matter, Yoon noted, “Maintaining law and order, such as forcible removals, should be carried out by law enforcement officers and police, and military powers, including engineering units will only be used to prepare for construction work,” and added that no matter what happens, he won’t allow any conflict with local residents.

At a meeting with reporters after the news conference, Yoon further stated that he was still open to the possibility of dialogue on the movement of residents and compensation matters even while the school was being removed.

Meanwhile, in spite of a three-day hearing on the request by the Pan-Korean National Task Force against Expansion of U.S. Bases in Pyeongtaek to block the forcible removal of Daechu Elementary School, the Seoul Administration Court (SAC) decided to hear the claims by both sides again.

The MND is in a position to enforce the removal regardless of the delayed court judgment.

Min-Hyuk Park Ji-Seong Jeon mhpark@donga.com verso@donga.com