Action Alert: Jeju Island Military Base

March 31, 2011

Write the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea: ask him to halt the construction of a naval base on Jeju Island.


In May 2009, the South Korean government approved construction of a naval base on Jeju Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site heralded for its unique environmental beauty. This island was dubbed the “Peace Island” by the Korean government in 1948 and now there are plans to dock twenty ships equipped with advanced missile systems there. The docks and naval base will cause irreversible environmental damage in a beautiful yet sensitive area of our earth.

Jeju Island is the only UNESCO “Triple-Crown” heritage site in the natural science sector. Specifically, the area where the base is designated to be built has the cleanest water on the island and is the site of the finest lava tube system in the world. Naval bases are notorious for their environmental destruction through leaked pollutants and construction projects. Previous naval bases in Pearl Harbor and Okinawa have turned once pristine environments into ecological nightmares. As Pope Benedict said in Caritas In Veritate, “the natural environment is more than raw material to be manipulated at our pleasure; it is a wondrous work of the Creator containing a “grammar” which sets forth ends and criteria for its wise use, not its reckless exploitation”. We cannot stand idly by when there is so much potential destruction.

Construction has already been attempted multiple times to build the base but local villagers continue to protest, doing all they can to halt construction. We must lend our voices to theirs and convey to the South Korean government that the Jeju Island base will destroy an important part of our earth.


A sample letter can be found below.
To write, click this link:

Here is a sample letter:

Dear Ambassador Han Duk-soo,
I write to you as a person of faith concerned about the possible impact of the planned naval base on Jeju Island. I urge you to petition the government of the Republic of Korea to stop the construction of the naval base because of its potentially devastating effects on the environment. My faith teaches that we must protect our earth from ecological harm.
Naval bases are notorious for the environmental damage they cause. Jeju Island is world renowned for its environmental beauty. The construction of the naval base on Jeju Island has unknown environmental impacts that could destroy this ecological paradise. My faith teaches me to protect earth and therefore I urge you to not support a naval base that has the potential to cause so much damage.

The Columban Center for Advocacy & Outreach
Michelle Melcher Knight
Telephone: 301.565.4547