The situation at Gangjeong village, the site of a new naval base on Jeju’s southern coast, is becoming more tense as Seoul sends additional police to counter mounting opposition to its construction.
According to a statement by police, about 300 officers from three detachments in Gyeonggi province were sent to Jeju by ferry from Mokpo on Aug. 14. Some reports say up to 500 police from five mainland detachments may be deployed.
Reports say the police arrived with three water cannon trucks, 10 riot suppression vehicles, and 16 buses. They are residing in Andeok-myeon through at least Aug. 18.
One anti-naval base organization released a statement condemning the move which was “to suppress Gangjeong citizens and civic activists opposed to the naval base.”
To this the police said there are no “concrete plans” regarding the use of the additional officers, and “through meetings with the organizations concerned, we will discuss the deployment,” a police official added.
(Translation by Baek Hee Youn)
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