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Church council rallies to peace cause

Reinforcements plan to help Catholics in fight against naval base

The National Council of Churches in Korea including Reverend Kim Young-ju is protesting against the construction of a naval base in Jeju island, Korea. (photo courtesy of the National Council of Churc The National Council of Churches in Korea including Reverend Kim Young-ju is protesting against the construction of a naval base in Jeju island, Korea. (photo courtesy of the National Council of Churc
  • ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
  • Korea
  • May 27, 2011
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The National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK) says it will join a Catholic diocese' peace initiative to oppose a naval base on an island 450km south of Seoul.

Reverend Kim Young-ju, the NCCK secretary general, visited Bishop Peter Kang U-il at the Cheju diocesan office on May 25 and said they will join in the diocese's opposition to the planned naval base near Gangjeong village.

Reverent Kim said that the NCCK respects the Catholic Church whichhas been engaged in a lonely fight against the military base. He thanked Bishop Kang for having been "the prop" of the peace campaign.

He said the base would change Jeju (Cheju) island's culture from a peaceful to military one.

The president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea (CBCK) continued to say that Gangjeong village is the most beautiful place in Jeju island and is UNESCO-designated in a conservation area.

The NCCK plans to organize public hearings and prayer meetings to publicize the need of opposing the base plan and will stage a street rally in downtown Seoul.

Meanwhile, Father John Ko Byeong-soo, said the construction of a naval base goes against Church's teachings.

The planned 400,000-square-meter base would be home to a new fleet of destroyers equipped with Aegis guided-missile systems. They would patrol the East China Sea between China and Japan.

In 2005 the Korean government designated Jeju an “Island of Peace” to boost tourism and heal wounds from the April 3 Incident in 1948, when police and military massacred about 30,000 civilians after communists on the island started a riot.

Related report
Island Diocese Sets Up Committee For Peace To Veto Military Base

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