By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju Correspondent

“As the general election draws closer, you get the feeling that the government is trying to make the building of the Jeju naval base into something set in stone before it can be affected by the election result. It‘s really sad and disappointing to see it being pushed so one-sidedly, without paying any attention to people’s voices.”

Peter Kang Woo-il, bishop in Jeju and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, had words of harsh criticism Thursday for the government’s blasting of the Gureombi Rock coast in Seogwipo’s Gangjeong village the day before.

Speaking with the Hankyoreh at the Jeju diocese, the bishop said, “When the National Assembly cut the Jeju naval base construction budget by 96% late last year, it was voicing the legislature‘s view that there were too many problems with the design and other aspects, and that construction should not be carried out until it had been reexamined.

“I can’t understand why the government is refusing to communicate with the people and making these decisions,” the bishop added. “We’re not living under a dictatorship.”

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