A Call Against Arms

Al Jazeera, 29 Nov 2011
Filmmaker: Hannah Murphy

The tiny South Korean island of Jeju has been called the ‘Island of Peace’, but could a new naval base endanger that?

In a tiny village on a small island off the coast of South Korea an entire community is taking on the might of the South Korean navy and government to contest the construction of one of the region’s largest naval bases.

The village of Gangjeong on the island of Jeju has fewer than 2,000 inhabitants but it has become the epicentre of growing discontent over one of the world’s biggest arms races.

The South Korean government is adamant that the Gangjeong naval base, which it began constructing in 2007, will strengthen national security. But those opposed to it fear that the $920.5mn defence project will destabilise the region, provoking unwanted military confrontations between neighbouring countries. Many argue that the 480,000 square metre military facility, which will house up to 20 warships, will serve as a strategic site for US naval deployment in the region, thus potentially enflaming relations with China.

Watch the documentary here.