I knew after I read this Japan Focus article that the protests over the construction of the ROK military’s Cheju naval base was going to be hijacked by the usual suspects on the Korean left and turned into an anti-US hate fest. Why is that? Well look who is one of the leaders of the protest:
For those that don’t know that is Father Moon Jeong-hyun who has played key leadership roles in various anti-US protests over the years. Using religious figures for their protests is a common tactic by the pro-Pyongyang, anti-US left in Korea in order to give their protests a sense of moral cover. Father Moon along with the Catholic Priests’ Association for Justice that he is a member of worked together to protest in 2002 against USFK in the wake of the Armored Vehicle Accident as well as providing moral cover, like the CPAJ is doing now, for the extremely violent protesters who tried to prevent the Camp Humphreys expansion. The CPAJ has also been quite active in trying to abolish the National Security Law as well. It should come as no surprise that elements of the umbrella organization that the CPAJ belonged to during the Camp Humphreys riots were later linked to a North Korean spy scandal. So the motivations of these people are pretty clear.
The Japan Focus article also shows the Korean Teachers & Education Workers’ Union is also involved in the protests. This group routinely indoctrinates students with pro-communist propaganda, spreads anti-government lies, and anti-Americanism in the classrooms of Korean schools. To further emphasize where the true loyalties of this organization lies, the political party they were caught giving money to, the DLP was linked to a North Korean spy scandal. So considering the past activities of this teachers’ union, it is easy to understand why the Lee government is taking the measures they are to prosecute and fire many of its members from Korean schools.
Well the tone of these protests became even clearer today with this article published in the New York Times:
The South Korean Navy has erected a billboard in the village displaying an artist’s conception of a state-of-the-art, “eco-friendly” port, covering about 125 acres and receiving luxury cruise ships as well as military vessels.
“A new attraction for beautiful Jeju!” it proclaims.
Nearby, protesters’ banners accuse the navy of destroying the environment and the villagers’ way of life.
“Don’t bring war here!” one says. (……………)
Basically what you have going on here is the pro-North Korean agitators are trying to drum up an anti-US issue before next year’s South Korean presidential election. This tactic worked in 2002 to elect Roh Moo-hyun in the wake of the Armored Vehicle Accident. I don’t think the anti-US tactic is going to work this time though because I feel the South Korean public has a very different perception of both the US military and North Korea in 2011. We will have to wait and see how this plays out, but I would be surprised if it turns into another anti-US beef riot like we saw in 2008.