News / Asia

S. Korean Navy Says New Base Will Not Host US Military Vessels

Vessels of South Korean Navy Command (file photo)
Vessels of South Korean Navy Command (file photo)

South Korean defense officials say a controversial proposed naval base, off the southern coast on Jeju island, will not allow permanent stationing of U.S. naval vessels.  And, they say the facility, to be completed in 2015, is meant to deter North Korea, not China.  However, they are not commenting on reports another small base will be built in the sea, between the Korean peninsula and Japan, to protect an island also claimed by the Japanese. 

South Korea’s defense establishment is hitting back against what it says are inaccurate reports about a joint civilian-military project being built on a southern resort island.

The Jeju Multipurpose Port Complex is to host a South Korean navy base as well as accommodate cruise liners. It will be home to other civilian activities, such as terminals and a park.

Rear Admiral Koo Ok-hyoe says, although U.S. Navy and other friendly foreign navies are welcome to visit, it will not be a permanent anchorage for any American ships.

The admiral says the facility will be too small for a carrier battle group.

Officials are also rejecting claims of base opponents that it would also host a U.S. missile defense system.

American military officials concur that there are no plans to host its ships or missiles there.

South Korea's deputy chief of naval operations, Admiral Koo, also denies the facility is being built with China’s growing military maritime force in mind.

Admiral Koo says the new facility is intended to help deter and repulse any aggressive acts by North Korea and not to check any other nation.  

He says it must be kept in mind that the two Koreas have never signed a peace treaty since their three-year civil war, in the early 1950’s, and that the countries remain “technically at war.”

Some villagers on Jeju, supported by outside civic groups, are opposed to the base. They contend it would militarize a resort island and damage the environment.

The admiral and defense officials (at a special briefing Wednesday for foreign correspondents) would not comment on reports South Korea also plans to construct another small naval base on Ulleung island, in the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan. Some politicians here say such a base is needed to protect a nearby tiny island which South Korea holds but is claimed by Japan, a former colonial occupier of Korea.


Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid