Graffiti on Jeju Island, via

Veterans Peace Team is too Dangerous for South Korea’s Jeju Island


Frida Berrigan
Waging Nonviolence
March 16, 2012


These guys are no joke. Tarak Kauff was a paratrooper in U.S. Army. Elliott Adams was in the infantry as a paratrooper in Vietnam, Japan, Korea and Alaska. Mike Hastie was an Army medic in Vietnam. Now they are all members of Veterans for Peace, and they just got kicked out of Jeju Island in South Korea.

The issue is no joke either. The United States and South Korea have teamed up to build a huge naval base on the beautiful, pristine island of Jeju — a bio-region so unique that UNESCO has identified nine different geological sites there as “Global Geoparks.” In the midst of this natural wonderland, the two military powerhouses want a deep-water harbor for the nuclear-armed Aegis destroyer and other ships that can menace China and protect Washington and Seoul’s strategic interests in the region.

As Tarak Kauff, one of the Vets, wrote in a reflection en route to Jeju last week:

The base will be part of the ever expanding U.S. military/economic global hegemonic plans to have a potent strike force directly off the coast of China. The U.S. has been an occupying force in South Korea since WWII, consequently imposing it’s political/economic/cultural and military will on the Korean people, this being just one more example of that. To get an idea of how violent and aggressive this is, imagine China or Russia building a naval base complete with missile carrying destroyers, say in Bermuda or Puerto Rico.


To read more about the struggle on Jeju Island, click here.