Catholic Comic Documents Jeju Island Naval Base Build

Jeju Island Comic Book Translated into English

The religious community isn’t always as popular with Korea as it is with god but, there’s no denying that religious groups have always played their part in civil society and democratisation in South Korea.

Earlier this year, a Catholic group created a comic book documenting the continued attempts to build a naval base on Jeju Island, specifically at Gangjeong village, which finds itself at the centre of what has become somewhat of a modern-day South Korean anti-imperialist movement as the below cartoon by “anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism” (more aunties than my aunty Margaret) Brazilian artist Carlos Latuff portrays:

Jeju Island Cartoon by Brazilian Cartoonist Carlos Latuff

The text on the green landmass says "Jeju Island" and the American shark teeth are made up of the Korean word for "Imperialism"

But Brazilian cartoonists aren’t the only ones to protest. Political podcasters Naggomsu, the world’s most popular podcasters, are regular vocal opponents to the military construction, here they are holding up a protest banner in London a few months ago:

Naggomsu podcasters protest the building of the Jeju Island naval base

Many fear that the building of a naval base on Jeju will just serve as another base for the US Navy to exert power across East Asia in the face of a rising China. The below is an English translation of the Catholic comic by Twitter user @gocherryj as originally hosted here that aims to cover some of these issues. Whilst the translated images aren’t as typographically pleasing as their Korean originals, the message is nevertheless the same. Click on the English images to see the original Korean.

From Catholic News:

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

A Korean comic documenting the Jeju Island naval base expansion, translated into English.

Share This Article
Help us maintain a vibrant and dynamic discussion section that is accessible and enjoyable to the majority of our readers. Please review our Comment Policy »
  • Dynamicallysparkling

    Wow, it’s good to see the commies have friends in the Catholics.

    • Dave

      You know its a mortal sin to assist any Communist party in any way, right?

    • Bruce Tutty

      Do either of you have any idea what you are talking about…i thought not.

      • Dave

        What an insightful, well thought out comment. I look forward to more pearls of wisdom!

  • FilthyWaygookan

    Before the sinking of the Cheonan one of my students told me that the U.S. should leave Korea, because they can take care of the themselves.

    After the sinking of the Cheonan, the same little girl told me, it sank because the U.S. wasn’t doing its job of protecting Korea.

    When the “wayward brothers” of the north quit talking about turning Seoul into a river of fire, and actually start firing artillery, the hermit kingdom will be begging the imperialists and the world at large to come to their rescue.

    If imperialists like my grandfather hadn’t fought here in the 50’s there would be no Samsung, no LG and the pretty KPop stars would be singing the praises of the “Dear Leader”.

    • Jeff

      Regardless of your position or non-position on this issue, your comments express a deep contempt for Korea and its people, which is especially sad given that your comments seem to indicate that you live in Korea.

  • Jeff

    The commie comments are truly dull and boring. There are very few if any communists here in Gangjeong and the base struggle is not about that at all. The only people that every mention these things are people who know nothing about what is happening but want an easy and quick way to right off the suffering and destruction of a village and its people. Please inform yourself and stop spreading lazy lies.

    In any case thanks for posting the translated comic! The Catholics are doing amazing work here and throughout Korea.

    • Jeff

      Also I’m bad at spelling. It should be, “the only people that ‘ever’ mention” and “quick way to ‘write’ off”…

    • Layoung

      I agree with you Jeff and I am sure many people are as well. I accept some people are and can be supporting the construction of a naval base but I would like to ask them what are their reasons of supporting it. Many answers I got so far are ‘lazy lies’ so my sympathy is with you and Gangjeong villagers.

    • Alexei

      The Jeju Island base was approved by the National Assembly under the Roh Moo-hyun administration and construction of it has continued under the current Lee Myung Bak government. Two presidents, the two largest political parties in the country (Saenuri and the DUP), and the democratically elected National Assembly, have endorsed it. Whether the base is a good idea, or necessary, is debatable; the fact remains it has been approved by the legislature, and thus reflects the will of the people.
      Those protesting it aren’t “commies”, and for the most part they’re well-meaning people. But it is a bit curious to see American Leftists flying thousands of miles to protest a decision made democratically by the people of South Korea.

      • Jeff

        Thanks for your reasonable comment free of anti-commie baiting.

        The non-Koreans that come to Jeju are not coming merely randomly of their own accord but are asked and encouraged to come by the people who live in Gangjeong, Seogwipo, Jeju, and Korea.

        While obviously, I agree that the presidents and National Assemblies were elected through standard democratic practices, it is a bit of a stretch, and seems sort of disingenuous, to say that because of this, the base reflects the will of the people. Additionally, although the DUP endorsed the original idea of the base, they have now come out strongly against it and particularly its enforced violent and deceptive way of being built. You can call politics on that if you want, but to act like everyone in the government just blank check endorses this is not fair. Furthermore, why did the national assembly (with the ruling conservative Saenuri party in power even) vote to cut the base budget last year?

        Recent surveys show that only 21 percent of the people of Jeju support this base. And most of them support it in the guise of a civilian-military dual use port, which a large amount of evidence is mounting that this is a lie. 94% of the citizens of Gangjeong village, where the base is being built, voted against the base. Their vote was thrown out in favor of a sham vote at a poorly advertised meeting with only 84 people in attendance, most of whom had been bribed, and the voting was done through clapping. The will of the people? Democratic and just decisions do not trample on those that oppose them, particularly if those that oppose them are the ones whose homes and land and lifestyles are being stolen and destroyed.

        You’re right there are many reasons to debate whether this base is a good idea or necessary. But when the starting point and continued mode of action by the Navy and the construction companies has been violence, deception and undemocratic process it becomes much clearer that this is not the will of the people. And when one has been the village of Gangjeong and seen the beautiful Gureombi rock, the idyllic small town, and the warm, passionate, and broken hearts of the people, it becomes much clearer why someone would travel thousands of miles to be there.

  • Andrew

    The Catholic church is making a firm stand for peace. Refreshing to see.

  • Chucky3176

    Yeah right, peace peace, until the Chinese fishing vessels rape the area of all the fish and marine life. Then the same people will wonder where all the Korean navy and why Korean government can’t do anything about it.

    We need a strong navy to protect Korea’s coastlines, that could house big naval ships to protect the southern flanks from encroaching Chinese navy and their violent maurading pirate fishing ships.

    The current naval ports in the mainland are too small to house the big ships, and they’re too far way to help protect Jeju, and the surrounding areas.

    • Jeff

      Illegal Chinese fishing boats? The Korean navy needs Aegis missle defense destroyers, aircraft carriers, and thousands of troops in Jeju to combat Chinese fishing boats?

      Sounds like a stretch. Meanwhile what about the people who live in Gangjeong whose way of life is being destroyed? What about the protected environment and endangered species?

    • Bruce Tutty

      Being prepared is not the same as paranoia

  • Dan

    Because Americans don’t already have enough bases in the world? Is there a square inch of land that America could not bomb without this base?

    Seriously though, these Catholics have got to be careful about being branded a terrorist lest we see some weddings get bombed by a drone.

    • Brett Sanbon

      Is it any American base? I was under the impression that this was a Korean naval base and a port of call for US carriers.

      • Jeff

        A Korean base that the U.S. can use whenever it wants, and which is strategically located for the aims of the U.S. is in effect a U.S. base. Furthermore, the Aegis missile ships that will be docked there, will be a part of the Aegis missile network, which is controlled by the U.S.

  • Chris

    blaming US imperialism… if stalin wasnt such a faggot, there never would be a large US presence in Korea.

    • acorn

      you’d be jobless chris! thank our uncle joe!

  • ddd

    While I can understand not wanting a military base on their island, I never understood the hatred for the U.S military in Korea.

Personals @ chinaSMACK - Meet people, make friends, find lovers? Don't be so serious!»