The process of building a naval base on Jeju Island ran into yet more opposition on Monday with the island’s government disputing the results of a Ministry of National Defense-sponsored simulation.
On Monday, the Jeju government submitted a remonstrance to the Prime Minister’s Office saying that the Defense Ministry’s simulations did not reflect the recommendations outlined in the technical verification committee’s report.
The committee was organized on Jan. 26 to verify technical aspects in the naval base’s design. On Feb. 14, the committee recommended that additional simulations be carried out to verify whether 150,000-ton cruise ships could use the planned naval base under conditions where the locations of harbor structures are different from the original design and tug boats with high power output are used.
Although the Defense Ministry did carry out simulations, the Jeju provincial government is of the position that since the simulations began before the committee’s report was completed, the results do not comply fully with the recommendations.
In addition, the Jeju government is calling for the inclusion of experts picked by the central and Jeju governments and the National Assembly in conducting additional simulations and making alterations to the facility’s design.
Hanyang University conducted the simulations on behalf of the Ministry of Defense from December until February. However, the results were not reflected in the verification committee’s final report as the process was incomplete at the time of the report’s completion.
As such, the results of the simulations were submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on Feb. 23. The Defense Ministry-sponsored simulations are reported to have shown that the current design allows for 150,000-ton cruise ships.
While the concerned government bodies continue to dispute the issue, the Prime Minister’s Office is set to announce the plans that reflect the findings and opinions it has gathered so far on Wednesday.
The plan for the naval base, which was first designed as a military facility, were changed in 2008 to that of a port that accommodates both military and civilian needs, and can harbor 150,000-ton cruise ships.
However, with strong resistance from civic groups and local residents amplifying friction, the Prime Minister’s Office organized the verification committee to settle disputes over the design of the facility.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)