- JDC was created to establish Jeju as a Free International City. Could you explain the purpose of its establishment in more detail? Could you explain the purpose of its establishment in more detail?
Sure. JDC was established in 2002.
Before this in the late 1990s, during the Kim Dae-jung administration,
South Korea had experienced the wide-reaching financial crisis.
In Jeju, the primary industry issue was highly significant
due to the state-led open agricultural policies.
It was a time when we had a lot of concerns about how to make a living.
Under these circumstances, the national government established the FIC strategy
to create national wealth and improve the quality of life of Jeju locals
by turning the island into the hub of the Northeast Asian economic community.
After the related special act was passed,
there was a need for a dedicated agency to push ahead with scheme.
The plan was not to be handled by the local government alone,
but to be pushed forward by the central government with a dedicated agency.
That way, JDC was founded and
the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport was designated as the
At the time, attracting foreign capital and investment were the missions of the times.
I would like to emphasize that JDC has been faithful to its roles for the past 18 years.
It is true that JDC developed many complexes for the purposes of certain projects.
There have been issues in the process of buying and acquiring land.
But I’d like to say that JDC has made incessant efforts to make Jeju an international city.
- Previously, you mentioned a “Jeju-type Free International City.” Could you tell us about what you think is a Jeju-type FIC?
When the FIC initiative was first promoted,
the idea was to benchmark Hong Kong and Singapore
through the so-called Honggapore Model.
But Jeju has a different historical backgrounds and different steering system.
Over the course of 18 years,
many have constantly raised issues about whether it is necessary
to emulate Hong Kong and Singapore.
The argument was that Jeju is supposed to take the path
where its value is known to the world
so that it becomes competitive international city.
The answer to the question of what value lies in Jeju was easy to find.
It would be the outstanding environmental
and ecological value that is well-recognized globally.
Secondly, in the perspective of humanities and sociology,
sunureum [exchange of labor] is a valuable cultural tradition.
But we do have a historically valuable asset related to 4·3 as well.
The value of 4·3, the spirit of 4·3, is often related
to the value of peace, human rights, and justice.
I think the Jeju-type FIC allows for global competitiveness
through projects that reflect Jeju’s unique ecological values
and values related to human rights.
JDC should pursue prosperity while cherishing
the values of the ecology, environment, peace, and human rights.
We cannot just discuss the ecology, environment, peace, and human rights
without seeking prosperity.
When it comes to prosperity, JDC could act as a platform
for the so-called 4th industry tailored to local conditions.
Therefore, JDC has worked hard to foster the Jeju-type 4th industry
involving the energy, future transportation, and environment sectors.
To conclude, the Jeju-type FIC is which advances
the values of ecology and environment and of peace and human rights,
while creating jobs for youth and future generations
through various Jeju-type 4th industrial projects
that reflect the said values.
Currently, Jeju’s industrial structure evolves around the primary and the tertiary industries.
It is somewhat unstable and highly affected by external factors.
To create a more stable foundation for business,
JDC is pushing ahead with projects related to energy,
future transportation, and environment
and working to create a new image of Jeju-type FCI.
- As you mentioned, Jeju has the image of an island of peace. What would be the value of Jeju as an island of peace and the orientation that Jeju should look to in the future?
In 2003, the Jeju 4·3 Incident Investigation Report was released.
It was written in October and released on Oct. 15.
Based on the report, President Roh Moo-hyun
made an official apology for the 4·3 victims and their families.
He politely apologized for the deaths of Jeju residents caused due to state violence.
In the process of designing peace-related projects at the national level
on how to create a path toward reconciliation and mutual existence,
Jeju Island was designated as an “island of world peace.”
It was followed by 16 or 17 projects,
none of which has marked a significant performance yet.
Nevertheless, as shown in the local request
for the revision of the 4·3 Special Act,
the truth has been investigated through the Special Act
and demands have been made for indemnification and compensation.
In the meantime, the atmosphere
of reconciliation and mutual coexistence has been settling down.
Historically, the East Asian region has been
a site of numerous massacres caused due to
imperialist strategies or state violence.
Of the many historical sites, no place has resolved
the past painful event better than Jeju as it has resolved 4·3.
Jeju used to be the site of one of the most brutal massacres,
but it established a model of overcoming the past hardships,
which is enough to create a “temple of peace.”
Because Jeju deserves to be the center of discussions
on peace-related organizations or peace-related norms in East Asia.
Jeju residents who have overcome 4·3 deserve such a qualification.
If you get to know 4·3, you’ll get to know Jeju, an island of world peace.
I believe that Jeju locals need to uplift this value of Jeju Island
and the national government should provide more support.
The JDC executives and employees even discussed
that human rights tribunals exist in Europe, Americas,
and in Africa, but not in East Asia.
A human rights tribunal represents the significance of peace and human rights.
It would be possible to convene state leaders in such a tribunal on Jeju Island.
If it’s difficult, at least private sectors could gather on Jeju
to make a declaration for human rights, form the Jeju Human Rights Commission.
All these steps could eventually enable
the establishment of the East Asian Human Rights Tribunal on Jeju.
Then, Jeju will function as an island of peace, true to its designation.
We have the painful history
where my parents’ and grandparents’ generations
had to face death against their will.
By locating an international peace organization
or establishing peace-related norms,
I hope to create a peaceful land for my younger generations
that global citizens can visit freely.
In that sense, JDC has been cooperating
with the Jeju 4·3 Peace Foundation and the Jeju Peace Institute
to develop various projects.
- With regard to that, I’d like to ask you the last question. What will be the orientation of JDC’s changes in the future?
First of all, JDC will still consider its ongoing projects very important.
Throughout the projects, we’ve seen progress in developing them.
But there are some things that remain to be sorted out.
We need to solve all the pending issues and make it a soft landing
to create a fallout effect.
The Jeju Science Park has to be expanded to the second complex.
We also need to complete the Global Education City.
Concerning the issues of the Yerae Recreation Complex and Jeju Healthcare Town,
we need to well manage and complete the projects
and create a synergy effect, a fallout effect,
so that community residents can gain profits
through these two complexes.
Secondly, as future-oriented projects,
we will promote projects related to the environment and ecology,
or the environmental infrastructure projects.
Additionally, we plan to launch projects on human rights.
This allows for many strategies to globalize 4·3,
such as making a film about 4·3
or translate various books into English
and other different languages to globally publicize 4·3.
JDC will work on the projects on the ecology, environment, peace, and human rights
and serve as a platform for the 4th industrial revolution
to diversify and stabilize the industrial structure of Jeju.
By doing so, we hope Jeju residents will be proud of JDC.
To achieve that goal,
all of the JDC executives and employees will make concerted efforts.