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On Press to Demilitarize Jeju, UN's Ban Says It's Up to S. Korea People & Gov

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 -- Even before Secretary General Ban Ki-moon left the UN to head to South Korea, where he is now, Inner City Press twice asked asked Ban's Office of the Spokesperson, on August 4 and 15:

"does the Secretary General have any comment or position on the Gangjeong Peace Movement and August 3 Gangjeong Grand March for Life and Peace on Jeju Island?"

  Ban's office gave Inner City Press responses to other questions, but not this one. And so on August 23 at the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: with the Secretary-Generalís trip to South Korea, I had asked this in writing, but I felt now that he is there, I need an answer whether he has any position at all on this struggle there thatís gotten other people from other countries involved, fighting militarization on Jeju Island, where there is a proposal for a major military base, and I just wonder, while he is there, not only because he is South Korean, but just as a because it is a big issue, does he have a position?

Deputy Spokesperson Del Buey: we will have to find out. I donít have that information.

  Of course, Inner City Press had asked the question 19 days before. But it seems asking it in person focused the mind. Because on Friday night past 7 pm this response came in:

Subject: Your question on Jeju Island
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Aug 23, 2013 at 7:42 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Regarding your question on Jeju island in the Republic of Korea, we have the following to say:

It is up to the Government and the people of the Republic of Korea to decide.

  Wow. Watch this site.


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