Energy and Climate Policy Institute

작성일 : 12-02-17 11:34
Enerzine No 18. Power Line War in Rural Area
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   Enerzine No. 18 Power Line War in Rural Area.pdf (185.9K) [8] DATE : 2012-02-17 11:34:18
1. Issues

Power Line War in Rural Area
(Man, 70, burned himself to death—a protest against the power line tower constructed by the nuclear power plant)

On January 18, 2012, a villager burned himself to death in Milyang where the construction of a power line tower is in progress. The power line is a transmission from ‘Sin Go-ri’ nuclear power plant whose construction has been initiated by the Korea Electric Power Corporation despite the strong disapproval of the local people. The construction project of the power line extends from Sin Go-ri to the northern part of Kyung-nam area and it plans to build 161 power line towers. These towers will have about 40-apartment floor standing 90.5 km high, from Sin Go-ri power plant units 5 and 6 in Ul-San to north substation in Kyung-nam. The power line tower is a monster in this world because it destroys the natural ecosystem and the right prospect just as it likewise threatens the health of residents. With the potential of cancer caused by long-term electromagnetic waves exposure, this is WHO’s advice: “Apply ’precautionary principle’ on electromagnetic waves exposure to protect people’s health.”

The local people have strongly expressed their stand against the construction of this power line project as the Korea Electric Power Corporation has maintained its position. The company claims it can only compensate for the land the line tower occupies even though an extra-high voltage of 765-KV power line tower and lines pass above the farmland that local farmers till. Korea has 21 nuclear units, with more units to come. For these nuclear units, more power line towers will be constructed, anticipated to destroy the ecosystem and threat the rights of the local people to live. Certain fundamental measures are cited to stop this tragedy: (1) leave the nuclear and energy system transition to decentralized, self-standing energy system with a thorough demand-side management policy, (2) and expand renewable energy.
Written by Kang-Jun, Lee (Researcher:

3.11 Fukushima, one year from the tragedy and Korea

We vividly remember the nuclear disaster that occurred in Fukushima on March 11, 2011. Recovery from the deep pain that this nuclear disaster has brought Japan will take time. Certainly, this is not just a problem of Japan, but also of the whole world that witnessed how manmade technology can endanger and threaten humanity. Because of this painful experience, many countries such as Germany officially announced to make this world free from the presence of nuclear power. What then has Korea, the closest country to Japan, realized from this plight of Fukushima?

Twenty-one nuclear units already operate, six units are under construction, and six units are to be constructed in Korea. With this situation, Korea had been affected by the Fukushima disaster. However, Korea governments announced last December two other sites for eight more nuclear units. Moreover, the Korean government has actively attempted to export the nuclear power plant to many countries mainly in Asia, under the good excuse of energy resource diplomacy. Korea does not seem to exist in the same planet with Japan. In these terms, the ‘move for a no-nuclear world’ that scaled up with existing anti-nuclear networks in Korea (environmental, civil, and religious groups) has strongly criticized the Korean government for its backward behavior, compared to the rest of the world. Two important dates are set in March 2012. Other than  remembering the Fukushima disaster a year after it happened, the Nuclear Security Summit will be held in Seoul, Korea on the 26th and 27th of the month. More than 70 NGOs and civil groups will come together and actively work on these days.

The only way that will secure humankind completely from the dangers of nuclear disaster is the eradication of nuclear weapons throughout the earth. With this, we do not need to worry about another Fukushima tragedy and hold unnecessary summits to protect nuclear facilities from the potential terror. Now, we only need one thing: a complete escape from nuclear weapons.

Written by Bo-young, Cho (Researcher:

2. Opinions

The Truth about Korea’s Version of ‘Blood Diamonds’
C&K International, a Korean company, has a joint venture with C&K Mining that won on Dec. 16, 2010 the bid to develop the diamond mine in Yokadouma, located in the southeastern part of the country. The Korean national press and the opposition party cast doubts on several serious complications in process to get development rights. Finally, in Jan. 2012, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) noted that a part of these suspicions is true.

The government statement has stated that the volume of diamonds in the mine was estimated at 420 million carats was a great exaggeration. Now, all attention converged in the investigation of the prosecution with most salient problems unresolved. Then, why do we define this case as Korea’s version of ‘Blood Diamonds’? The reason for this is that the case shows that the truth of energy and resource diplomacy is propelled by the Korean government. First, it is a stock price manipulation, an illegal stock trading, and a back-scratching alliance with different offices and agencies: the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the embassy, a private company, and a research institute. Second, it did not only present itself as mere graft and corruption, but it also presented every contradiction and dishonesty inherent to the government’s overseas resources development projects.

First, the behavior of the Korean government and the company creating a project by force (even though they knew Cameroon did not sign up ‘Kimberley Process’ which established to regulate blood diamond) has to be pointed out. Second, the Korean government’s inclination, which offers favors such as an increase for ODA to obtain development rights, makes us wonder what they really think about the international development cooperation. Under the overseas resource development plan, they undeniably position ODA to support explicitly a strategy to enter Africa. Moreover, it is not easy to avoid critics that they push forward diamond mining not the sixth strategic mineral like petroleum, gas, uranium, copper, steel, nickel, bituminous coal, and zinc as an overseas resource development project. Numerous conflicts on resources have already initiated a war on resources (e.g., ‘Blood in Mobile’) around the world. In this situation, the C&K issue is not just a stock price manipulation or a failure model of public-private partnership for resource development cooperation. It is fundamental ‘resource curse.’ Therefore, unfair capitalistic resource mechanism is a prevalent conflict on minerals (or blood minerals related in resident pillage, illegal weapon deal, civil war, and environmental destruction, among others) with raw materials mined in Africa and imported by industrialized counties.

Written by Jung-pil, Lee (Researcher:

Do Doubt in front of RIO+20

RIO+20 has been on the rise as the biggest environmental negotiation under the “loose” meaning of UNFCCC COP. Undoubtedly, Rio+20 is an important aspect of climate justice if we consider the state with 20 years of ‘Climatic Change Convention’ signed up and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) finished in 2015. Unfortunately, the Rio+20 is hardly possible to accept unlike other international conferences that gave even a slight feeling of hope. A goal of Rio+20 is to “Secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development.” This goal itself is very political and not credible. In the meantime, all national governments’ negotiation groups always reaffirm their pledge in almost every international conference. Yes! Even though many urgent problems emerge, they only confirm their political agreements. Moreover, as we can find though the UNFCCC COP or international aid, political pledge is just their game or only for a show because these pledges do nothing. Climate change has become more serious, as these groups attempt to reduce the poor strata that has widened even more. These groups try to promote sustainable development, but only one percent has been sustained. Now, there is nothing more to expect from a political show like Rio+20.
What we need is a total conversion of strategy in handling international conferences or meetings. Although, major NGOs still need to intervene actively in a conference to reach an agreement. What we have dreamt is way too far from “Another World.” Now is the time to find new alternatives and completely ignore “A Party of Their Own.” It should be pointed out that Green Economy is deception. It must admit that it cannot overcome the current crisis in the present society based on neo-liberalism. We should not accept the invitation of those who hijacked the earth and stole from us our rights as humans. Let us refuse to enter the conference hall. They are no longer our representatives or partners. A parallel event is the only alternative.

Written by Jin-woo, Lee (Researcher:

3. Act on

1. A general election and presidential election will be held this year. In terms of the ECPI, a preparation of energy policy and energy welfare manifesto will be initiated.

2. The Solidarity for Climate Justice Korea made a plan for this year to focus more on trade unions and farmer groups. Moreover, it will prepare in dealing with international events such as the Nuclear Security Summit (Seoul Korea 26–27March 2012) and the Rio+20 (20–22 June 2012).


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