Why Jeju?

Jeju Island is one of the most beautiful places of Korea, known for its stunning volcanic rock, scenic coastlines, mandarin oranges, and Halla Mountain. Yet Jeju also has a long history of pain, including Japanese occupation, being used as an airbase for Japan’s bombing of China, and the killing between Korean groups of “left” and “right” during U.S. military rule from 1945 to 1952. Controversy over the building of a new South Korean naval base in 2016 divided the island and raised regional tensions. But Jeju is also a place of hope, and we will learn that story at the Forum as well. At a time of rising tensions and nationalism, Jeju provides a powerful place to discern the signs of the times and to envision a new future.