Historic Volcano In the Crisis of Evolving Luxury Leisure Complex“This is ridiculous. Don’t adults understand the value of this mountain?” It is early morning on June 4 at Songak Mountain in Cheju Island. A group of 138 students from Seoul Science High School are visiting the volcano as part of their annual school science trip. The students are shocked upon learning from their guide that the mountain will be developed into a tourist resort.
Visiting Songak mountain is a 12-year long tradition for Seoul Science High School students. The field trip began with the purpose of giving students a chance to broaden their knowledge of geology and the ecosystem of Songak mountain, which is acknowleged to be a ‘textbook of volcanic activity’. The students are excited at seeing what they’d only heard about in the classroom.
Everything was going well until a geologist, acting as a guide, mentioned that Songak mountain and neighboring areas had recently been slated to be developed into a huge leisure town complex, which will include a luxury hotel with a casino and an amusement park.
Kim Hyo-jin, 16, a student at Seoul Science High School commented angrily on the development plans, “What does it say about our respect for the natural beauty of Cheju if we destroy this beautiful mountain and replace it with a casino and amusement park. Is it that important to have another hotel, casino and amusement park?”.
by Yang Sung-chul