Miryang Countermeasure Committee
Struggle Against the
Transmission Tower in Miryang
Current Situation in Miryang (as of 22 July 2013)
June 2012 | Construction enforced amidst heat wave, village protesters
prone to accidents
27-28 July | Bok-yi Um(73) and Yoon-ki Yang(64) fall unconscious on the
site of no.95 construction site due to heatstroke and sent to Miryang Hospital
31 July |Young-sook Song(57) falls unconscious during blockage of
helicopter take-off, sent to Miryang Hospital.
24 September 2012 | Construction suspended.
20-29 May 2013 | Construction resumed. Construction enforced for 10
consecutive days resulting in 30 casualties. Injured villagers sent to hospital.
Villagers express strong will to continue the struggle. Painful struggle led by
the elderly. But it is not a situation that can be solved by simply physically
Maintaining 8 strike points. Everyday is like a battleground.
Voice of the People
“Why does this country makes us grannies
suffer so much?”
“If you don’t build the transmission towers,
I would be happy to continue farming and
live in peace. This old lady is not asking for
much, I just want to live as I have lived all
these years until the day I die.”
544-1 Wiyang-ri, Bubuk-myeon
Voice of the People
“I married and came here at 17. For 80
years I have been living in Wiyang village,
farming, and raising my children.
I want to die because I feel as though I’m
disrespecting my ancestors if I let the
transmission towers be built here.
Is it really a crime that we are trying to
protect our own land?
Your honor, please help us. It is up to you
whether we live or die.”
Miryang Transmission Towers
Construction in detail
1. Damage infringed upon villages as a result of tower construction very
dire. The right to life threatens 1480 families in 23 villages.
2. In contrary to the claims by KEPCO, it is unlikely that the 4 townships will
reach a consensus.
3. Inadequate compensation.
4. Tremendous damage caused by electromagnetic waves. Towers to be
constructed transferring over 18 times the amount of electricity in
comparison to the 154 transmission tower.
5. Human rights violations occurring during the enforcement of the
6. Sexual assault of monk Beopsung / violent assault and sexual
harassment of city councilor Jeong-sun Moon.
7. Nuclear Power Plant Development Promotion Act.
Detailed issues regarding Miryang
Transmission Towers construction
8. Questions in the selection of route.
9. Excessive concentration of nuclear power in the Gori region,
transmission line issue and frequent breakdown at nuclear plant resulting
in aggravation of risk burden on national transmission line system.
10. The problem of unbalanced development between Seoul, metropolitan
areas, and regional areas.
11. The method of implementation of National Project by KEPCO, a public
12.Possibilities of more deaths induced by the tower dispute.
1. Damage inflicted on the villagers:
The Right to Life of 10,000 people across 22 villages
Currently, the ‘Shingori Nuclear Power Plant - Bukkyungnam Substation
transmission route’ plan consists of building 161 765kV high-voltage
transmission towers. In Miryang alone, 69 towers will be built.
Miryang the problem is more eminent, as the towers will be placed along the
villages instead of the mountains, causing tremendous damage to the
villagers as it crosses farm lands, schools and train stations.
Total area affected include 4 townships, 22 villages, and 10,000 people.
Villagers feel more threatened as their land and property are no longer
accepted as a guarantee for bank loans.
2. Claims by KEPCO: 4 townships will reach a
consensus; a few violent villagers are leading the
struggle - [NOT TRUE]
A petition against the False
remarks made by Sang-kyu
Yeo on the 28th of August, and
that the residents disagree with
the current compensation
consultations’ was signed by
1,524 residents in 4 days, and
delivered to the office of the
congressmen Sang-kyu Yeo,
Chang-il Kang and Hae-jin
3. Inadequate compensation
The current compensation measurements are outrageously inadequate.
For example, Sang-woo Lee was offered 60 million won for his farmland
worth 400 million (current market price). In the case of the land directly
below the transmission wires, the compensation offered was only a 1/10
of the market price (8 million for 800 million). Thus, it would result in a
drastic depletion of property values.
Depletion of property value
The banks are already denying the residents applying for loans.
“We reject this application for security
loan as the land is situated along the
path of the 765kV transmission line.”
4. Tremendous damage caused by
The 765kV transmission towers transmit 18 times more electricity to the
previously common 154kV transmission towers. Therefore, the surrounding
areas are subjected to severe exposure to electromagnetic waves. However,
KEPCO claims that there is no agreement on the scientific evidence stating
the damage caused by electromagnetic waves’ – thus arguing that it is
The stance of KEPCO (Korean Electric Power Corporation)
“We will make it below 833mG but… ”
*833mG is the standard short-term exposure set by the WHO
• According to the WHO’s Fact sheet No.322 (June 18, 2007), short-term
exposure to 833mG will irritate muscles and nervous systems, resulting in
alterations in neurons in the central nervous system.
• Hallym University medical research team observed the destruction of
spermatids in rats, exposed to 140mG over 16 weeks.
• 3-4mG: Classified as a substance with possible carcinogenic potency
(Confirmed by WHO, IARC)
• 0.7-1.1mG:The average rate measured in domestic environments.
How can we believe KEPCO’s argument that electromagnetic wave
measured in the 765kV transmission towers are ‘less than hair dryers’, when
they transmit over 18 times the amount of current 154kV towers?
5. Human rights violation occurring during
enforcement of construction
Chi-woo Lee, an elderly man, was trying to protect his land. The security
guards, about the age of his grandson, cursed and insulted him the whole
day as he confronted them on the night of January 16, 2012. He was
devastated by the men who shouted that they will be back tomorrow. He
finally committed suicide.
Throughout the whole winter, the elderly villagers were subjected to insult
and molestation during the confrontations with the guards. The guards
‘treated the elderly like dogs’ as they tried to prevent them from cutting down
5. Human rights violation occurring during
enforcement of construction
6-1. Sexual assault of monk Beopsung
On October 10, 2011, at the construction site of Sanoe-myeon, an employee
of Daedong Electrics, and construction supervisor of KEPCO sexually
assaulted Monk Beopsung. They repeatedly hit her private parts, while
simultaneously verbally abusing her shouting ‘I will rip your xx’.
The employees were fined a mere 600,000 and 300,000 won for their
violence and verbal abuse, because ‘there was no intention of rape’. The
monk had to receive psychiatric treatment. On June 7, as the construction
was about to resume, she passed out and had to be hospitalized when the
Daedong Electrics employee came back to the temple with a hound and a
sickle in his hand.
6-2. Attacking of Miryang city councilor
On August 24, during the blockage of the helicopter take-off, around 10
construction workers attacked, and sexually humiliated one of the Miryang
city councilors, pressing her down, twisting her arm for an hour.
7. Power Supply Development Promotion Act
With the effect of the Power Supply Development Promotion Act, the
business operator, if appointed as a ‘power supply development plan’, is
exempted from the numerous permitted articles stated in the forest law and
the land law. Furthermore, they can expropriate the land without the
approval of the landowners. It is an unjust law that infringes the Capitalist
private property rights.
This act, promoting unjust expropriation and neutralizing local governments,
is a relic of the authoritarian developmental dictatorship era, which should be
amended in the current 19th National Assembly.
8. Questions in the selection of route
① Connections with Lee Sang-jo, ex-mayor of Miryang. Aggravation of
situation leading to suicide
There is consistent testimony from many residents that the current route of
transmission line in Miryang which passes through three villages, including
the village of the late Lee Chi-woo, was selected to avoid the 'San-cheon
Farm' belonging to the nephew of the ex-mayor of Miryang. The farm is
located in a mountainous area and the transmission line in that area would
not have affected the livelihood of so many people.
Construction site no.102
where Chi-woo Lee committed suicide.
The current transmission line in Miryang starts from
the hill in Yonghoei-dong (No. 101), passes through
the rice field of Chi-woo Lee in Heegokri (No. 102),
Cheongryeong temple (No.103), Baksan village (No.
104-106) and Gwaigok Village (No. 107-108). The
route is bowl-shaped and passes through various
farmland and villages.
If the transmission line is built in the mountainous
area in a straight line from Sanyeonri (No. 98), 3
towers do not need to be built and the route does not
pass through any villages. However this route will
pass through the 'Sancheon farm' belonging to the
nephew of the ex-mayor of Miryang Lee Sang-jo.
(Current CEO of the Yeosu Gwangyang Port
Authority, mayor of Miryang during final selection of
transmission line route)
*Part of the Miryang 765kV
There is testimony that the initial
transmission line was in the
direction of the Sancheon farm.
However in the final decision, the
current route was selected. It is
not possible to view related
② Why does the transmission line not cross over the North Gyeong-buk
The transmission line does not cross over the North Gyeong-buk boundary, and
comes down to Miryang passing through villages and inhabited areas instead of the
mountainous area. In 2007 Choi Gyeong-hwan was the representative for Cheong-do
North Gyeong-buk at the National Assembly. Even though Kim Young-gap, the
representative of Miryang, was the head of the Trade, Industry and Energy Committee
at the National Assembly, the final decision was made for the Miryang route. The
conviction of the inhabitants of Miryang that this was a political decision is not
baseless. It is a matter that should be investigated.
9. Excessive concentration of nuclear power in the Gori
region, transmission line issue and frequent breakdown at
nuclear plant resulting in aggravation of risk burden on
national transmission line system.
The termination of plans to built more reactors at the Shingori Nuclear Plant will be a
new aspect of the transmission tower issue.
At present, there are plans to increase the Gori reactor 1 to 4, and Shingori reactor 1
to 6. Not only are there concerns about the high density of nuclear power in one
region, there are also concerns on unstable transmission system. The accident on
August 23 at Uljin reactor 1 was caused by a transmission line breakdown that the
turbine control system automatically picked up and resulted in the halting of the
reactor. Increase density of nuclear power increases the possibilities of such
A breakdown in any one of the 10 nuclear reactors in Shingori and Gori will result in
failure in all the reactors. The nuclear cluster also does not make the management of
the transmission system easy. The transmission system is connected nationwide and
there are concerns of widespread breakdowns.
10. The problem of unbalanced development
between Seoul, metropolitan areas, and
Inhabitants in regional areas are suffering immense infringement of
human rights and property rights. They are being kicked out of their
residence for the electricity used by people in the city.
11. The method of implementation of
National Project by KEPCO, a public
Dispute caused by the one-sided implementation of project by the state
and the forceful appropriation of land, a relic of the authoritative
developmental dictatorship era.
KEPCO forcefully implemented the project with a strong stance that it
cannot give in, resulting in the suicide. Inhabitants of other regions in
transmission line disputes in Gunsan, Gumi, Bonghwa and Cheongdo
are watching the development of events in Miryang.
The Miryang transmission tower issue can be the momentum in
reforming the project implementation methods of KEPCO and changing
transmission line disputes.
12. Possibilities of more deaths
If the present situation persists, there are deep concerns about further
accidents. The Miryang inhabitants have strongly pledged their lives for
the resolution of the matter and Miryang has become a tinderbox.
(Recently activists had to calm down a resident who threatened suicide)
There were no changes even with the suicide death of a 74 year old
inhabitant, and frustration and despair are piling up among the
There is a reason why the people of Miryang have fought with their lives
for 8 years. It is not because they have high combative spirits. It is
because there was too much damage, it is because they have suffered
too much under KEPCO for the last seven years.
| Final Argument of the Villagers |
“A thorough investigation should be carried out, in order to
verify the situation”
1. Suspend construction. Arrange consultation with the villagers.
2. No need for compensation. Re-examine alternatives requested by villagers.
3. Transmit new electricity produced in Shingori Nuclear Power Plant no.3
(completed Sep 2013), no.4 (end of 2014) through existing transmission lines
– by contingency action (replacement of lines, increasing capacity)
4. Cancel plans for expansion of Shingori Nuclear Power Plant no.5 (2018), no.6
5. Underground transmission for Miryang. Technical issues can be solved within
the 6-7 years after contingency action of no.3 and no.4, even if expansion is
6. If the above requests: number 3~5 are impossible, change the transmission
route in Miryang (to boundary areas of Gyeong-nam and Gyeong-buk, where
there is least human damage).