Busan: Oliver Stone Among Protesters Against U.S. Naval Base in Korea's Jeju Island

Kurt Iswarienko

Visitors to the international festival were given leaflets about anti-militarism protests.

Visitors to the Busan International Film Festival were given leaflets protesting against plans to build a U.S. naval base on Jeju Island, with Oliver Stone prominent among those opposing the construction of the base.

The pamphlet showed the director carrying a rainbow banner saying "Peace" during a demonstration in the Gangjeong village on the tropical island off the south coast of South Korea.

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The Wall Street and Platoon director is opposed to American plans to establish its "Asian Pivot" in the region, which will see 60 percent of American naval assets moved to the Pacific by the end of the decade.

Many in Korea see it as a U.S. effort to dominate the region.

"Ever since the Second World War, the U.S. has been building military alliances and setting up military bases overseas," he told the Hankyoreh newspaper.

"A lot of those bases are in Japan and Korea. Jeju Island is less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. It could end up on the front lines if a military conflict breaks out between the U.S. and China,” he said.

Coincidentally, the U.S. Navy was out in force in Busan over the weekend, as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, along with the guided missile cruiser USS Antietam and guided-missile destroyer USS Preble, were docked in the town, leading to the sight of Shore Patrol officers rubbing shoulders with Korean film executives.

The ships are part of the George Washington Strike Group, which operates from Yokosuka, Japan.