Forced Eviction in Central Seoul

What is affected
Housing private
Land Social/public
Land Private
Type of violation Forced eviction
Privatization of public goods and services
Date 01 January 2008
Region A [ Asia ]
Country Korea South
Location Yongsan or Youngsan-Gu, Seoul

Affected persons

Total 890
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Details SKorea_Yongsan09.doc
Forced eviction
Privatization of public goods and services
Land Losses
Housing Losses

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Samsung, Posco, Daelim
Brief narrative Excerpt from "The Deadly Face of Development: Struggle Against Forced Evictions in Korea" 3 February 2009 found at

`Yong-san4ga is a neighborhood located in central Seoul, nestled between the Han river to the south and a US army base to the north. Real estate anywhere around central Seoul is very high, and the land speculation caused by the anticipated US base relocation has made the area especially attractive to investors.

Samsung, Posco, and Daelim, three of Korea`s powerful "chaebols", or international conglomerates, received the development rights to "Yongsan Newtown". They will make an expected 4 billion US dollars in profits from the redevelopment and sale of the land, while the compensation given to most shop owners wasn`t enough to relocate their business an start anew.

"Those who come to the District Office demanding the ridiculous won`t be treated as democratic citizens, please have some restraint." (banner hung by the Yongsan District Chairman criticizing the residents protesting their eviction)

For over a year, tenants living in the re-development area requested the Yongsan District Office to provide the temporary housing and appropriate protection, but were denied opportunities for discussion or negotiation. During this process, private security personnel hired by the redevelopment cooperative threatened residents, vandalizing stores and homes, even sexually harassing them.

One business owner lost his customers after rotten fish was repeatedly placed near his restaurant. However, the police took no action against the construction thugs. Out of the original 890 tenants, 763 abandoned their homes or businesses due to the thugs` violence and pressure from the Redevelopment Cooperative.`
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