Friday, January 25, 2008

following up to my first posting

Dear class,

Here is another article about examining the past in South Korea. This is about the massacre in Jeju in 1948. Here is the article..

Conservatives Downgrade Jeju Uprising in 1948

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

Some conservative civic groups have called for a ``reevaluation'' of the April 3 Jeju Resistance Movement as a communist uprising instead of massacre by the government, and are causing quite a stir among Jeju residents.

The New Right Union, the Korean Veteran Association and 16 other conservative groups agreed to hold campaigns from Jan. 29 calling for the incident that took place in 1948 on Jeju Island to be reevaluated.

The move comes after Lee Myung-bak's presidential transition team decided to abolish the National Committee for the Investigation of the Truth About the Jeju April 3 Incident, established under a special law to look into the event.

The committee members as well as Jeju residents said the team's decision was obnoxious, as some villages saw half of their inhabitants killed. They said the truth has yet to be revealed, and the plan was a step back from verification.

The Jeju Resistance Movement occurred during the post-liberation period when Korea was a single nation. Historians say there were conflicts between the leftist umbrella South Korea Labor Party and pro-U.S. politicians. The two sides clashed throughout 1947 on Jeju when the labor party planned protests against the national referendum to establish a separate Korean government in the southern half of the peninsula.

On April 3, 1948, the leftist party members allegedly attacked police stations to gain power, while the provisional government allegedly arrested everyone on the spot and killed them later.

The alleged death toll is said to have been 25,000-30,000, one-10th of the island's population. The resistance continued until 1954, even after the referendum and the South Korean government was established.

The Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations have acknowledged 2,778 deceased as official victims. Moreover, President Roh made a public apology to Jeju residents on behalf of the authorities in 2006.

However, some conservatives have said the resistance has much to be reviewed. ``Though many civilians died, the essence of the event was communists orchestrating an uprising to dominate Korea,'' a conservative group member said.

The conservatives want civic groups, not the government, to reinvestigate the case.

Survivors, victim's families and committee members are lobbying assemblymen maintaining the necessity of the committee's work. ``The incoming government should be working to accelerate verifying the remaining doubts. Instead, they are trying to go against the truth. We will unite with others and fight for it,'' a spokesman said.

``We are also surprised by the so-called conservative's moves. We will come up with our own plan to combat them soon,'' he added.

Source: Conservatives Downgrade Jeju Uprising in 1948(The Korea Times)
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Date Visited: Fri Jan 25 2008 06:41:03 GMT-0500 (Eastern Standard Time)

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