Editor's Introduction

“Seventy Years of the Struggle to Remember the Jeju 4.3 Events”

Kim, Sung-Min

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.7-12

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Feature Articles

Toward Justice in History: Achievements and Challenges on the Seventieth Anniversary of Jeju 4.3

Chansik Park

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.15-37

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This year, as Jeju 4.3 met its seventieth anniversary, a wide array of events and activities are designed to inform the general public of Jeju 4.3 on a national scale, finally transforming Jeju 4.3 into a historical narrative that must be remembered by all Korean people. Furthermore, empathy for amendments of the Special Act aimed at a just settlement and healing including damage compensation spread, and the US responsibilities for the massacres of Jeju residents entered the sphere of public opinion. Along with such advances, various attempts to liberate the 4.3 discourse were forwarded, in the form of re-situating the Jeju residents at the time of 4.3 from victims to sovereign subjects in their community as well as in history. Now, the movement for truth and justice of 4.3 must move forward, with the seventieth anniversary as its foundation, by meeting the following challenges: search for specific methods for just settlement and healing; continuation of the success of nationalization; establishment and propulsion of mid-to-long-term plans for addressing US responsibilities; establishment of a system and activities that will continue the 4.3 movement through the coming generations; and locating the relevance of the spirit of 4.3 vis-à-vis liaison between this spirit and key issues at the current historical juncture.

The Jeju 4.3 Uprising and the United States: Remembering Responsibility for the Massacre

Jeong-Sim Yang

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.39-65

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In conjunction with the seventieth anniversary of the Jeju 4.3 Uprising, more and more people have started to raise their voice calling for the United States to be also held accountable and for it to make an apology. People have started to critically view the American role in the Cold War, its policies regarding the Korean peninsula and its responsibilities related to the tragic massacre on Jeju Island. This essay seeks to go along side this movement by reviewing some historical facts. The U.S. Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK), in order to successfully hold the South-only election to advance US interests, sought to strongly clamp down on the Jeju 4.3 Uprising. However, it avoided becoming directly involved in the actual suppression. The USAMGIK, through various reports, intelligence sources or witness testimonies, knew that punitive forces composed of the police and the military were indiscriminately massacring civilians. The military advisors reported on the excessive brutality shown by the punitive forces but did not do anything to stop it even though they had enough authority to do so. On the surface, the United States called for American-style democracy and criticized the barbaric violence committed by Koreans. In reality, however, the United States abetted or even instigated the massacres in Jeju.

Truth-Seeking for Jeju and the Debates on Compliance

Ñusta Carranza Ko

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.67-92

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The April 3 Incident in the Island of Jeju marked one of the gravest human rights violations in Korean history involving a majority of victims who were non-politically motivated innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between the state, foreign actors, and a leftist political party and its armed affiliates. The violence, which continued from 1947 to 1954, resulted in the highest number of casualties, following that of the Korean War (1950-1953). Despite the gravity of the human rights violations, it was only after South Korea transitioned to a democracy and prosecuted two former heads of states that the state engaged in efforts to address the April 3 Incident. This study examines the Special Act for the Investigation of the Jeju April 3 Incident and Recovering the Honor of Victims (1999) and the National Committee for the Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju April 3 Events, which established the Jeju April 3 Commission (2000). Specifically, the study focuses on the status of state compliance with the list of recommendations and article provisions from the Special Act and the National Committee, which included policies for truth-seeking, reparations, and accountability measures for the state. The article finds that while on truth-seeking and symbolic reparations the state reflected a good record of complying with the recommendations, on financial and medical reparations, and criminal accountability measures, the state was relatively less proactive in compliance. The selective level of compliance from the state provides some insight as to the state’s respect for these policies and the possible conditions that may have resulted in the differences of state behavior.

A Cocktail of Vices: International Ethics and the Jeju Incident

Hope Elizabeth May

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.93-125

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This paper presents an analysis of the Jeju 4.3 incident through a framework of virtue, vice and international ethics. By utilizing primary source documents such as the United States’ Military Intelligence reports (the G-2 Weekly Summaries and Periodic Reports), the incident is described as arising from a “cocktail of vices” – including not only cognitive errors, but also affective vices of character such as factionalism and the inability to compromise. Seen in this way, the Jeju incident offers a lesson about international ethics of which we should be mindful as we move towards the peaceful unification of the two Koreas.


An Emotional Relationship: Trust, Admiration, and Fear in North Korea-Zimbabwe Relations, 1976-1988

Benjamin R. Young

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.129-149

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Despite being located faraway from one another, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung and Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe formed an unlikely friendship during the late 1970s and 1980s. As guerilla fighters-turned postcolonial leaders, these two autocrats developed close emotional bonds built around admiration, fear, and trust. Using archival sources from the United Kingdom’s National Archives, North Korean press reports, and journalistic accounts, this article emphasizes emotions as a window into examining this Afro-Asian alliance. From wanting to emulate North Korea’s land reform program to sending a group of librarians and academics to the communist state to learn from Pyongyang’s educational system, Mugabe’s government admired the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a model of socialist development during the 1980s. Fearing instability at home, Mugabe also sought North Korea military assistance to squash his political rivals. Finally, Mugabe trusted Pyongyang as a “war-time friend” that had always been there for his African state. Thus, Zimbabwe continues to align itself in the post-Cold War era with North Korea while much of the world cuts off ties with the increasingly isolated state.

Research on Korean Popular Songs Written by Korean Residents in Japan

Chinmi Kim

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.151-169

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This article aims to examine the history and era experienced by Korean residents in Japan through popular songs written in Korean which is their mother tongue but not their first language. In particular, the article focuses on how Korean residents in Japan who are members of the General Association of Korea Residents in Japan (Chongryon) and who were born in South Korea but who chose the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as their homeland and lives in Japan built their identities through national education through researching popular songs. Korean residents in Japan are an embodiment of the contradictions emanating from colonialism, cold war, and division. They have pursued their identity despite systematic discrimination in Japanese society as well as a sense of discrimination deeply engraved in the mindset of Japanese people through numerous challenges of possible divisions. This is why even today, Korean residents’ resistance towards the Japanese government’s oppression and suppression exists persistently as their history and culture. Pop songs made by Korean residents in Japan who were affiliated with Chongryon clearly reflects political circumstances that defined their sense of existence and livelihood. In the stage of the struggle for the right to education, and in the process of forming the definition of homeland and recognizing their hometown, and in a special education space called Chosŏnhakkyo (schools operated by the Chongryon), the struggle for postcolonialism and the struggle to overcome national division by singing such songs is a process that made Korean residents in Japan a member of Korean people.

Book Review

Hun Joon Kim, The Massacres at Mt. Halla: Sixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014. 242 pages. ISBN: 0801452392.

Robert Lauler

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.173-181

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Institute of Humanities for Unification at Konkuk University, Han`guk Chisŏnggwaŭi T`ongil Taedam [Conversations on Unification with Korean Intellectuals]. Seoul: Paradigm Book, 2018. 416 pages. ISBN: 1196346518.

Jin-hwan Kim

S/N Korean Humanities :: Vol.4 No.2 pp.183-189

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