2020.10.20 (화)

  • 맑음속초16.3℃
  • 안개7.1℃
  • 맑음철원8.2℃
  • 구름많음동두천7.5℃
  • 구름많음파주7.6℃
  • 맑음대관령4.8℃
  • 박무백령도15.5℃
  • 맑음북강릉16.4℃
  • 맑음강릉15.1℃
  • 맑음동해15.6℃
  • 박무서울12.8℃
  • 안개인천12.2℃
  • 맑음원주9.9℃
  • 맑음울릉도16.8℃
  • 박무수원13.1℃
  • 흐림영월7.8℃
  • 맑음충주9.4℃
  • 구름많음서산11.3℃
  • 맑음울진14.8℃
  • 박무청주10.2℃
  • 박무대전11.6℃
  • 맑음추풍령9.8℃
  • 안개안동7.8℃
  • 맑음상주9.1℃
  • 맑음포항14.7℃
  • 맑음군산13.0℃
  • 맑음대구12.7℃
  • 맑음전주13.6℃
  • 맑음울산16.2℃
  • 맑음창원13.8℃
  • 맑음광주14.0℃
  • 맑음부산19.6℃
  • 맑음통영16.3℃
  • 맑음목포14.8℃
  • 맑음여수15.3℃
  • 맑음흑산도17.8℃
  • 맑음완도15.7℃
  • 맑음고창9.8℃
  • 구름조금순천11.4℃
  • 안개홍성(예)8.2℃
  • 구름조금제주19.9℃
  • 맑음고산17.7℃
  • 맑음성산20.0℃
  • 맑음서귀포19.8℃
  • 맑음진주11.8℃
  • 구름많음강화10.6℃
  • 구름많음양평7.8℃
  • 흐림이천7.5℃
  • 구름많음인제6.3℃
  • 구름많음홍천6.0℃
  • 맑음태백7.3℃
  • 흐림정선군7.0℃
  • 맑음제천9.8℃
  • 맑음보은6.1℃
  • 흐림천안8.2℃
  • 맑음보령13.9℃
  • 흐림부여9.0℃
  • 구름많음금산6.0℃
  • 흐림9.0℃
  • 구름많음부안9.0℃
  • 맑음임실9.0℃
  • 흐림정읍9.8℃
  • 맑음남원10.3℃
  • 맑음장수7.4℃
  • 구름조금고창군12.6℃
  • 구름조금영광군9.8℃
  • 맑음김해시14.5℃
  • 맑음순창군7.2℃
  • 맑음북창원14.8℃
  • 맑음양산시15.5℃
  • 구름조금보성군13.5℃
  • 맑음강진군12.3℃
  • 맑음장흥11.5℃
  • 맑음해남12.0℃
  • 맑음고흥15.1℃
  • 맑음의령군11.1℃
  • 맑음함양군8.3℃
  • 맑음광양시14.7℃
  • 맑음진도군14.2℃
  • 맑음봉화6.9℃
  • 맑음영주10.1℃
  • 맑음문경10.3℃
  • 흐림청송군6.5℃
  • 맑음영덕14.5℃
  • 흐림의성8.3℃
  • 맑음구미11.2℃
  • 맑음영천9.6℃
  • 맑음경주시13.0℃
  • 맑음거창7.8℃
  • 맑음합천9.6℃
  • 맑음밀양11.7℃
  • 맑음산청6.4℃
  • 맑음거제15.6℃
  • 맑음남해14.1℃
기상청 제공
Gwangju: Light of Liberty in East Asia
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Gwangju: Light of Liberty in East Asia

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Michael Lammbrau: [The Korean traditional music newspaper]  Washington correspondent editor, 

 

South Korean Film: The Man Standing Next

 

After watching the 2020 South Korean film, "The Man Standing Next,” about the events leading up to President Park Cheong-hee’s assassination by his close friend, and head of the CIA (South Korean) Kim Jae-gyu on ) October 26, 1979, I decided to learn more about the South Korean democracy movement. 


Leading up to Park’s assassination a series of social, economic, and political events transpire, culminating in KCIA Director Kim Jae-gyu’s decision to assassinate President Park. First and most importantly President Park’s continuation of the authoritarian Yushin Constitution, first instituted through martial law and dissolution of the National Assembly, its continuation fueled popular political opposition for open presidential elections nationwide. On August 9th, 1979 the female workers of the YH Trading Company staged a lockout in protest of the Park Administration (any criticism of the Yushin Constitution demanded 15 years of prison). The opposition party, led by Kim Young-sam (native of Busan), heavily criticized the action and was subsequently expelled from the National Assembly on October 4, 1979: 66 other National Assembly members resigned in protest. This political unrest was also being fueled by the Oil Shock (starting in July 1979) which hit the cities of Busan and Masan the hardest, where they experienced an unemployment rate twice the national average. It was just too much and on October 16, 1979 student led popular protest (starting at Busan University) quickly spread to neighboring Masan, where the students of Kyungnam University led their own popular uprising.


The film depicts a defining question of the film: "How much are you willing to sacrifice?” "Why did we do the revolution? Why are we doing any of this? To kill 2-3 million citizens to stay in power? Is that worth the sacrifice?” Director Kim Jae-gyu decided that it was too many, and he sacrificed himself so that the people of Busan and Masan could live. 


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Michael Lammbrau:Michael Lammbrau: [The Korean traditional music newspaper] Washington correspondent editor,

 

 

May 18 Gwangju Uprising


But in the ensuing political confusion after Park’s death, General Chun Doo-hwan took power in a military coup on December 12th, 1979, which set the stage for confrontation with student democratic reformers in the Spring of 1980. General Chun and his cadre had learned an important lesson from the Busan and Masan uprisings: "To maintain control popular protests must be dealt with swiftly, harshly, and with overwhelming force.” 


When students returned to campuses in the spring of 1980 and once again took the streets in protest against authoritarian rule (this time starting at Seoul Station), General Chun chose Gwangju to send a message to the rest of South Korea: do not challenge his rule.  


After visiting, Busan and Masan, I also decided to visit Gwangju to learn more about the Gwangju May 18 Uprising. I took the KTX train south from Seoul Station (just two hours), jumped on the 518 bus and toured the city of Gwangju. 


Similar to the Busan – Masan Democratic Protests just 7 months prior, students from Chonnam and Chosun University also led the popular protests in Gwangju. Although this time, General Chun was ready and on May 18, 1980 he declared martial law for the entire country: instituting curfews, shutting down universities, prohibited political activities, and freedom of the press. The Gwangju Uprising was famously ended through military force, turning the downtown streets of Gwangju into a warzone. 


The sacrifice of the Gwangju citizens for liberal democracy in South Korea (representative government, civil liberties, freedom of the press and assembly) resonates as you walk through the gates of the May 18 National Cemetery, reading "Democracy’s Strength,” and view the headstones of all those who fought and died against authoritarian rule. 


A Nation that Forgets its Past has No Future

 

As authoritarian and totalitarian regimes around the world rise again, the past becomes ever present, and for people that forget their past there is no future. Current generations, with no memory of the sacrifice or danger, must learn again to fight authoritarian rule. It is the burden of each and every generation to keep the authoritarian rulers at bay, to fight them for every inch, because in the end the light always wins, and Gwangju (meaning the City of Light) continues to shine not only as a beacon of liberal democracy but for the Korean people, but for people around the world. 


In the recent Hong Kong uprisings (Fall of 2019), student led protests on South Korean campuses called for the support of the Hong Kong democratic protestors. There were even clashes on South Korean campuses between South Korean students and Chinese exchange students (now 70,000 in South Korea). The Hong Kong democratic protestors even sang the famed "March” song of the Gwangju Uprising throughout the streets of Hong Kong. Gwangju, the City of Light, shines on as a leader of liberal democracy in East Asia. It is our responsibility to not only not forget the sacrifice, but to keep its promise with our own. A new generation of leaders is needed to fight this new wave of authoritarianism.