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Two sides agree to use ‘revolution’ in textbooks

Dec 14,2006
Less than a month after coming to blows, a conservative group and liberal activists joined together peacefully at a news conference yesterday to settle their disagreements about the April 19, 1960 revolution in Korea.
Both sides now agree it was a revolution. On Nov. 30, when TextForum, a group affiliated with the New Right Union, presented a draft of a textbook with a conservative view of modern history, the left-wing group interrupted, spurring a fistfight.
The activists were particularly upset at the conservative groups’ characterization of the April 19, 1960 uprising by students that led to the resignation of President Syngman Rhee as a “student movement,” rather than a revolution, which has a more honorable meaning in Korean.
The two sides announced yesterday they will work together to portray the nation’s history correctly.
The activist groups apologized for using violence in their protest.
The conservative historians expressed regrets that their presentation of a premature draft prompted unnecessary misunderstanding.
“In respect to the spirit of the April 19 democratization revolution, our textbook will state that a revolution took place on April 19, 1960,” said Park Hyo-chong, an ethics education professor at the Seoul National University and the head of TextForum.
He said other controversial events in Korea’s modern history will be discussed further before the textbook is completed. TextForum, established last year, has said it aims to rewrite “left-leaning” history textbooks used at middle and high schools.
The two sides said they will jointly hold an academic seminar on the April 19 revolution today.


by Ser Myo-ja


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