Shame on Kim Won-wungIn a stunning twisting of history, Kim Won-wung, chairman of the Heritage of Korean Independence (HKI), called the U.S. Armed Forces, which arrived in the Korean Peninsula after its liberation in 1945, an “occupation force,” while describing the Soviet forces as a “liberation force.” The comments clearly show his distorted view of our history. Kim made the remarks in a speech to high school students.
Kim’s misinterpretation of history rings loud alarms. Korea was liberated from the 35 years of Japanese rule after Tokyo surrendered to the Allied Forces led by the United States. The Soviets declared war on Japan only a week before its surrender and advanced into the Far East war front. It’s a no brainer which country contributed to Korea’s independence from imperial Japan.
After the liberation, the United States and Soviet Union stationed their forces in the southern and northern parts of the peninsula, respectively, to disarm the Japanese forces. It is true that both the U.S. and the USSR used the military and political term “occupation” in their official documents.
But the Soviets’ belated participation in the Pacific War and advance into the northern half of the peninsula are far from the liberation of our country. The Soviet Union did not hide its intention to set up a Communist puppet regime in the north and transform it into a satellite state as proven in its declassified documents. Under the auspices of Joseph Stalin, secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, North Korean leader Kim Il Sung invaded the southern region on June 25, 1950. North Korea called it a “war to liberate our fatherland.” The HKI chairman must clarify what he meant by “liberation.”
Kim claimed a proclamation of General Douglas MacArthur in 1945 contained the phrase “occupation force,” but that’s not true. Only the words “occupy” and “occupation” appear in his proclamation No.1. Kim gives the impression the United States took the place of Japan to colonize us.
Kim’s controversies are endless. Lately, suspicion has arisen over his father’s qualifications as an independence fighter. He has kept mum about the allegation that his father’s alleged independence movement was actually that of another man with the same name. The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs must clear any doubts.
The HKI under Kim’s leadership has suffered a serious division. Instead of serving as a place for respecting independence fighters, the organization has become a source of an infighting among families of the heroes. That all happened after he came into office. We have to ask if Kim really deserves his title as head of such an honorable entity.