During the Japanese occupation, Korean nationalism and an armed resistance emerged. Nationalist and communist groups developed in the 1920s to set the scene for the future divisiveness on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean Communist Party (KCP) was founded in Seoul in 1925. At the same time, various nationalist groups emerged, including an exiled Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai. When Japan invaded neighboring Manchuria in 1931, Korean and Chinese guerrillas joined forces to fight the common enemy. After the defeat of Japan in 1945, resistance to Japan became the main legitimating doctrine of North Korea; North Koreans trace the origin of their army, leadership, and ideology back to this resistance. For the next five decades, the top North Korean leadership would be dominated by a core group that had fought the Japanese in the old Manchu homeland, Manchuria. One of the guerrilla leaders was Kim Il Sung (1912–94). [Source: Library of Congress, July 2007]

During the Japanese occupation, the wearing of white was embraced by Koreans as a form of protest against colonial rule. The Japanese Imperial government imprisoned and executed Korean nationalists.In 1909, a man named An Chung-gun assassinated the Japanese resident-general of Korea in Harbin, China. Today he is known by his countryman as a hero who "killed for world peace."

On March 1, 1919 the Korean Declaration of Independence was read by 33 Korea representatives in a park in Seoul, triggering a nationwide resistance movement against Japanese colonialism that lead to 1,500 separate demonstration held around Korea. The Japanese police cracked down with violence and by the time the demonstrations were dispersed over 7,000 Koreans were dead.

Independence Hall of Korea in Chonan honors Koreans who fought for freedom against invaders throughout the country's long history. The museum here has a number of documents and materials relating to Korea's struggle for independence. Wax figure displays show a body of Korean independence fighter being twisted with iron chains and another caged in a crate embedded with nails. The US$92 million musuem was built in response to a 1982 Japan-South Korea textbook row in which Japan was accused of whitewashing its often brutal occupation of Korea. Surprisingly, many of the visitors to the museum are Japanese, including many middle school and high school students taken there by teachers to give them an international perspective on the issue. At Seodaemun Prison over 40,000 Korean independence fighters were imprisoned and over 400 were executed. [Source: Reuters]

Japanese Governor of Korea Assassinated in 1909

In 1909, a 30-year-old man Korean nationalist named An Chung-gun assassinated the Japanese resident-general of Korea in Harbin, China. Today he is known by his countryman as a hero who "killed for world peace." Ito had concluded the protectorate agreement; two expatriate Koreans in San Francisco also gunned down Durham Stevens, a foreign affairs adviser to the Japanese who had lauded their efforts in Korea.

Emily Rauhala wrote in Time: “It is the morning of Oct. 26, 1909. Japan is tightening its grip on the Korean peninsula, and the Japanese governor of Korea, Hirobumi Ito, is due to arrive, by train, at the railway station in Harbin. Hiding on the platform is a Korean veteran of the anti-Japanese struggle, Ahn Jung-geun. He tucks himself into a line of soldiers, stashing his pistol in a lunch box. When Ito emerges, Ahn steps forward and shoots him dead. For this, Ahn is later executed by the Japanese. [Source: Emily Rauhala, Time, January 30, 2014]

To Japan, Ahn is a criminal. Hirobumi Ito is a proud figure in Japanese history, an architect of the reformist Meiji constitution who served four times as prime minister. "We recognise Ahn Jung-Geun as a terrorist who was sentenced to death for killing our country's first prime minister," said Yoshihide Suga, a government spokesman. South Korea's foreign ministry said Ahn was a "widely respected figure", describing the assassination as a "courageous act", the AFP news agency reports. China said that Ahn was a "famous anti-Japanese high-minded person" and

John M. Glionna and Yuriko Nagano wrote in the Los Angeles Times: Ahn, walked into a crowded train depot in Harbin, China, and fired six shots at Japanese statesman Ito Hirobumi. Three of the bullets hit their mark; Ahn had killed the man he blamed for Imperial Japan's move to annex his homeland. Five months later, an unrepentant Ahn was hanged in a prison in Japanese-occupied northeastern China. Before going to the gallows, Ahn asked that his body be returned to his native Korea, a request denied by his captors, according to Japanese diplomatic documents.” [Source: John M. Glionna and Yuriko Nagano, Los Angeles Times, March 8, 2010]

“The man Ahn killed is considered the father of modern-day Japan. Ito established Japan's Cabinet system in 1885 and became the country's first prime minister, a post he held four times. In the early years of the 20th century, he served as his country's first resident-general in Korea, which was then a Japanese protectorate. For years, Ito's image graced the nation's 1,000-yen note.

“Ahn, who was born in what is now North Korea, has mythic status of his own. Viewed as a martyr for Korean independence, he has been the subject of a film, play, musical and opera. He once cut off part of a finger in a pledge to avenge Japanese atrocities in Korea.”

The location of Ahn’s body is not known. “About 1 p.m. on March 26, 1910, Ahn's body was placed in a coffin by workers at Lushun prison, according to prison records. Ahn's two brothers, who showed up to collect the body, were rebuffed. A 1910 letter from a Japanese consul in Harbin to the Japanese foreign minister hints at one reason for the secrecy surrounding Ahn's remains: concern over their political symbolism. "If Ahn Jung-geun's body is handed over to the surviving family or impudent Koreans . . . I think it will not be good in the future," the consul wrote. "Please take great caution on this matter."

Korean Joan of Arc and Nationalist Protests in 1919

The first three decades of Japanese occupation alternated between cycles of strict repression and periods of relative openness. In the first decade of occupation, Koreans were not allowed to publish newspapers or form political groups. Korean resentment of such treatment led in the spring of 1919 to a series of protests that became known as the March First Independence Movement. Nationalist sentiments gave rise to a Korean student demonstration in Japan.

Drawing on Woodrow Wilson's promises of self-determination, on March 1, 1919, a group of thirty-three intellectuals petitioned for independence from Japan and read a Proclamation of Independence in a park in Seoul triggering nationwide mass protests that continued for months, With the consolidation of what became known as the March First Movement, street demonstrations led by Christian and Ch'ondogyo (a movement that evolved from Tonghak) groups erupted throughout the country to protest Japanese rule. The colonial authorities responded with violence, killing an estimated 7,000 Koreans. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990]

In the 1919 demonstrations, the "Korean Joan of Arc," a sixteen year old school girl named Yu Kwan-sun, who had lost her parents, was arrested for holding up the Korean flag. A crowd of Korean gathered around and tried to protect her but he she arrested by the Japanese police and died — purportedly from torture — while in police custody.

According to Columbia University’s Asia for Educators: In 1919 “a group of prominent Koreans secretly prepared a Declaration of Independence rejecting Japanese rule and its presumptions and, on March 1, read the document aloud in Seoul’s Pagoda Park. Months of largely peaceful, nationwide demonstrations followed, ultimately involving more than one million Koreans. Japanese authorities responded with force, resulting in thousands of deaths and an even larger number of arrests before the independence movement was put down. In the aftermath, however, Japanese government officials sought to defuse the situation by allowing for a time greater Korean cultural and political expression, though calls for outright political action against colonial rule were still forbidden. [Source: Asia for Educators Columbia University afe.easia.columbia.edu ^^^ ]

Declaration of Independence (March 1, 1919)

According to Columbia University’s Asia for Educators: In 1919 “a group of prominent Koreans secretly prepared a Declaration of Independence rejecting Japanese rule and its presumptions and, on March 1, read the document aloud in Seoul’s Pagoda Park. The March 1 movement has remained a touchstone for Korean nationalist sentiment up to the present. [Source: Asia for Educators Columbia University afe.easia.columbia.edu ^^^ ]

The Declaration of Independence (March 1, 1919) reads: “We hereby declare that Korea is an independent state and that Koreans are a selfgoverning people. We proclaim it to the nations of the world in affirmation of the principle of the equality of all nations, and we proclaim it to our posterity, preserving in perpetuity the right of national survival. We make this declaration on the strength of five thousand years of history as an expression of the devotion and loyalty of twenty million people. We claim independence in the interest of the eternal and free development of our people and in accordance with the great movement for world reform based upon the awakening conscience of mankind. This is the clear command of heaven, the course of our times, and a legitimate manifestation of the right of all nations to coexist and live in harmony. Nothing in the world can suppress or block it. [Source: translated by Han-Kyo Kim, “Sources of Korean Tradition”, edited by Yong-ho Ch’oe, Peter H. Lee, and Wm. Theodore de Bary, vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 337-339]

“For the first time in several thousand years, we have suffered the agony of alien suppression for a decade, becoming a victim of the policies of aggression and coercion, which are relics from a bygone era. How long have we been deprived of our right to exist? How long has our spiritual development been hampered? How long have the opportunities to contribute our creative vitality to the development of world culture been denied us? Alas! In order to rectify past grievances, free ourselves from present hardships, eliminate future threats, stimulate and enhance the weakened conscience of our people, eradicate the shame that befell our nation, ensure proper development of human dignity, avoid leaving humiliating legacies to our children, and usher in lasting and complete happiness for our posterity, the most urgent task is to firmly establish national independence. Today when human nature and conscience are placing the forces of justice and humanity on our side, if every one of our twenty million people arms himself for battle, whom could we not defeat and what could we not accomplish?

“We do not intend to accuse Japan of infidelity for its violation of various solemn treaty obligations since the Treaty of Amity of 1876. Japan’s scholars and officials, indulging in a conqueror’s exuberance, have denigrated the accomplishments of our ancestors and treated our civilized people like barbarians. Despite their disregard for the ancient origins of our society and the brilliant spirit of our people, we shall not blame Japan; we must first blame ourselves before finding fault with others. Because of the urgent need for remedies for the problems of today, we cannot afford the time for recriminations over past wrongs.

“Our task today is to build up our own strength, not to destroy others. We must chart a new course for ourselves in accord with the solemn dictates of conscience, not malign and reject others for reasons of past enmity or momentary passions. In order to restore natural and just conditions, we must remedy the unnatural and unjust conditions brought about by the leaders of Japan, who are chained to old ideas and old forces and victimized by their obsession with glory.

“From the outset the union of the two countries did not emanate from the wishes of the people, and its outcome has been oppressive coercion, discriminatory injustice, and fabrication of statistical data, thereby deepening the eternally irreconcilable chasm of ill will between the two nations. To correct past mistakes and open a new phase of friendship based upon genuine understanding and sympathy — is this not the easiest way to avoid disaster and invite blessing? The enslavement of twenty million resentful people by force does not contribute to lasting peace in the East. It deepens the fear and suspicion of Japan by the four hundred million Chinese who constitute the main axis for stability in the East, and it will lead to the tragic downfall of all nations in our region. Independence for Korea today shall not only enable Koreans to lead a normal, prosperous life, as is their due; it will also guide Japan to leave its evil path and perform its great task of supporting the cause of the East, liberating China from a gnawing uneasiness and fear and helping the cause of world peace and happiness for mankind, which depends greatly on peace in the East. How can this be considered a trivial issue of mere sentiment?

“Behold! A new world is before our eyes. The days of force are gone, and the days of morality are here. The spirit of humanity, nurtured throughout the past century, has begun casting its rays of new civilization upon human history. A new spring has arrived prompting the myriad forms of life to come to life again. The past was a time of freezing ice and snow, stifling the breath of life; the present is a time of mild breezes and warm sunshine, reinvigorating the spirit. Facing the return of the universal cycle, we set forth on the changing tide of the world. Nothing can make us hesitate or fear.

“We shall safeguard our inherent right to freedom and enjoy a life of prosperity; we shall also make use of our creativity, enabling our national essence to blossom in the vernal warmth. We have arisen now. Conscience is on our side, and truth guides our way. All of us, men and women, young and old, have firmly left behind the old nest of darkness and gloom and head for joyful resurrection together with the myriad living things. The spirits of thousands of generations of our ancestors protect us; the rising tide of world consciousness shall assist us. Once started, we shall surely succeed. With this hope we march forward.

Three Open Pledges: 1) Our action today represents the demand of our people for justice, humanity, survival, and dignity. It manifests our spirit of freedom and should not engender antiforeign feelings. 2) To the last one of us and to the last moment possible, we shall unhesitatingly publicize the views of our people, as is our right. 3) All our actions should scrupulously uphold public order, and our demands and our attitudes must be honorable and upright.

After the Nationalist Protests in 1919

In the aftermath of the protest movement, Japan granted considerable latitude to Korea and Japanese colonial policy underwent a period of liberalization, and a new “cultural policy” allowed Koreans to publish newspapers and partake in limited freedom of expression. As historians have noted, the ensuing intellectual and social ferment of the 1920s marked a seminal period in modern Korean history. Many developments of the period, including the organization of labor unions and other social and economic movements, had continuing influence into the post-liberation period. These reforms come to a halt in the 1930s when Japan’s military leaders made Korea a staging ground for the second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), and later World War II. [Source: Library of Congress, May 2005]

Donald N. Clark wrote in “Culture and Customs of Korea”: “During the 1920s the colonial government was headed by a more humane governor-general who allowed Koreans to gather and speak and publish their own magazines and newspapers. He improved education and allowed Koreans to join religious and even political organizations. Koreans used this period to discuss how they should continue pushing for independence. Some argued that the Japanese were too strong to be defeated and would have to be accepted while Koreans tried to preserve their culture through studies of history and literature, and by educating young Koreans to work toward liberation. Others argued that the only way to get rid of the Japanese was to take weapons and fight. They worked to organize associations, whether legal or illegal, that empowered farmers, workers, and small bands of guerrillas who did the fighting. Both the "cultural nationalists," as they were called, and the advocates for armed struggle raised funds for their movements from abroad. [Source: “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Greenwood Press, 2000]

The cultural nationalists were supported by overseas Koreans in China and the United States. The armed revolutionaries were supported by people in the Soviet Union and Communists in Manchuria and China. During the 1930s, Japan itself abandoned democracy and an earlier commitment to peace and began to prepare for a war to promote its idea of an empire of "Asia for Asians." Korea became a base for this effort, a staging area for armed forces as they invaded, first, Manchuria, and then, in 1937, China itself. “

Emergence of Korean Nationalist Leaders and Groups

The colonial period brought forth an entirely new set of Korean political leaders, spawned by both the resistance to and the opportunities of Japanese colonialism. In 1919 mass movements swept many colonial and semicolonial countries, including Korea, where protests were put down fiercely by the Japanese, causing many younger Koreans to become militant opponents of colonial rule. [Source: Andrea Matles Savada, Library of Congress, 1993]

The year 1919 was a watershed for imperialism in Korea: the leaders of the movement, predominantly Christian and Western in outlook, were moderate intellectuals and students who sought independence through nonviolent means and support from progressive elements in the West. Their courageous witness and the nationwide demonstrations that they provoked remained a touchstone of Korean nationalism. The movement succeeded in provoking reforms in Japanese administration, but its failure to realize independence also stimulated radical forms of anticolonial resistance. In the 1930s, new groups of armed resisters, bureaucrats, and — for the first time — military leaders emerged. Both North Korea and South Korea were profoundly influenced by the political elites and the political conflicts generated during colonial rule.

The emergence of nationalist and communist groups dates back to the 1920s; it was in this period that the left-right splits of postwar Korea began. The transformation of the yangban aristocracy also began during the 1920s. Although the higher scholar-officials were pensioned off and replaced by Japanese, landlords were allowed to retain their holdings and encouraged to continue disciplining peasants and extracting rice. The traditional landholding system was put on a new basis through new legal measures and a full cadastral survey shortly after Japan took over, but tenancy continued and was systematically deepened throughout the colonial period. By 1945 Korea had an agricultural tenancy system with few parallels in the world. More traditional landlords were content to sit back and let Japanese officials increase output; by 1945 such people were widely viewed as treacherous collaborators with the Japanese, and strong demands emerged that they share out land to their tenants. During the l920s, however, another trend began: landlords became entrepreneurs.

Anti-Japanese Militant Groups

In the 1920s and 1930s, the main staging areas for Korean military groups whose aim was to end Japanese rule in Korea were in Nanjing, China; along the Korean border in Jilin and Liaoning provinces; and in Irkutsk in the Soviet Union. The Nanjing-based groups received military training from and supported Chiang Kaishek 's Kuomintang (KMT — the National People's Party, or Nationalist Party). [Source: Andrea Matles Savada and William Shaw, Library of Congress, 1990]

Some Korean militants went into exile in China and the Soviet Union and founded early communist and nationalist resistance groups. A Korean Communist Party (KCP) was founded in Seoul in 1925; one of the organizers was Pak Hon-yong, who became the leader of Korean communism in southern Korea after 1945. Various nationalist groups also emerged during this period, including the exiled Korean Provisional Government (KPG) in Shanghai, which included Syngman Rhee and another famous nationalist, Kim Ku, among its members.

Police repression and internal factionalism made it impossible for radical groups to exist for any length of time. Many nationalist and communist leaders were jailed in the early 1930s (they reappeared in 1945). When Japan invaded and then annexed Manchuria in 193l, however, a strong guerrilla resistance embracing both Chinese and Koreans emerged. There were well over 200,000 guerrillas — all loosely connected, and including bandits and secret societies — fighting the Japanese in the early 1930s; after murderous but effective counterinsurgency campaigns, the numbers declined to a few thousand by the mid-1930s. It was from this milieu that Kim Il Sung (originally named Kim Sng-ju, born in 1912) emerged. By the mid-1930s, he had become a significant guerrilla leader whom the Japanese considered one of the most effective and dangerous of guerrillas. They formed a special counterinsurgent unit to track Kim down and put Koreans in it as part of their divide-and-rule tactics.

Both Koreas have spawned myths about the guerrilla resistance: North Korea claims that Kim single-handedly defeated the Japanese, and South Korea claims that the present-day ruler of North Korea is an imposter who stole the name of a revered patriot. Nonetheless, the resistance is important for understanding postwar Korea. Resistance to Japan became the main legitimating doctrine of North Korea: North Koreans trace the origin of their army, leadership, and ideology back to this resistance. For the next five decades, the top North Korean leadership was dominated by a core group that had fought the Japanese in Manchuria. (Kim Il Sung's tenure in a Russian reconnaissance brigade also would have had an influence.)

Until 1939 there were several small Nationalist and communist military groups that used guerrilla tactics to harass the Japanese in Korea and Manchuria (as northeast China was then known). Chun Bong Joon was a Korean revolutionary and modernizer who tried to overthrow feudalism and resist Japanese colonization. By the end of 1940, the Japanese Imperial Army had destroyed most organized resistance along the Korean border with China; many Korean communists who had belonged to these groups joined the Northeast People's Revolutionary Army of the Chinese Communist Party. A small number of Soviet-controlled Korean military units were organized in Irkutsk as early as 1921.

Korean Communist Parties

Nationalist and communist groups developed in the 1920s to set the scene for the future divisiveness on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean Communist Party (KCP) was founded in Seoul in 1925. At the same time, various nationalist groups emerged, including an exiled Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai. When Japan invaded neighboring Manchuria in 1931, Korean and Chinese guerrillas joined forces to fight the common enemy. [Source: Library of Congress, July 2007]

According to Columbia University’s Asia for Educators: “Korean Communist parties came into being very quickly after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and operated both inside Korea and among Korean exiles in China, Manchuria, Japan, and Russia itself. Away from the tightlycontrolled environment of the Korean peninsula, some took part in armed struggle against Japanese forces and interests and tended to regard more conservative nationalists who hoped for the gradual realization of independence from Japan with disdain. Kim Il Sung, the eventual ruler of the DPRK (North Korea), was a leader of one Manchurian group, and one cause of the eventual political division of Korea was the split between the Communist and non-Communist nationalist opposition to Japan during the colonial period. [Source: Asia for Educators Columbia University afe.easia.columbia.edu ^^^ ]

After the defeat of Japan in 1945, resistance to Japan became the main legitimating doctrine of North Korea; North Koreans trace the origin of their army, leadership, and ideology back to this resistance. For the next five decades, the top North Korean leadership would be dominated by a core group that had fought the Japanese in the old Manchu homeland, Manchuria. One of the guerrilla leaders was Kim Il Sung (1912–94).

Manifesto of the Korean Communist Party in Shanghai (1921)

This document, written in 1921, issued from one early Korean Communist group based in Shanghai: “The fact that the Japanese annexation of Korea is unnatural and unreasonable is very clear. Since the annexation, Japan has deprived us of all freedom of assembly and speech. Japanese interference reached an extreme when they intervened in our industrial enterprises and by irrational laws prevented the growth of these industrial enterprises. The social progress of the Korean people and the cultural development of the masses have been virtually halted by these inhuman acts, which have brought hunger to the material life and impoverishment to the spirit of the masses. We are striving to overthrow the Japanese yoke for the prosperity of our people We have fought a hard fight during the past three years, since the declaration of war against Japan. Though our efforts have been weak, our sincerity and zeal have more than supplemented what we have lacked in our forces and we believe that ultimate victory will be ours. [Source: translated by Dae.Sook Suh, “Sources of Korean Tradition”, edited by Yong-ho Ch’oe, Peter H. Lee, and Wm. Theodore de Bary, vol. 2 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000), 356-357]

“Our national emancipation movement is merely a step toward the ultimate purpose of social revolution. We are striving for the complete elimination of all the classes of our present society. This is our belief and, at the same time, the common objective of all the toiling masses of the world. Thus, our enemy is all the exploiting classes of the world as well as the Japanese militarists and financiers. All the masses who share the common fate under the oppression of the ruling class must unite their efforts. Thus, our efforts may be meager, but we express heartfelt congratulations to the Russian working masses and await with great expectation their success. We also expect the success of the activities of the Chinese mass revolutionary organizations and trust in the success of the birth of the recent Japanese socialist organization and Japanese Communist Party. Thus, we shall together destroy and drove out the roots of all the crimes of the exploiting classes in East Asia, nay, in the entire world.

“The World War of 1914, which resulted in great bloodshed for the world’s masses, had its very roots in the purpose of filling the bottomless storehouses of the bourgeoisie of the capitalist countries. But it has been said that the war was a means to destroy imperialism and bring eternal peace, and also that the war was to emancipate the oppressed people of the whole world, thus deceiving the oppressed masses. Because of this deceptive propaganda, including such propaganda as Wilson’s Fourteen Points, some people placed great trust in the Peace Conference and the League of nations. But even though the bourgeoisie used cunning tactics and strenuous efforts to conceal its true intentions, its evil and tyrannical objectives were eventually exposed. The Versailles Peace Conference is nothing but a meeting of hungry wolves to divide the territories of the defeated and collect reparations from the defeated. The difficulties of the English and the French in Europe and the antagonism between the United states and Japan over Pacific problems are all the same kind of problem.

“The League of Nations is merely an organization to revive the already destroyed foundations of capitalism…and thus it is a peculiar and worthless organization. The weak are always attempting to hang onto the roots of anything nearby. Until today we have always expected the true revival of the League of Nations by appealing to the leaders of the world emancipation movement and by pointing to justice and humanity. It is not that we do not understand those who attempt to utilize the opportunities made available by the intense struggles of the United States and Japan in the Pacific, but look at the exploitation by the British in India, by the French in Annam, and by the United States in the Philippines. By observing these phenomena, it is not difficult to see who is truly our friend, and who is our foe. Our excitement over the Russian October Revolution is not without justification, because in carrying out the great task of the world revolutionary movement we feel that we are on the same footing with them. Thus, we share the same fate with the working masses of the world and their organizations. We must unite to fight against our enemies in the League of Nations, the hounds of world capitalism and imperialism, and its supporter, the Second International.

“The Third Communist International is truly the federation of the world’s toiling masses and the only headquarters of the world socialist revolution, at which the Koreans have already been represented in the name of the Korean Socialist Party, and it is with the Comintern that we can share our fate in the struggle against the capitalists. Our party is an independent Korean section of the Communist International.

“We strive to establish the Korean soviet government under the dictatorship of the proletariat so that it will be possible to carry out the fight to destroy all the existing systems and establish the great society for the ultimate happiness of all men. We trust that the ultimate victory is ours and that victory will be the victory of the working masses of Korea, which comprise seventy percent of the Korean population. All proletariats unite under the Communist banner.”

Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons.

Text Sources: South Korean government websites, Korea Tourism Organization, Cultural Heritage Administration, Republic of Korea, UNESCO, Wikipedia, Library of Congress, CIA World Factbook, World Bank, Lonely Planet guides, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, “Culture and Customs of Korea” by Donald N. Clark, Chunghee Sarah Soh in “Countries and Their Cultures”, “Columbia Encyclopedia”, Korea Times, Korea Herald, The Hankyoreh, JoongAng Daily, Radio Free Asia, Bloomberg, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, AFP, The Atlantic, Yomiuri Shimbun and various books and other publications.

Updated in July 2021

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