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Roh: Independence Movement History Must Come to Light Despite Partisan Politics

Roh: Independence Movement History Must Come to Light Despite Partisan Politics

Posted August. 25, 2004 21:54,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, “Due to the nation’s tragic history articulated by past ideological polarization, we have tended to deliberately overlook a particular facet of the history of the independence movement,” adding, “No matter how contemporaries interpret their ideologies and thoughts, it is our duty to assess their activity as it was.”

President Roh invited about 105 men of merit and the bereaved of those who already passed away, including Kim Wu-jeon, president of the Korea Liberation Association, to Cheong Wa Dae for lunch, where Roh said the above comments and added, “I don’t think we have completely examined the history of the independence movement, so it is a magnificent task to tackle from now on.” Since Roh’s remarks allude to a reassessment of those whose independent movement activities have been underestimated due to their inclination towards the left, it is highly likely to trigger social stir.

President Roh stressed his strong will to correct misinterpretations of the past again by saying, “As long as those who ignore the calling of the history continue to enjoy exclusive prosperity and jeer at those who are struggling to live according to norms, Korean society has no future.”

In response to the claim that “rather than correcting misinterpreted history, we have to concentrate on economic recovery,” Roh said, “Attempts to undermine national tasks by making use of the economy as a excuse should be no longer accepted.” He continued, “Almost every country has achieved economic development while, at the same time, judging past wrongdoings, and more importantly, these countries’ economic growth has been proven to have legs,” vehemently stressing, “Judging past wrongdoings will not be detrimental to the nation’s economy.”

Regarding government organs like the National Intelligence Service and their voluntary efforts to investigate the past, President Roh said, “This is a national-level project, and thus it is not enough to carry out this task with a mere investigation of a couple of governmental organs.” He continued, “If an organization newly built by the National Assembly leads this task, I will sincerely cooperate for a smooth examination.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com