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Successors of the Independence Army

Posted July. 15, 2005 03:02,   


In the National Youth Center of Korea located in Chungnam Province, a camp titled the “Youth Independence Fighters Academy” is taking place. The four-day event (July 12-15), supported by the Korean communications company KTF, is prepared to commemorate the centennial of the Eulsa treaty between Korea and Japan which deprived Korea of its diplomatic rights, and the 60th anniversary of its liberation from imperialist Japan.

The program, participated in by 53 university students, was designed after the model of the Shinheung Military Academy. Some 3,500 independent fighters received training at the school from 1911 to 1920.

The participants were awakened by the sound of a martial song around 5:30 a.m. on July 13. They went straight to a nearby hill and encamped without even washing their faces. They practiced raiding, horse riding, and shooting after breakfast and spent their afternoon in the water to learn how to ford a river.

The students live in a tent, and are given no food except for three regular meals, and not even a sip of cold water. A descendant of a famous Korean independence activist also joined the camp. Jang Hyun-wook (25, junior, Hallym University, Advertising and Public Relations Department) is the eldest grandson of Jang Jun-ha, a member of the Independence Army and a publisher of a renowned journal in the 1950s.

The Youth Center is holding three similar events for middle and high school students starting the end of this month. The entry fee is 80,000 won. Information is available by phone at 041-620-7764 or on the website www.nyc.or.kr.

Jae-Myoung Lee egija@donga.com