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1st Chinese Edition of Independence Paper Found

Posted April. 10, 2009 07:24,   


The National Institute of Korean History yesterday released a copy of the Chinese-language version of the first edition of the Independence Newspaper.

The daily was published by the Korean government-in-exile in Shanghai to promote the Korean independence movement during Japanese colonial rule.

Institute researcher Kim Kwang-jae found the Chinese-language edition dated July 20, 1922, at a Shanghai library. The four-page publication was the official paper of the Korean government-in-exile and is different from The Independent, which was first published in Korea by freedom fighter Philip Jaisohn (Seo Jae-pil) on April 7, 1896.

The government-in-exile published three kinds of the Independence Newspaper. It published 198 issues in Korean using Chinese script from 1919 to 1926, while issuing a Chinese-language version in Chongqing and another Chinese version in Shanghai.

About 40 issues of the Shanghai Chinese edition was distributed free to Chinese government offices, social organizations and educational institutions. Pak Eun-sik was the managing editor and published it with Chinese nationals.

The Shanghai version consisted of an editorial, news on Korea, China and Japan, international news, miscellaneous reports and literary works. Many pages were dedicated to promoting the Korean independence movement and describing Japanese atrocities. The edition also carried reports on Western Europe and America as well as independence movements in India and Vietnam. Chinese occasionally contributed articles.

The Shanghai edition said in an editorial commemorating the first issue that the government-in-exile published the Chinese-language edition despite financial difficulty. It also said the paper is necessary to show the true aspects of the Korean independence movement and show the enemy’s unjust and illegitimate acts.

Kim Joo-yong, an independence movement researcher at Independence Hall, said the discovery has reconfirmed the government-in-exile’s commitment to inform the world about the justification of Korea’s independence.

Jeong Jin-seok, professor emeritus at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, said, “The government-in-exile`s publishing of the Chinese-language paper holds great significance in both the history of Korea’s independence movement and Korean journalism. The discovery of the first edition will likely be of great help in understanding the paper’s nature and target.”