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Independence activist Oh Seong-gyu to visit Korea

Posted August. 11, 2023 07:53,   

Updated August. 11, 2023 07:53


The Korean government plans to bring the only surviving independence fighter living in Japan, patriot Oh Seong-gyu (100, pictured) from the Liberation Army, to spend the rest of his life in his home country, Korea.

The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs announced on Thursday, “Minister of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs Park Min-shik will visit Japan from Friday to Sunday as a government representative and bring Mr. Oh to Korea on Sunday.” The government delegation plans to go to Tokyo on Friday to console patriot Oh and meet with his children to discuss ways to bring him back to Korea.

The government delegation's visit to Japan was arranged when Mr. Oh, who lives alone in an apartment after his wife passed away in 2018, conveyed to the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs that he wanted to spend the end of his life in his homeland.

During the Japanese colonial era, Mr. Oh used the pseudonym 'Joo Tae-seok' and created a secret network centered on Donggwang Middle School in Bongcheon, Manchuria, China to carry out the anti-Japanese movement. After his network was exposed by the Imperial Japanese Army, he escaped from Manchuria and enlisted in the 3rd Division of the Liberation Army. Mr. Oh experienced liberation in May 1945 while preparing for the domestic Eagle Project after undergoing special training in the South Korea-U.S. joint venture. Even after liberation, he served as a member of the Shanghai District Correspondent for the Korean Liberation Army Military Correspondent, organized to protect Korean citizens, and later settled in Japan.

The government delegation plans to bring patriot Oh to Korea on Sunday if he is deemed safe to return to Korea following his health check. After returning to Korea, Mr. Oh will stay at veterans-related facilities, such as the Central Veterans Hospital in Dunchon-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul. He will also attend the 78th-anniversary celebration of Liberation Day on Tuesday.

“I am infinitely grateful to Mr. Oh, a patriot who devoted himself to his country,” Minister Park said. “I will do my best for him so that he can spend the rest of his life comfortably in Korea as he wishes.”

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com