Lecture: Seeking the Truth about the Jeju Uprisings

image: Saunders HallThe Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i at Mānoa Depart­ment of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence will present a lec­ture titled “The Mas­sacres at Mt. Hal­la: Six­ty Years of Truth-Seek­ing in South Korea” by Dr. Hun Joon Kim on Wednes­day April 24, 2013.

The pre­sen­ta­tion will take place in Saun­ders Hall 624 (Har­ry Fried­man Room) at 2424 Maile Way on the UH Mānoa cam­pus, from 1:30 p.m until 3:00 a.m.

Kim’s talk will deal with the work of the com­mis­sion cre­at­ed to inves­ti­gate the so-called Jeju 4.3 events. These were a series of armed upris­ings and coun­terin­sur­gency actions that occurred between 1947 and 1954 in Jeju, South Korea. The coun­terin­sur­gency strat­e­gy was extreme­ly bru­tal, involv­ing mass arrests and deten­tions, forced relo­ca­tions, tor­ture, indis­crim­i­nate killings, and many large-scale mas­sacres of civil­ians. The con­flict result­ed in an esti­mat­ed 30,000 deaths, or 10 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Jeju in 1947. The mas­sacres were hid­den from the pub­lic, and any demands for truth and jus­tice were sup­pressed dur­ing forty years of author­i­tar­i­an rule.

With democ­ra­ti­za­tion in 1987, local stu­dents, activists, and jour­nal­ists embarked upon a move­ment to reveal the truth about civil­ian mas­sacres. After long and painstak­ing years of grass­roots advo­ca­cy, the Nation­al Com­mis­sion for inves­ti­gat­ing the Truth about the Jeju 4.3 Events and Recov­er­ing the Hon­or of the Vic­tims (Jeju Com­mis­sion) was cre­at­ed. The Jeju Com­mis­sion has gone large­ly unno­ticed by schol­ars and prac­ti­tion­ers around the world. In this pre­sen­ta­tion, Kim will address two main ques­tions: first, why and through what process did South Korea estab­lish the Jeju Com­mis­sion? Sec­ond, what has the Jeju Com­mis­sion accom­plished and how has it affect­ed South Kore­an soci­ety?

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the talk, con­tact the Depart­ment of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence at (808) 956‑8357; e-mail: polisci@hawaii.edu.