Tomorrow, the island will commemorate 64 years since the breakout of the Jeju Massacre (known as 4.3 in Korean). It is one of the deadliest armed conflicts in Korea’s modern history.
Jeju Weekly Coverage
For issue 71, The Jeju Weekly will have coverage of not only the commemoration but also on the education of the massacre in schools, post traumatic stress disorder and survivors, a conference to highlight the importance of Darangshi cave’s discovery 20 years ago, the start of another government research project into the tragedy, and more.
Beginning on April 3, 1948 and continuing until 1954, an estimated 30,000 Jeju residents were killed, mostly by South Korean forces, due to the worry that Jeju Island had become home to a growing number of Communists and sympathizers for the newly formed North Korea.
After the massacre, all public discussion about it was censored. Anyone who mentioned the event was considered a Communist and punishment ran from being shunned by their community to being imprisoned and tortured.
It was only until the 1990s, after Korea became a democracy, that the people of Jeju fought for the event to be publicly recognized. In 2000 the Korean government decreed a Special Act to uncover the truth of what happened during this violent seven years.
Nine years ago, then South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun visited Jeju and apologized to the island’s citizens for the government’s involvement in the massacre.
The 64th commemoration of the Jeju Massacre will take place at the Jeju April 3rd Peace Park beginning at 11 a.m. An estimated 10,000 people are expected to attend.
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