Thursday, August 14, 2008

Liberation in Korea

Tomorrow, August 15th, is Liberation Day in Korea, which coincides with the Victory over Japan by the Allied forces in 1945.

Reflecting on this important day in Korea’s history, here are a few editorials from some of the leading English papers.

Korea Times:
“If ideological confrontation is unavoidable, the nation should focus on its future aspect, not the past one. The only way Korea can secure space between its two giant neighbors is to not stick to petty nationalism but instead to grow up as real global citizens, who put logic ahead of emotion as well as the rule of law ahead of the rule by men.

It's also time to replace the nouveau niche-like slogans of ``advanced" country, ``first-rate nation" or ``another takeoff" with calm pledges to be reborn as a country of reason and common sense.”

Kim Dae-Joong of the Chosun Ilbo:
“Until the founding of the republic 60 years ago, we never had the concept that sovereignty resides with the people. But as could be seen in the protests against U.S. beef imports, the country has swung to the other extreme, and people now uphold Article 1 of the Constitution as if everyone of them were sovereign. That is a tremendous change. Leaping over a process other countries took centuries to achieve in 60-odd years, "our nation, freeing itself from the subjection of a feudalistic tribe, was reborn as a people in modern perception, nourishing social capabilities, determining its own fate and making decisions as sovereign subjects." The quote comes from "Re-recognition of the 60 Years of Our National Founding" edited by Kim Young-ho.

How did this happen? Academics have offered varying observations, but, when the history of our development is compressed, it cannot be denied that we learned democracy from the U.S. and advanced to the world after freeing ourselves from the yokes of China and Japan.”

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