Yang Seongju: On the Jeju Incident
KNCC / WCC : "Light of Peace" 1. März - 15. August 2020
Witness 'On the Jeju Incident'
Mr. Yang Seongju, General Secretary, Jeju 4.3 Family
"How was it that the 70-year-old incident, the Jeju Incident that killed approximately 10% of the Jeju population, 30,000 people, was left completely unknown to the rest of the country?
Kim Seokbum, the author of 'Hwasando' translated this as the 'self-slaughter of memories'. The Incident was not something to be spoken of and not something to be known. The terror-struck islanders forced themselves to completely rid their memories of the incident.
The incident was a taboo for the people in Jeju, and even their children were forbidden to hear or know of it. All parents would say was 'Soksumhura!', Which meant to be quiet in Jeju.
For the past 50 years before Korea's democratization, authorities distorted the truth behind the Jeju Incident and none were taught about the whole truth. All that was taught was that it was the Communists that led the 'uprisings' in Jeju.
The truth has begun to reveal since the 2000s when 4.3 special law (the Special Act on Jeju 4.3 Case Identification and Recovery of Victims) was enacted. In 2003, when the government issued a report on the truth of the incident, then did the public become aware of what happened. In 2014, the government designated April 3 rd as a national Memorial Day, but still very few are well-informed about the Incident. ..."