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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Civilian Victims in Wando-gun from the Liberation until the Korean War (1945–1950)

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2016, v.56 no.4, pp.33-61
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2016.56.4.33

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Abstract

According to reports published by South Korea’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (jinsil hwahae-reul wihan gwageosa josa wiwonhoe) in 2007–2009, the number of civilian victims in the Wando-gun area between 1945 and 1950 was around 1,000. Why did Wando-gun have so many casualties? Five reasons might be provided: (1) during colonial rule, the socialist independence movement was quite active in Wando- gun; (2) the police conducted left-wing mop-up operations in Wando-gun from 1945 to 1949; (3) during the Korean War, when police and the North Korean Army held their ground for six weeks in Wando-gun, mop-up operations of regional left-wing suspects occurred; (4) the North Korean Army, along with left-wing sympathizers, executed many people associated with the right-wing during their occupation of the island; and (5) after Wando-gun was restored to the South, police conducted strict interrogations of suspected traitors and executed many without trial. The case of Village A in Soan Island, where anti-Japanese nationalists were housed during the colonial period, can be regarded as representative. However, left-leaning sons and nephews of these nationalists were pursued and either executed or imprisoned by police. Those remaining during the Korean War were arrested and shot by police or had to flee to the mainland.

keywords
Korean War Wando-gun Soan Island left wing socialist movement civilian victims

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