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

South Korea’s April Revolution through the Lens of West Germany

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2020, v.60 no.3, pp.118-150
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2020.60.3.118
Hannes B. MOSLER (University of Duisburg-Essen)
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Abstract

This article investigates how the 1960 April Revolution in South Korea was reflected in the contemporary West German press and the diplomatic cables to Bonn. While in general the topic of the April Revolution is well documented and well researched, how events regarding the student movement were evaluated and depicted in Germany’s media and politics has not yet been subject to academic scrutiny despite the intriguing parallels between the two countries’ geopolitical dilemma that existed during the Cold War. By analyzing historical sources such as media reports, government-issued publications, and diplomatic cables retrieved from the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office, the present article explores the following three research questions to illuminate yet another facet of the historic student movement. First, how did the German press and diplomatic corps evaluate President Rhee Syngman’s rule of South Korea? Second, how did they assess the significance of the student movement? Third, how did they explain the reasons for the uprising and project its effects?

keywords
Cold War student movement revolution democracy East Asia foreign press diplomatic wire

Korea Journal