Disclaimer

This blog may contain not-so-strong languages and slightly strong ecchi pictures. Please proceed with caution.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Moe-Hankook - Going Strong after 30K Hits.

It's Thomas AHN Jung-geun and Nozomi Toki. Toki Clan Insignia and Thomas Ahn's Handmark are dedicated to 30K Pageviews.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Old KWP Cheorwon Office: Dark Side of Cheorwon after Korean Division in Moo-ja Year (1948)


The former Cheorwon office of the Korean Workers' Party (Hanja: 舊朝鮮勞動黨鐵原廳舍), located at Gwanjeon-ri 3-2 beonji, Cheorwon-eup, Cheorwon County, Gangwon Province - is one the most powerful and painful reminders of Korea’s national division.

Constructed in Soviet style using Soviet building techniques, this concrete edifice was erected in 1946 to serve, as the name would suggest, as the regional headquarters of the KWP. The KWP, of course, is North Korea’s ruling party, and the Cheorwon area — located as it is north of the 38th parallel — originally fell under North Korean administration. Then came the Korean War, and when the armistice ending the fighting was finally signed in 1953, South Korean/UN forces controlled Cheorwon after some brutal fighting in the so-called “Iron Triangle a.k.a Cheor-ui Samgak/철의삼각”.

The area where the ruins of the KWP office are located used to be the downtown of a fairly large town — before the war, Cheorwon was a major road and railway hub. During the war, however, the town was wiped off the map. And it was never rebuilt — Cheorwon’s downtown is now located quite some distance away, while the old downtown is nothing more than scattered ruins in the rice paddies. It’s all very surreal.

You have to give Soviet-style engineering credit, though — the KWP office managed to survive relatively intact, even if repeated artillery bombardment caused the roof to collapse. The bullet marks on the walls testify to the building’s violent history, although only part of it — to even build the structure, the North Koreans forced contributions from local residents and mobilized forced labor (although only KWP members were allowed to work on the interior). It’s said anti-communists were tortured and killed here as well. In the trench behind the building, there are many skeletons were found along with bullets and wires used in execution. 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Inside Gyeongbokgung, Part VI: The disambiguation meaning of 'Boksu/복수'


Inside the Gyeongbok Palace, we will learn about the disambiguation of Korean words in Hangul and different meanings in Hanja (Sino-Korean Script). The Boksudang Hall (Hanja: 福綏堂) is one of the auxiliary buildings in the Geoncheonggung Residence Grounds. The hall is built in 1873, 10th year of Emperor Gojong-Gwangmu - along with the other buildings in the residence.

Returning to Korean Language Lesson, the word Boksu/복수 has five meanings in Sino-Korean words and their literal meanings in English.

  • 福綏 = Soothing good fortune (Boksudang Hall inside Geoncheonggung Residence, Gyeongbok Palace)
  • 複數 = Plural (one of the values of the grammatical category of number)
  • 復讐 = Revenge, Vengeance, Retaliation, Retribution and Vendetta 
  • 腹水 = Ascites (gastroenterological term for an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity)
  • 福壽 = Long-life blessing (Sino-Korean word for the commune Boksu-myeon [복수면], Geumsan County, Southern Chungcheong Province)

Recommended by Blogmaster: Now, that's why I called the VENGEANCE.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Bold and Beautiful Baekje, Part VIII: General Gyebaek, Fallen Hero during the Fall of Baekje


Gyebaek (Hanja: 階伯; died: 9 July 660) was a general in the ancient Korean kingdom of Baekje during the early to mid 7th century. Little else is known of his personal life—including the year and location of his birth. The Taekwondo pattern Gyebaek is named after him.

In 660, Baekje was invaded by a force of 50,000 from Silla, supported by 144,000 Tang soldiers. Gyebaek, with only 5,000 troops under his command, met them in the battlefield of Hwangsanbeol. Before entering departing to the battlefield, Gyebaek reportedly killed his wife and children to boost the fallen morale and patriotism of his army, and to prevent the thought of them to influence his actions or to cause him to falter in battle.

By the time King Taejong-Muyeol the Great of Silla was able to gain the support of Emperor Gaozong of Tang China, King Uija had led Baekje into demise as his parties and dissipation caused neglect for state affairs. In 660, Kim Yushin of Silla set out with fifty-thousand strong to rendezvous with the Tang army (size about: 122,711 to 130,000 men) which was being shipped over the sea. When King Uija heard of this crisis, he had already lost support from his ministers and only managed to rally up five thousand men. He quickly appointed General Gyebaek as the commander of the armed forces, and sent him out to face Kim Yu-shin in battle.

The Baekje army arrived at Hwangsanbeol first. Gyebaek set up camp and rallied his troops to make a heroic speech. He reminded the soldiers of the armies of antiquity when Goujian defeated a seven hundred-thousand force with a mere five thousand. With this speech, the Baekje forces regained their strength, and prepared for a face off with the Silla forces.

Kim Yu-Shin soon arrived, and the Silla forces attempted a full attack on the Baekje forces. However, fighting to the death, the Baekje forces soon repelled the enemy, and victored over all five skirmishes. The Silla forces gradually lost morale, and the General Kim Pumil sent his young son and Hwarang, Gwanchang, to single-handedly go out and fight the enemy. Gwanchang was captured by the Baekje forces at first and was released by Gyebaek. The young hwarang then returned to the Silla base only to once again charge out at the enemy. Gyebaek captured him once more, and because he respected his young enemy, he executed Gwanchang and sent his body to the Silla base.

Through Gwanchang's martyrdom, the Silla forces renewed their morale and Kim Yu-shin released a full attack on the dwindling Baekje forces. In the end, Kim Yu-Shin's Silla forces victored and Gyebaek died in battle. Kim later stated that his enemy was a man of honor and bravery.

As this battle was the last Baekje resistance to Silla/Tang forces, Baekje soon fell when Kim Yu-Shin and the Chinese general So Jung-Bang surrounded Gongju and King Uija surrendered.

Baekje was destroyed after 678 years of rule, shortly after Gyebaek's defeat and death at Hwangsanbeol in the present-day Chunggok-ri, Bujeok-myeon, Nonsan City, Southern Chungcheong Province. As Neo-Confucian philosophy became more influential in the later Korean Dynasties, Gyebaek was recognized by historians and scholars are exemplifying the Confucian ideals of patriotism and devotion to his King and praised as such. Although not much else is known about Gyebaek's life, his actions leading up to his last battle are well known to many Koreans.

Bold and Beautiful Baekje, Part VII: The Royal Tomb of King Muryeong, Gongju, Southern Chungcheong


Muryeong of Baekje (Hanja: 武寧王; Born: 462 – Died: 523, Reigned: 501–523) was the 25th king of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. During his reign, Baekje remained allied with Silla against Goguryeo, and expanded its relationships with China and Japan.

The Tomb of King Muryeong calls him King Sama (斯麻), and records his birth year as 462. The Samguk Sagi calls him King Muryeong, with the personal name (휘) of Sama (斯摩). He is described as the second son of the 24th king Dongseong. He became king when Dongseong was assassinated by the court official Baekga. The following year, he crushed a planned rebellion by Baekga.

China's Liang shu gives his surname as Yeo and personal name as Yung, and states that he restored Baekje into a strong nation. Japan's Nihonshoki gives his birth year as 461, and describes him as the son of Gonji, the younger brother of the 21st king Gaero, making him the stepbrother of Dongseong. It is said Gonji escaped the invading Goguryeo forces with King Muryeong's mother to Japan, and she went into labor as their ship was passing by a small Japanese island. He was called Semakishi (嶋君) and King Shima (斯麻王) in Japanese records because he was born in an island. Some scholars claim Muryeong ruled the Yamato region under the name of King Bu before he moved to Baekje to be a king of kings (大王).

In 501, he sent an army to attack Goguryeo's Sugok-seong. In 503, he repelled an attack by the Mohe. In 507, he successfully countered another attack by Goguryeo and Mohe forces. In 512, Goguryeo conquered two castles, but Muryeong personally led 3,000 men to destroy the Goguryeo army. In 523, he ordered the building of a fortified wall to defend the northern border.

According to both historical and archeological sources, contact and trade between China and Baekje increased during Muryeong's reign. In 512, according to the Liang shu, Muryeong sent Baekje's first mission to the newly established court of the Chinese Liang Dynasty. A second mission was sent in 521, announcing various victories over Goguryeo. In reply, the Liang emperor bestowed various titles on him, including "Great General Tranquilizing the East (寧東大將軍)" and "King of Baekje". These titles were also found engraved on a tablet in King Muryeong's tomb. In 503, he sent a bronze mirror, and in 513 and 516, Confucian scholars to Japan.

In 1971, King Muryeong's tomb was excavated in Geumseong-dong 5-1 beonji, Gongju, Southern Chungcheong Province, South Korea, where he was buried with his queen. In 2001, Japan's Emperor Heisei-Akihito told reporters "I, on my part, feel a certain kinship with Korea, given the fact that it is recorded in the Chronicles of Japan that the mother of Emperor Kammu was of the line of King Muryeong of Baekje." It was the first time that a Japanese emperor publicly acknowledged Korean blood in the imperial line. According to the Shoku Nihongi, Emperor Kammu's mother, Takano no Niigasa is a descendant of Crown Prince Sunta, son of Muryeong, who died in Japan in 513 (Nihon Shoki Chapter 17).

Silla Superiority Complex, Part VI: Royal Tomb of Queen Jindeok, Second Queen of Silla


Queen Jindeok of Silla (Hanja: 眞德女王) reigned as Queen of Silla, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, from 647 to 654. She was the kingdom's 28th ruler, and its second reigning queen following her predecessor Queen Seondeok. During her reign, Silla jockeyed with Baekje for favor in the Chinese Tang court. She is also known for writing a poem of the Emperor Gaozong of Tang Dynasty.

Queen Jindeok ascended the throne and became the Silla's second Queen regnant after Queen Seondeok. The last monarch from the ranks of the Seonggol, the highest class in the Silla's unique caste system, her real name is Kim Seungman (not to be confused with the First President of ROK, Syngman Rhee a.k.a Yi Seungman). Her father was Kim Gukbangalmun, who was King Jinpyeong's youngest brother, and her mother was Lady Wolmyeong. Her predecessor, Queen Seondeok was her cousin.

During her seven-year reign Queen Jindeok's primary concern was foreign policy. With the help of general Kim Yushin she was able to strengthen Silla's defenses and greatly improve her kingdom's relations with Tang China. Those efforts laid the foundation for the unification of the three kingdoms (Silla, Baekje, and Goguryeo). She also expanded the Pumju tax-collecting system.

Her tomb is located on the hill in Oryu-ri 217-beonji, HyeonGok-myeon, Gyeongju City, Northern Gyeongsang Province - The Capital City of Silla Kingdom. Although some historians have doubt that if it is really the tomb of Queen Jindeok. According to the Samguk Sagi she was buried at Saryangbu, which is located in the opposite direction from the tomb.

Her successor, King Taejong-Muyeol the Great played the pivotal role in unifying Silla Kingdom into one nation. On his first phase of the unification, he defeated Goguryeo in 660. Eight years later, The son of King Taejong-Muyeol the Great, King Munmu the Great a.k.a Kim Beop-min finally unified Silla into a single-nation after defeating Baekje.

Mungyeong Coal Museum, Mungyeong, Northern Gyeongsang: Former Coal Mines during Korean Industrialization under Park Chung-hee's Presidency


The Mungyeong Coal Museum (Hanja: 聞慶石炭博物館) in 112 Wangneung Drive/Wangneung-gil, Wangneung-ri 382-4 beonji, GaEun-eup, Mungyeong City, Northern Gyeongsang Province exhibits the history of coal and explains its important contribution to Korea's rapid industrialization. Systematic exhibition of coal and related information helps visitors understand the vital role that coal has played in shaping modern life. The museum displays coal-related relics in addition to scholarly materials.

The museum offers various exhibition halls: the Central Exhibition Hall (1F-2F), Outdoor Exhibition Hall, Mine Exhibition Hall, and Miner’s Private House Exhibition Hall. Though coal, one of Korea’s few natural resources, used to be the driving force of the Korean industry and economy, it has become less visible due to the emergence of oil and natural gas. The museum helps visitors appreciate this forgotten resource as well as the lives of miners in Mungyeong, once one of the most productive coalfields in Korea.

Inside the museum there were reproductions of company offices.  On the wall is a portrait of President Park Chung-hee. Depending on who you ask, he’s either the brutal military dictator who persecuted and executed hundreds of South Korean democracy activists.  To others, he’s a hero who brought a booming economy and self-sufficiency to a country reeling from the body blows of the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945) and the Korean War (1950-1953). His daughter, Park Geun-hye, is the current president of South Korea (President Park’s parents were both assassinated).

If you ever find yourself in Mungyeong it’s worth checking out.  It really brings home the huge sacrifices, and some of the small joys, that constituted the life of the South Korean working class before the major economic successes of the 1970′s and 1980′s.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Masan Uprising in Gyeongja Year (1960): Catalyst of April Revolution


Masan Uprising (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 3.15마산시위/3.15馬山示威/Sam-shiboh Masan Shiwi or Sam-ir-oh Masan Shiwi) is a protest in March 15th 1960 against the electoral corruption of Syngman Rhee (1875-1965), the founding president of the Republic of Korea. Led by local students, the March 15 Uprising of 1960 played an instrumental role in overthrowing Rhee's autocratic rule.

Government forces in Masan (present-day Changwon MasanHappo-gu and Changwon MasanHoewon-gu), Southern Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, arrested students protesting against rigged elections. Although President Syngman Rhee's re-election to a fourth term had been ensured when his opponent died of an illness, separate elections for Vice-President would determine the 85-year old Rhee's successor. With the aid of government measures, including the stuffing of ballot boxes, Rhee's running mate, Lee Gibung, officially received 79.2% of the votes in what was expected to be a close race against opponent Chang Myon. Over the next weeks, students in other cities followed the example of Masan, and Rhee was forced to resign.

Protesting the corruption in President Syngman Rhee’s government, and specifically a rigged vice-presidential election, a thousand citizens in Masan gathered in front the ruling party’s campaign office.  During the ensuing confrontation with police, the city power was blacked out, and the police shot at protestors, and protestors threw rocks at the police.  

While several people died, the real outrage at the incident came when, on April 11, the body of Masan Commercial High School student Kim Ju-yeol was found on the beach by a fisherman. The official autopsy stated that Kim died of drowning, but suspicious protestors forced their way to the body in the hospital, finding Kim to have died from the impact of a tear gas container on his skull. This revelation was publicized in major Korean newspapers, along with a graphic photo.

The outrage was felt nationwide, and is credited with being the catalyst for a national protest known as the April Revolution. Eventually, protests grew larger and larger, and by the end of April, President Rhee resigned, escaping via a CIA airplane to live in Hawaii in exile. However, the vice-president Lee Gibung (winner of the fraudulent election) committed suicide with his family.

The 3.15 National Cemetery (Hanja: 國立3.15民主墓地) is dedicated to the spirits of the fallen patriots who fought against oppose of unfair election of corrupted and long-term power plot of the former dictatorial government of President Syngman Rhee and to pay a tribute to a loft will which was a blasting fuse for 3.15 Movement and to succeed the spirit of Masan citizens who admire freedom, democracy and justice.

Located at Guam-dong san 92-beonji - it overlooks Masan from the side of the mountain behind the Hite factory in Changwon MasanHoewon-gu.  In addition to the cemetery, there is a large monument as well.  Unrelated, but behind the complex is an impressive collection of craggy rocks to navigate, and eventually it hooks up with a hiking trail. Depending on the season, this back area can be very overgrown.

It is a place to respect and pay tribute to praise noble souls of those who died for the country and a place to practice historical education of demonetization that should be hand down the spirit of 3.15 Movement which was a safeguard for civil right to the future generation. It is a sacred precinct for the entire citizens to worship.

Gwangju U-Square, Gwangju Seo-gu: Multi Purpose Bus Terminal in Gwangju Metropole

Five is a significance for Gwangju Metropole. This number used in Gwangju Metropole Postal Codes (500-XXX ~ 506-XXX) and the month where the 1980 Gwangju Massacre occurred.
Gwangju Bus Terminal (Hanja: 光州綜合버스터미널) or also known as Geumho Terminal (Hanja: 錦湖터미널) - located in 904 Mujin Boulevard/Mujin-daero, Gwangcheon-dong 49-1 beonji, Gwangju Seo-gu, is Gwangju’s main terminus for City and Express Buses. The bus terminal opened for business in 1992 and recently changed its name into U-Square (유스퀘어).  From here one can take buses to the surrounding regions, or indeed almost any major town/city throughout Korea.

There is an Shinsegae next to the terminal; in fact it is connected to one of the exits. Behind the Shinsegae is an E-Mart department store, and behind the E-Mart is Kumho World, a large, multi-story electronics outlet store. Across the street from the E-Mart is an Outback steakhouse.

In early 2007, a large wing of the terminal was redesigned and reopened, meaning there are now more restaurants and coffee shops. A TGI Friday's was added in April, 2007, and the Dunkin Donuts was moved to this new wing. In early 2009 a second portion of U-Square was completed containing a CGV IMAX cinema, Burger King, and a coffee shop. Other brand-name food outlets include Baskin Robbins, KFC, Lotteria, and Rosebud Cafe. 

Near Gate 4 is a Young Poong Bookstore with a very limited selection of English books. There are a few relatively recent bestsellers, a small selection of "classics," and a table of English-language DVDs. Gwangju Metropole is a small enough city that a taxi to the terminal is a cheap option in a pinch. To get there via subway, use exit 5 of Station 109: Nongseong Station on Gwangju Metro Line 1. It is roughly a ten-minute walk to the terminal.

The CD Single of fripSide entitled 'Level 5 Judgelight' is available in Young Poong Bookstore, Gwangju U-Square Branch. Grab it NOW!

Yongdusan Park + Busan Tower, Busan Jung-gu: Main Attraction of Busan Metropole


Yongdusan Park a.k.a Mount Yongdu Park (Hanja: 龍頭山公園) in Gwangbok-dong 2-ga, Busan Jung-gu, is one of the 3 well-known mountains in Busan. Its old name is Mount Songhyeon, which means a mountain has a view of the sea through the dense fine tree forest. Later the name has changed into Yongdusan. It came from its shape, which is similar to dragon head and people thought it has a spirit to defeat enemies coming over the sea.

On the mountain were shrine built by Japanese people during Japanese colonial role, but now are Cheokhwabi monument (the stone monument to the exclusion of foreigners from the country), Chunghontap (memorial tower for Korean War victims), 4.19 Revolution monument (the student's anti-government revolt), the statue of Admiral Yi Sunshin (the Great Joseonese Admiral during Japanese Imjin Invasion) and Busan Tower. 

During Korean War, displaced people built houses on it even on the top, but 2 times of big fires took all them away making it bald mountain. Since then, fierce efforts to plant trees have created such beautiful park. The name of the park was once Unam Park in the time of the Liberal Party’s ruling but it went back to Yongdusan Park after April revolution (1960). It is a place with beautiful scenery. Especially the night landscape from Busan tower is magnificent.


Busan Tower (Hanja: 釜山타워) at 37-55 Yongdusan Street/Yongdusan-gil, Gwangbok-dong 2-ga 1-2 beonji, Busan Jung-gu is a symbol of Busan that stands proudly 69m above sea level at a height of 120m. The top of the tower is modeled after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju, Northern Gyeongsang. Beloved by Busan citizens and tourists alike, the tower offers a stunning night view and plenty to see, such as the Statue of the Great Admiral Yi Sunshin, the Bell of the Citizens, a flower clock, the Museum of Musical Instruments of the World, and a bust of the Busan-based independent activist, Baeksan Ahn Hee-je.

On the first floor of the tower is a souvenir shop that sells Korean traditional handicrafts like masks, key chains, wallets, pottery, dolls, pearl fans and more. At the top is an observatory (designed after the baldaquin of Dabotap Pagoda in Bulguksa Temple) where the entire city of Busan can be seen. Moreover, there are several rest areas as well as musical instrument museum and a cultural relic exhibit hall in the vicinity of Busan Tower.

Jungnang Camping Forest, Seoul Jungnang-gu: Camping inside the National Capital of Korean Republic

First loli post... I guess.
The Jungnang Camping Forest opened on November 20, 2010 in Mangu-dong san 56-7 beonji, Seoul Jungnang-gu - as a development restricted zone wherein greenhouses, etc., were set up to repair damaged areas and man-made facilities were kept to a minimum so that families and student groups could enjoy picnics in a way that is much closer to nature in this environment-friendly park.

It offers excellent amenities for family visitors with a Family Camp Zone, Youth Culture Zone (equipped with reading rooms, meeting rooms, and cultural facilities), Ecology Learning Zone and Forest Experience Zone.

There are 47 campsites for family visitors; each site is equipped with an outdoor table, a barbecue grill, and electric outlets. Other amenities include outdoor spa facilities, a café, a grass square, a fountain pond, a farm learning center, children’s playground, resting spots, observation decks, and fitness facilities.

Additionally, it has a small-scale outdoor stage mainly for teenage performers.The camp site includes grassy field, barbecue grill, outdoor tables, spa (for bathing), and individual shower stalls. The family camp zone is especially of note, since it has maximum capacity of over 200 persons at one time including tent setup and even its own parking area. It is conveniently located by the entrance to Station K122: Yangwon Station on the KORAIL-JungAng Line of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway System (수도권전철/Sudogwon Jeoncheol) for those using public transportation.

Take Fivers (NSFW Edition!): Imagine if Eru Chitanda is being f-ed by someone, she called WHO?

This is happened when Oreki f-ed with Eru in their school.


Meanwhile, in Sochi...


Oh shucks! Viktor Ahn is so handsome! That's why Eru adores him so much.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Yu Gwan-sun, Main Role of Samil-Manse Independence Movement


Yu Gwansun (Hangul/Hanja: 유관순/柳寬順; Born: December 16th 1902 - Died: September 28th 1920) was an organizer in what would come to be known as the March 1st Movement against the Japanese colonial rule of Korea in Southern Chungcheong Province. In 1919, Yu Gwansun was a student at Ewha Womans University's high school in Seoul, where she witnessed the beginnings of the March 1st Movement. Her deep faith in God and the teachings from the Methodist Ehwa School gave her the courage to act boldly. When the school went into recess, following an order by the Japanese government closing all Korean schools, she returned to her home in Jiryeong-ri (nowadays 18-2 YuGwansun Saengga-gil, Yongdu-ri 338-1 beonji, Byeongcheon-myeon, Cheonan Dongnam-gu, Southern Chungcheong).

There, along with her family, she began to arouse public feeling against the Japanese occupation. She also planned a demonstration for independence, which included people from some neighboring towns, Yeongi, Chungju, and Jincheon. The demonstration was scheduled to start on the first lunar day of March 1919 at 9:00 a.m. in Awunae Marketplace. About 2,000 demonstrators shouted, "Long live Korean Independence!" ("대한독립만세"). The Japanese police were dispatched at around 1:00 p.m. that same day, and Yu was arrested with other demonstrators. Both of her parents (Yu Jung-kwon and Yi Soje) were killed by Japanese police during the demonstration.

Yu served a brief detention at Cheonan Japanese Military Police Station, and then she was tried and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment at Seodaemun Prison in Seoul. During her sentence, Yu Gwansun continued to protest for the independence of Korea, for which she received harsh beatings and diverse, extremely severe forms of torture at the hands of Japanese officers. 

She died in prison on September 28, 1920, reportedly as the result of torture. Her final words were, "Even if my fingernails are torn out, my nose and ears are ripped apart, and my legs and arms are crushed, this physical pain does not compare to the pain of losing my nation. My only remorse is not being able to do more than dedicating my life to my country."

The Japanese prison initially refused to release her body, but eventually and reluctantly the prison released her body to Lulu Frey and Jeannette Walter, principals of Ewha Womans School, and only after Frey and Walter threatened to expose this atrocity to the world. Her body was reported to have been cut into pieces, but in fact according to Walter, who dressed her body for funeral, this allegation was false. The body was contained inside an oil crate which was supposed to be returned to Saucony Vacuum Company. The Japanese Authorities did this as a retaliation against the threat from Ehwa School.

She was posthumously awarded the Order of Merit for National Foundation, Independence Medal (건국훈장-독립장/Geon-guk Hunjang-Dongnipjang; 3rd Class) in 1962. The latest flagship Sohn Won-yil U214-Class Submarine, SS-078 ROKS Yu Gwan-sun was commissioned on the 96th Anniversary of Samil-Manse Movement (March 1st 2015), in honor to a schoolgirl behind the Korean Independence Movement. This submarine is the first submarine to be named after a woman in the history of ROK Navy.

Lake Tangeum, Chungju, Northern Chungcheong - Row your kayaks, folks!


Lake Tangeum (Hanja: 彈琴湖) is an artificial lake, located at the communes of Geumga-myeon and Gageum-myeon, Chungju City, Northern Chungcheong Province. The lake is located between Chungju Dam and another dam that regulates its flow. There are leisure facilities including Jungangtap Park and Keum Sports Park. The lake is surrounded by roads with good views. Each August there are water sports and cultural performances at the Riverside Stage near the lake. The River Fountain is located next to the Riverside Stage. There are also facilities for people to do bird watching.

The 2013 World Rowing Championships, the highlight of the international rowing calendar, was held at the stunning Tangeum Lake International Rowing Regatta from the 25th August to the 1st September. This will provide Chungju with an unparalleled opportunity to promote its green credentials and boost the local economy and its tourism profile. The city leaders have identified the event as a catalyst for re-generating and diversifying the local economy away from a reliance on agriculture, labeling Chungju as a “Watersports City”.

The Regatta infrastructure is completed and the event had the potential to attract cosmopolitan competitors from 137 member countries. Great Britain, Germany and New Zealand lead the team world rankings and will all bring powerful teams. This will be a great chance for Chungju to celebrate its long history, Korean culture and a host of natural and man-made attractions.

Birthplace of UN Secretary-General - Ban Ki-moon, Eumseong, Northern Chungcheong


This is a memorial hall built in the village of the birthplace of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It is located in the Ban Ki-moon Pyeonghwa Land, which is a theme park decorated with sculptures and artworks signifying Ban Ki-moon and the UN. 

The place offers to visitors Ban's detailed life story up to the point of becoming the UN Secretary-General from his childhood, school life to 37 years as a diplomat. Also, the place introduces Ban's various activities for world peace such as dealing with the issues of climate change, poverty and diseases after he became the UN Secretary-General.


About Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moon (Hangul/Hanja: 반기문/潘基文; born 13 June 1944) is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations. He entered diplomatic service the year he graduated from university, accepting his first post in New Delhi, India. In the foreign ministry, he established a reputation for modesty and competence.

Ban was born in a small farming village in 17 Haengchi Drive/Haengchi-gil, Sangdang-ri 602-2 beonji, Wonnam-myeon, Eumseong County, Northern Chungcheong Province, in June 1944. His family then moved to the nearby town of Chungju, where he grew up. During Ban's childhood, his father had a warehouse business, but the warehouse went bankrupt and the family lost its middle-class standard of living. When Ban was six, his family fled to a remote mountainside for much of the Korean War. After the war ended, his family returned to Chungju. Ban has mentioned meeting American soldiers at this time.

In secondary school (Chungju High School), Ban became a star student, particularly in his studies of the English language. In 1962, Ban won an essay contest sponsored by the Red Cross and earned a trip to the United States where he lived in San Francisco with a host family for several months. As part of the trip, Ban met U.S. President John F. Kennedy. When a journalist at the meeting asked Ban what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said, "I want to become a diplomat."

He received a bachelor's degree in international relations from Seoul National University in 1970, and earned a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1985. At Harvard, he studied under Joseph Nye who remarked that Ban had "a rare combination of analytic clarity, humility and perseverance." Ban was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) by the University of Malta on 22 April 2009. He further received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Washington in October 2009.

In addition to his native Korean, Ban speaks English and French. There have been questions, however, regarding the extent of his knowledge of French, one of the two working languages of the United Nations Secretariat.

Ban was the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. Ban was initially considered a long shot for the office. As foreign minister of Korea, however, he was able to travel to all the countries on the United Nations Security Council, a maneuver that turned him into the campaign's front runner.

On October 13, 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. On January 1, 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan. Ban struggled in his first month to adjust to the culture of the United Nations, but quickly found his bearings and passed several major reforms on peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and on the Darfur conflict, where he helped persuade Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan.

Ban Ki-moon met Yoo Soon-taek in 1962 when they were both high school students. Ban was 18 years old, and Yoo Soon-taek was his secondary school's student council president. Ban Ki-moon married Yoo Soon-taek in 1971. They have three adult children: two daughters and a son. His elder daughter, Seon-yong, was born in 1972 and now works for the Korea Foundation in Seoul. She is married to an Indian. His son, Woo-hyun was born in 1974 in India. He received an MBA from Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles, and works for an investment firm in New York. His younger daughter, Hyun-hee (born 1976), is a field officer for UNICEF in Nairobi. After his election as Secretary-General, Ban became an icon in his hometown, where his extended family still resides. Over 50,000 gathered in a soccer stadium in Chungju for celebration of the result. In the months following his election, thousands of practitioners of geomancy went to his village to determine how it produced such an important person. Ban himself is not a member of any church or religious group and has declined to expound his beliefs: "Now, as Secretary-General, it will not be appropriate at this time to talk about my own belief in any particular religion or god. So maybe we will have some other time to talk about personal matters." His mother is a Buddhist.

During his tenure at the South Korean Foreign Ministry, Ban's nickname was jusa, meaning "the Bureaucrat" or "the administrative clerk". The name was used as both positive and negative: complimenting Ban's attention to detail and administrative skill while deriding what was seen as a lack of charisma and subservience to his superiors. The South Korean press corps calls him "the slippery eel", for his ability to dodge questions. His peers praise his understated "Confucian approach." and he is regarded by many as a "stand-up guy" and is known for his "easy smile".

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

National Theatre of Korea, Seoul Jung-gu: When the Gwangbokjeol Celebrations covered with blood...


The National Theatre of Korea (Hanja: 國立劇場) was opened in 1950 as the first national theatre in Asia. Located at 59 Jangchungdan Avenue/Jangchungdanno, Jangchung-dong 2-ga san 14-67 beonji, Seoul Jung-gu, the theatre is the base of operations for four performance groups: the National Drama Company, the National Changgeuk Company, the National Dance Company, and the National Orchestra Company. By supporting these performance troupes, the National Theatre strives to globalize Korean traditional arts, modifying select pieces to reach a larger audience. This is the place where Yook Young-soo, wife of President Park Chung-hee and mother of the Current President, Park Geun-hye was assassinated by a North Korean sympathizer, Mun Se-gwang in his failed attempt to assassinate President Park Chung-hee.

The National Theatre of Korea located on Namsan, which is a central of the metropolitan city of Seoul founded in April 1950. It was not until the National Theatre established on Namsan in 1973 that it was transferred from place to place under many circumstances.

After the Korean Government was established in 1948, an executive order to establish a national theater was promulgated. The Bumingwan, the City Hall (now Seoul Metropolitan Council) was designated as a site for a national theatre, and Yoo Chi-jin was named the first president of the National Theatre of Korea. The New Theatre Council was inaugurated with a national theater in January 1950, under which two resident drama companies, Shin-hyup and Geuk-hyup. They staged Wonsulrang (written by Yoo Chi-jin) for the opening performance in April 1950. It drew more than fifty thousand visitors for 15 days.

The subsequent staging of a Thunderstorm (written by Cho Woo) was successful in a row. The play drew approximately 75,000 people, or about one sixth of the total population of Seoul and registered a new high in Korea's drama history. While it was working on its third performance, all activities of theatre were totally paralyzed with the outbreak of the Korean War only after 57 days of opening.

The war made the theatre's functions completely paralyzed. Many artists were either kidnapped or defected to the North Korea. Consequently, hopes for a new theatrical art were dashed. However their passion survived the internecine war. A money bill to rebuild the National Theatre was passed in May 1952 by the National Assembly and the cabinet meeting. With a decision to use the Daegu Cultural Center as a new place for the National Theatre, it reopened in a refuge of Daegu.

Returning to the capital after the war, the National Theatre opened at the Sigonggwan (Seoul Public Hall) in June 1957 on condition that it would occupy part of the latter. With no resident companies under exclusive contract with the National Theatre, it invited members of Shin-hyup to work for the National Drama Company. Witnessing ordeals such as the April 19 Student Uprising and the May 16 Military Coup on one hand, and a rapid influx of visual media into Korea including the film industry on the other, the theatrical arts faced new challenges. Rising up to such challenges of the times, the National Theatre came up with a variety of self-help measures including 'Opening a Prize List of Plays' which aims at boosting performances of original plays.

With the newly establishment of Seoul Public Hall by the Seoul City Government, Sigonggwan became an exclusive building for the National Theatre in Myeongdong. Timing with the Opening ceremony of the renovated National Theatre in March 1962, the theater inaugurated resident companies including the National Dance, Changgeuk, Opera Company in addition to the existing Drama Company.


Yook Young-soo and Park Chung-hee before her assassination

29th Anniversary of Gwangbokjeol: Black Gwangbokjeol - The Assassination of the First Lady Yook Young-soo
At 10:23 a.m, 15th August 1974 - 29th Anniversary of Gwangbokjeol, Yook Young-soo was shot and killed by Mun Se-gwang (Japanese name: Nanjou Seikou), a North Korean sympathizer Zainichi Korean, during an attempt by Mun to assassinate President Park Chung-hee.

The assassination occurred at the Seoul National Theatre of Korea during an Independence Day ceremony. Mun intended to shoot Park in the theatre lobby. However, his view was obstructed, and he was forced to enter and be seated near the back of the theatre. During Park's address, he attempted to get closer to the President but inadvertently fired his Smith & Wesson .38 revolver prematurely, injuring himself. Having alerted security, he then ran down the theatre aisle firing wildly. His second bullet hit the left side of the podium from which Park was delivering his speech. This third bullet was a misfire. His fourth bullet struck Yook Young-soo in the head, seriously wounding her. His last bullet went through a flag decorating the rear of the stage. A bullet fired by Park Jong-gyu one of the President's security, in response to Mun's attack, ricocheted off a wall and killed a high school student, Jang Bong-hwa. Immediately following the capture of Mun, Park ever disciplined, resumed his scheduled speech despite the wounding of his wife and her being carried from the stage. Following it's completion he picked up his wife's handbag and shoes and left.

Yook Young-soo's last moment - seems tragic, isn't it?
Yook was rushed to the hospital in Wonnam-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu. Dr. Shim Bo-seong who was chief of the hospital’s neurosurgery department began operating on Yook at 11 a.m. and which lasted for over 5 hours. The bullet hit the biggest vein on the right side of brain and remained lodged within her brain. Yook’s blood type was AB, which is a rare blood type and was in short supply in Korea. As a result hospital staff had to obtain additional blood from other nearby hospitals and the Red Cross Blood Service. The surgery was unable to save her life and she died at 7:00 p.m. that same day.

Yook Young-soo is buried next to her husband (Assassinated in 26th October 1979) at the Seoul National Cemetery, Dongjak-dong, Seoul Dongjak-gu and received state funeral on 19th August 1974.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Inside Changgyeonggung + Changdeokgung, Part VII: Hamyangmun Gate - Palace Transfer, anyone?


Hamyangmun (Hanja: 涵陽門) is a gate which separates two Jewel Palaces of Joseon Dynasty which are Changgyeong and Changdeok Palaces. The access to these palaces is easy, where the visitors from Changgyeong Palace can visit to the neighboring palace, including its rear garden and vice versa. 

From May 1st, 2010, visitors may visit and take a tour of Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace (Rear Garden included), Changgyeong Palace, Deoksugung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine by buying one all-inclusive ticket. The ticket is 10000 won and may be used within a month after purchase. 

An all-inclusive ticket (10000 won valid for 1 month) for 4 major palaces (Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace, Changgyeong Palace, & Deoksu Palace) and Jongmyo Shrine will be available starting from May 1st, 2010.  Visitors may take a combined tour of Changdeok Palace and Changgyeong Palace (additional ticket purchase must be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate). REMEMBER, this special ticket is not applicable in Gyeonghui Palace.



Two combined topics in one blog entry for the second time. Nicely done.

Inside Changgyeonggung, Part VI: Honghwamun Gate - Main Gate to Changgyeong Palace


Honghwamun (Hanja: 弘化門) is the main gate of Changgyeong Palace, faces east as is Myeongjeongjeon Hall, the main building of the palace. This gate is believed to have been first built in the 15th year of the reign of King Seongjong (1484) and then burnt down during the Japanese Imjin Invasion of 1592 and rebuilt in the eighth year of the reign of King Gwanghae (1616). 

This is typical of the early Joseon architecture, featuring a two-story pavilion 3 kan wide and 2 kan deep (a kan is a traditional word of length between two columns showing different dimension according to the period), and multi-brackets atop the columns. There are three wood plank doors in the front and crimson arrow-like ornaments above the doors There is a flight of stairs in the northern part of the structure leading to the second story. The second story is wood floored and the ceiling structure is visible from the floor. Walls extend from the gate. A ball pavilion (sipjagak) was built on either side of this two-tiered wooden gate. 

As you pass through the gate, Okcheongyo Bridge comes into view. Between the arches under the bridge's parapet are carved goblins (dokkaebi) that are intended to ward off evil spirits. Okcheongyo Bridge was built approximately 500 years ago and serves as a symbolic entry to the courtyard. Honghwamun is designated as National Treasure 384.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Inside Changgyeonggung, Part V: Munjeongjeon Hall - Seat of the Joseonese Royal Council


Munjeongjeon Hall (Hanja: 文政殿) is a council hall where the king dealt with routine state affairs. Unlike the throne hall, which faces east, this building faces south. Such a palace layout with a secondary structure facing a different direction than a throne hall is highly unusual in Korea. Munjeongjeon was also used to enshrine royal tablets after funerals. It was dismantled during the Japanese occupation. Munjeongjeon as it stands today was restored in 1986 along with Munjeongjeon Gate and the eastern part of the roofed corridor. According to the nineteenth-century "Painting of the Eastern Palace", Munjeongjeon was partitioned from Sungmundang and Myeongjeongjeon by a wall, and had a small annex; the courtyard was surrounded by a wall-like corridor. This part has not yet been restored.

It was confirmed through the excavation in 1984 that the original building stood on a base 20 meters north to south and 18 meters west to east and the base had two stairs in its east and west sides. The restored Munjeongjeon hall is 3 kan wide and as many kan deep, and has square columns and multi-cluster brackets on the column tops.

The single-story building with a hipped-and-gabled roof with double-tiered eaves is 125.4 square meters in floor space and faces the south. The two-tiered flower terrace was built on the sloping terrain to the west of this building, and Munjeongmun gate was erected in the east.

The original Munjeongjeon was built in 1484 by King Seongjong and burnt down during the Japanese Imjin Invasion in 1592 to be rebuilt in 1616 during the reign of King Gwanghae. Judging from Joseonchongdokbu/조선총독부 Vol. X, published by the Japanese government-general in 1930, showed the east side of Munjeongjeon, the building must have survived until that year.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Inside Changgyeonggung, Part IV: The Great Greenhouse - Cultivate your favourite plants inside Changgyeong Palace!


The Great Greenhouse of Changgyeong Palace (Hanja/Romanization: 大溫室/Daeonsil) is the first modern western style glasshouse of its kind in Korea, and was built in 1907. Although Daeonsil was designed by Hayato Fukuba, the former head of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Imperial Garden, it was built by a French company. At the time, the Crystal Palace design was quite popular in the West and Korea’s conservatory was Asia’s largest. Architecturally, the glass house’s design maximizes the amount of sunlight, thanks to the long and narrow pieces of wood that frame sharply pointed arches and windows. To break the monotony, half-circles were also incorporated into Daeonsil‘s design, while the roof’s ridgeline is decorated with plum blossoms. Here’s one interesting fact. Although the Mugunghwa, or Rose of Sharon has long been Korea’s symbolic flower, Japan required Korea’s royal family to adopt the modest plum blossom so as not to compete with Japan’s chrysanthemum-themed throne.

After Korea’s last king, Emperor Sunjong-Yunghui, changed his residence from Deoksugung (덕수궁) to Changdeokgung in 1907, Japanese officials moved to demote Changgyeonggung’s status to that of a public park. In 1909, just one year before Korea’s was formally annexed by Imperial Japan, botanical gardens, a zoo and the country’s first Victorian-style greenhouse were erected on the site. The presence of wild animals on former palace grounds was seen by many Koreans as a grave insult.

The sharply pointed arch and window frames were made with long, thin wood frames with glass panels inserted within. The ridge of the roof is decorated with repeated plum designs typical of royal motifs.  A Renaissance style fountain and labyrinth-style garden is established in the front. The restored glasshouse now holds over 110 kinds of flora, classified into wild flowers, endangered plants and native plants, promising to become an excellent place to study Korean ingenious flowers. 

During the period of Japanese colonization (1910-1945) the palace status was relegated to that of a public park. It remained that way for decades until the massive restoration project in 1983. While the zoo has been scrapped, the greenhouse survived, recognized for its building design and due to it being “the first.” It was designated as registered cultural heritage no. 83 in 2004. 

The palace is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Tuesday. Visitors are free to visit the greenhouse during that time. If you’d like to visit Daeonsil, or Changgyeonggung palace more generally, the Cultural Heritage Administration has introduced a special integrated ticket. For just 10,000 won, you gain unlimited access to all five palaces as well as the Jongmyo Royal Shrine (종묘) for an entire month! It’s a fantastic deal.

Inside Changgyeonggung, Part III: Seoninmun Gate - The Tragic Story of Crown Prince Sado-Jangheon


Seoninmun Gate (Hanja: 宣仁門) inside Changgyeong Palace is the place where King Yeongjo of Joseon had Crown Prince Sado-Jangheon a.k.a Posthumous King Jangjo locked up in the wooden rice chest inside the gate for 8 days; that resulting the death of the crown prince because of starvation and suffocation.

Crown Prince Sado-Jangheon (Born: 13 February 1735 - Died: 12 July 1762) was born as the second son of the Korean King Yeongjo of Joseon and father of King Jeongjo the Great, as well as being born the royal heir as a result of the early and youthful death of his older brother, Crown Prince Hyojang, in 1728; however, Sado was not given an opportunity to reign and was executed by starvation.

History indicates Sado suffered from mental illness; accused of randomly killing people in the palace and being a serial rapist. By court rules King Yeongjo could not kill his son by his own hands. As a result, Yeongjo, with the consent of Sado's mother, Lady Yi, issued a royal decree that ordered Sado climb into and be sealed within a large wooden rice chest on a hot July day in 1762. Crown Prince Sado died in 12 July 1762, eight days after King Yeongjo sealed him inside Seoninmun Gate.

King Yeongjo later became remorseful and gave his son the posthumous title 'Sado' ("thinking in sorrow"). It is often believed that Crown Prince Sado was a victim of a conspiracy by his political adversaries, but this is refuted in the Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong, which was written by Prince Sado's wife Lady Hyegyeong.

During the 19th century, there were rumors that Prince Sado had not been mentally ill, but had been framed; however, these rumors are contradicted by his wife, Lady Hyegyeong, in The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyeong. Sado's death remains an issue of debate as to whether his death was a retribution for his actual misconduct or if he was the victim of a conspiracy by his political opponents.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Inside Changgyeonggung, Part II: Gwandeokjeong Pavilion


Gwandeokjeong Pavilion (Hanja: 觀徳亭) in Changgyeong Palace, Seoul Jongno-gu was built in 1642 (20th Reigning Year of King Injo) as a pavilion for archers. The surrounding area was used as a military training site and for state military examinations. Behind the pavilion was a thick forest of many trees, whose beautiful foliage was praised in poems composed by a number of kings. Besides, several Joseonese Kings rested there and enjoyed the scenery surrounding the pavilion.

If you walk to the serene forest of the secret Rear Garden of Changgyeong Palace after going through Chundangji Pond you can see a small building which is called Gwandeokjeong Pavilion. There are trees along both sides of the ascending path going to the pavilion and it is paved with thin stones.

This pavilion is not to be confused with the Gwandeokjeong Pavilion of Jeju Island, which is built during the reign King Sejong the Great, two years after the demise of his Consort, Queen Soheon of Cheongsong Shim Clan and two years before the death of the great king - that means the year of 1448.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Wolmido, Incheon Jung-gu: The site of Incheon Landing a.k.a Operation Chromite 1950


Wolmido or Wolmi Island (Hanja: 月尾島), located roughly 1km off the coast of Incheon, in the precinct of Bukseong-dong 1-ga (북성동1가/北城洞1街), Incheon Jung-gu - has since become part of the mainland with the creation of a new highway. The name Wolmi Island comes from the shape of the island as it resembles the tail of a half moon. Thanks to its location near Seoul and the convenient transportation, many people visit here during weekends. 

Wolmido was connected to the mainland by a highway in 1989, and was later connected by a monorail line as well. It is a weekend destination and tourist area, with restaurants, the theme park Play Hill and the areas Meeting Square, Arts Square, Performance Square, and Good Harvest Square. The Korean Traditional Garden at Wolmi Park (월미공원/月尾公園) was established in 2001 after the relocation of the Army base which had been located there for 50 years.

On September 10, 1950, the U.S. Army began five days of bombing Wolmi Island, which contained North Korean Army soldiers. Several hundred civilians were killed in the dropping of 93 napalm bombs. An Army base was established at the site of what became Wolmi Park after the base's relocation. The site was turned into a garden and opened to the public in 2001.

The Culture street starts with the Doodle Pillar, and continues onward to the Meeting Square, Arts Square, Performance Square, Good Harvest Square and several other notable highlights. Throughout these areas, spontaneous performances are performed, and street artists can draw for you on the spot. Moreover, many cafes and seafood restaurants are lined along the coast so you can enjoy the food while viewing the sea. 

A must-see attraction on Wolmi Island is "Play Hill". It’s not as large as other theme parks in Korea, but the Disco Pang-Pang and the Viking rides are truly thrilling. The Disco Pang-Pang ride is fun just watching. You can also get on a cruise to look around the island. This island is the place where the Music Video entitled 'Hangover' by PSY and Snoop Dogg is recorded.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

April Revolution of Gyeongja Year, 1960.4.19: Unleash your anger against President Rhee!


The April Revolution (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization: 4.19혁명/4.19革命/Sa-il-gu Hyeongmyeong), sometimes called the April 19 Revolution or April 19 Movement, was a popular uprising in April 1960, led by labor and student groups, which overthrew the autocratic First Republic of South Korea under Syngman Rhee. It led to the resignation of Rhee and the transition to the Second Republic. The events were touched off by the discovery in Masan Harbor of the body of a student killed by a tear-gas shell in demonstrations against the elections of March 1960 which is known as the Masan Uprising.

President Rhee had been in office since 1948, but faced increasing domestic discontent as his rule had delivered limited economic and social development, while being perceived as corrupt with Rhee amending the constitution to prolong his stay in power. The U.S. had reduced its economic aid from a high of $382,893,000 in 1957 to $222,204,000 in 1959. Rhee was shocked and threatened by this reduced American support and he began taking increasingly desperate measures to ensure his political survival. In December 1958 he forced through the National Assembly an amendment to the National Security Law giving the government broad new powers to curtail freedom of the press which was to prevent members of the opposition from voting.

For the 1960 presidential election, two main parties were running against Rhee. The small Progressive Party which received one million votes in the 1956 presidential election was represented by Cho Pong-am, while the Democratic Party was represented by Cho Byeong-ok. In July 1959 Rhee slandered Cho Bong-am as a Communist, he was imprisoned and swiftly executed. Cho Byeong-ok went to America for a stomach operation but died there of a heart attack. The death of these two competitors seemed too much of a coincidence to the Korean public and they assumed that the deaths were the result of corruption.

For the election of the vice president, which was done separately in Korea, Rhee was determined to see his protege Lee Ki-boong elected. Lee ran against Chang Myon of the Democratic Party, who was the former ambassador to the United States during the Korean War. On March 15 Lee, who was mostly bedridden, won the elections with an abnormally wide margin, winning 8,225,000 votes, while Myon received just 1,850,000 votes. It became clear to the people that the vote was fraudulent. According to the Korean Report, Democratic rallies were prohibited throughout the nation and hundreds of pre-marked ballots were stuffed into ballots on election day.

On March 15, 1960, a protest against electoral corruption took place in Masan (Present-day Changwon MasanHappo-gu and Changwon MasanHoewon-gu). The protest, sparked by Democratic Party members' exposure of electoral corruption, led to about a thousand residents of Masan gathering in front of the Democratic Party Headquarters in Masan around 7:30 in the evening. As the citizens faced off against the police, the city was blacked out. The police started shooting at the people and the people responded by throwing rocks at the police.

On April 11, Kim Ju-yeol's body was found in the harbor at Masan by a fisherman. Kim had been a student at Masan Commercial High School who had disappeared during the Masan rioting of March 15. Authorities announced that an autopsy confirmed that the cause of his death was drowning, but many rejected this explanation. Some protesters forced their way into the hospital. They found that Kim's skull had been split by a 20 centimeter-long tear-gas grenade which had penetrated from Kim's eyes to the back of his head, which indicated that the police had shot the tear gas to an angle less than 45 degrees, which could be fatal if shot directly at a person's face. Rhee’s regime tried to censor news of this incident, however the story was reported by the Korean press along with a picture of Kim when his body was first found, and delivered to the world through AP. This incident shocked the nation and became the basis of a national movement against electoral corruption on April 19. Masan erupted into three days of spontaneous mass protests which led to further violent clashes.

President Rhee claimed that the Communist Party of North Korea had been behind the Masan protests trying to shift the focus. Later a National Assembly investigating committee found that the firing into the crowd by the police had not been intended to disperse the crowds, but rather to kill protesters. It was later revealed at a criminal trial that Park Jong-pyo, the Chief of Public Security who ordered firing against protesters, tied rocks on Kim Ju-yeol's dead body and threw him away into the Masan shore to prevent him floating up on the shore.

On April 18, students from Korea University launched a non-violent protest at the National Assembly against police violence and demanding new elections, however they were attacked by gangs funded by Rhee's supporters as they returned to their campus.

On April 19 thousands of students marched from Korea University to the Blue House, as they marched past other high schools and universities, their numbers grew to over 100,000. Arriving at the Blue House, the protesters called for Rhee's resignation. Police opened fire on protestors killing approximately 180 and wounding thousands. That day the Rhee government proclaimed martial law in order to suppress the demonstrations. On April 25 1960, professors joined students and citizens in large-scale protests outnumbering soldiers and police who refused to attack the protestors.

On April 26, President Rhee stepped down from power. Lee Ki-boong, Rhee's handpicked running mate for the vice presidency, was blamed for most of the corruption in the government. On 27 April, Lee Ki-boong and his entire family committed suicide. On April 28, Minister of Interior Choi In-Kyu and the Chief of Security resigned taking responsibility for the Masan incident.

After the resignation of Rhee and the death of Lee Ki-boong, the rule of the Liberal Party government came to an end. South Korea adopted a parliamentary system to remove power from the office of the president and so while Yoon Bo-seon was elected President on 13 August 1960, real power was vested in the prime minister, Chang Myon. Following months of political instability, on 19 May 1961 General Park Chung-hee launched a coup d'état during teacher's day - overthrowing the short-lived Second Republic of South Korea and replacing it with a military junta and later the autocratic Third Republic of South Korea.

The students who had led the April Revolution represented their actions as an effort to replace authoritarianism with democracy. South Korea need to halt and reverse the trend to a totalitarian regime and bring about fair and free election. In terms of looking at the April Revolution as a process of democratisation, it was not a class conflict of the bourgeoisie or the proletariat but a people's rights revolution. Students were at the center of calling for better rights of the citizen and demolishing authoritarianism into South Korea. 

South Korea was opening its eyes into democracy and began its history of developmental autocracy. The revolution showed the power of citizens to remove the president from office and call for clean politics and fair in South Korea for the first time.


Located at the foot of Mt. Bukhan (Specific Location: 17, April 19th Road-8th Street/4.19로8길, Suyu-dong san 9-1 beonji, Seoul Gangbuk-gu), the National Cemetery for the April 19th Revolution (Hanja: 國立4.19民主墓地) was established in memory of the 224 people who died during the April 19th Revolution in 1960. In the cemetery (135,901m²) are a memorial hall (1,652.9m²) and a traditional wooden structure (330.58m²) that houses the grave of historic figure, Yu Yeong-bong. 

At the cemetery is a pond surrounded by sculptures such as the ‘Symbolic Door,’ ‘Roots of Democracy,’ and ‘Sparks of Justice’ and a memorial tower bearing an inscription for the brave patriots who lost their lives during the revolution. The grove of pine, juniper, yew, and maple trees along with the well-kept hiking path serve as a natural addition to the overwhelming ambience of peace and serenity. In May, many people come just to take in the glorious scene of the sunset over Mount Bukhan.