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

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, LARGE Edition! (Part XIX): Zhao Yun and Cho Byeong-ok (1894-1960) - The Death of Cho Byeong-ok and the Foul Play in the March 15 Elections, written by John Chang Myon

February 15th 1960. Just one month from the presidential and vice presidential election day, fate took another tragic twist. Dr. Cho Byeong-ok, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate who had gone to Washington D.C. for surgery, passed away.

On January 19, at the peak of the campaign, Dr. Cho stated in a press interview: “I have no intention of going into a hospital.  I assure you that I am mentally and physically capable of speaking for an hour and a half in any campaign rally.  It is true that I have some problems with my intestines but I am not going to be hospitalized.  The need for surgery is news to me; my doctor has never told me any such thing.”  However, his doctor told the reporters on January 22 that X-rays showed Dr. Cho needed immediate surgery.  Dr. Cho departed for the U.S. on January 29 with the words, “I’m going to come back in good health.”

He underwent surgery on January 30 at the Walter Reed Military Hospital.  We were told that his prognosis was favorable and that he would be able to leave the hospital around February 22 and be on his way home at the end of the month.  But he died suddenly on February 15.   

To have been destined to lose a running mate twice!  I lost my presidential running mate, Shin Ik-hee, in 1956 only ten days prior to the elections for the third president and vice president of the country.  And now Dr. Cho was not to return from the U.S. Mine was the oddest fate.

As for Dr. Rhee, on the other hand, it was a boon for him to be elected without effort. His success for the fourth consecutive time became an established fact as there was no time for the Democratic Party to nominate another candidate.  Relieved from the qualms over the presidential election, the Liberal Party set out to get Yi Ki-bung, their vice presidential candidate, elected by any means, fair or foul. They vowed not to repeat the defeat of the previous election.  

With the beginning of March, we began to get clues that the Liberal Party was earnestly plotting against us.  Not all of the police were tools of the ruling party.  There were many officers who informed us about the instructions they had received to support the Liberal Party’s illicit schemes.      

The opposition party was ready to reveal all the dark schemes of the Liberal Party. Equipped with evidence, we released new information to newspapers, which ran them under banner headlines.  We also raised the issue in the National Assembly.  We knew that the ruling party and the government had worked out detailed illegal and unethical strategies and sent instructions out with a stern admonition “not to spare anyone’s life” in order to remove any obstruction in their way.  They were willing to go to the extreme.

On February 28, while I was heading to a rally in Daegu, high school students erupted in protest against the government’s heavy-handedness. Afraid, with good, reasons that the students would crowd into the rally, government officials instructed schools to keep them in class although it was a Sunday; that only ignited the anger of the students.  Their demonstration that day was the starting point of the nationwide student demonstrations, which kindled the April 19 Revolution.  My heart leaps even today when I think of the rally by the Suseong River where I spoke over the shouts of the Taegu students from afar.  We had the wholehearted support of the people.  There was nothing that could overpower the power of the people.

However, trouble was brewing from, of all places, the inside of our party.  Some of the old faction members, having lost their zeal with the death of their leader, Dr. Cho, suggested we give up the elections because the election of a vice president alone would be meaningless.  Most of them became passive spectators or, at worse, uncooperative.  They probably saw no advantage in electing a man of the new faction as vice president.

In the meantime, the Liberal Party, now that their success in the presidential election was firmly secured, proposed that the president and the vice president be elected from the same political party.  As the elections approached, election fraud became even more rampant, each new act more outrageous than the previous one.  As a last resort, they printed a fake photo of the Democratic candidate.  One morning near election day, I woke up to find the whole country plastered with a photograph of myself standing beside a Japanese soldier.  A close look revealed that it was a composite picture of someone else with my face, the work of a professional photographer to create the impression that I was a Japanese sympathizer.  The fact that it was plastered all over the country overnight, during curfew, plainly betrayed that it was done under the supervision of some government agency.  Much too crude and vulgar to  be convincing, the effort had the opposite effect of earning the Liberal Party derision and scorn.

From the dawn of election day, desperate reports poured in from everywhere, “There is nothing we can do.  We should give up the election.”  Ballot boxes were found that were already filled with ballots, and the poll watchers of the Democratic Party were barred from the polling stations.  Gloomy reports notwithstanding, officers of the Democratic Party and I were determined to stay in the election.  We agreed that we should bear witness to all the horrendous malpractices of the Liberal Party before we gave up and do so only when it was worth it.  It would have meant nothing if we had given up at that point.  

The atmosphere continued to get more and more depressing. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, a half hour before the ballot closing time, we finally decided to declare that we were withdrawing.  The day had been marred with countless incidents of beatings and terror across the country and a great number of Democrats were severely injured.

In the evening of the most heinous election fraud in our history that usurped the sovereignty of the people, angry citizens in Masan took to the streets in protest against election fraud and stormed into the local police headquarters. It was a spontaneous outburst of people power, a violent eruption of  pent-up discontent.

It should be pointed out that the day’s uprising was the public’s united response to the opposition Democratic Party’s steadfast struggle against corruption and dictatorship.  The courageous uprising of the students that brought on the April 19 Revolution was made possible because the Democratic Party had already laid the foundation for resistance against the regime.  Over the years, numerous Democrats had risked their lives and lost all their family fortune in resisting the suppression by the Liberal regime.  Some were beaten to death or maimed. Kim Yong-ho, a financial officer of the Yeosu chapter, for example, was attacked by mobsters during the campaign and died on January 9, 1960.

Koreans owe the Democratic Party acknowledgement of its long struggle.  It is not fair to condemn it as having been power-thirsty or to say that it had had a free-ride to power on the tail of the April 19 Revolution.  It is true that the April 19 Revolution was directly responsible for the downfall of the dictatorship.  There is no doubt that the students dedicated their own blood to the development of democracy.  But the contribution of the Democratic Party in laying the groundwork for it through years of enduring persecution should not be underestimated.  

On March 16, the opposition lawmakers declared in the National Assembly the invalidity of the presidential and vice presidential elections.  On April 11, the Democratic Party filed a lawsuit to invalidate the elections. The next day, April 12, a massive street demonstration erupted in Masan for the second time.

I discussed the Masan situation with party officers and dispatched a number of doctors and lawyers together with party representatives.  Local doctors dared not give medical care to the injured citizens for fear of retaliation by the Liberal Party.  Lawyers were also needed because civil rights were being brutally trampled on and Masan people were reduced to a helpless state.  As soon as they arrived in Masan, our doctors got busy taking care of the injured with medicines they had taken with them, while our lawyers started to work to protect the rights of the citizenry.  Although belated, the opposition members endeavored their best to do their work.  Masan in those days was a sweltering cauldron of frenzy and excitement. The deafening cheers that shook the streets whenever a jeep with a Democratic Party insignia drove by were the heartfelt shouts of people power.  

The Democratic Party also did its best to locate the body of Kim Ju-yeol, a high school student who had been lost during the first Masan riot.  We even hired haenyo, the women divers of fishing villages, to look for him underwater.  Kim’s body floated up on April 11, a tear-gas canister lodged in his eye.

The roar of the people that started in Masan reverberated among the students of Korea University who started the student demonstration in Seoul on April 18.  Several days before, opposition assemblymen had already staged a massive demonstration and some started a sit-in protest, locking themselves in the National Assembly.  

“Down with the Syngman Rhee regime!” was the slogan that appeared at this stage. First heard in the demonstration by the Korea University students, it lit a fuse under students nationwide and erupted into a demand for the resignation of the President.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Koihime Musou Girls and Famous Koreans, LARGE Edition! (Part XVI): Cao Hong and Juksan Cho Bong-am (1898-1959) - Victim of President Syngman Rhee's Autocratic Rule

Cho Bong-am (Hangul/Hanja: 조봉암/曺奉岩 or 曹奉岩, Born: September 25th 1898 in Jisan-ri, Seonwon-myeon, Ganghwa County, Incheon Metropole - Executed: July 31st 1959 at Seodaemun Prison, Hyeonjeo-dong, Seoul Seodaemun-gu), known with his pen name of Juksan (죽산/竹山) was a Korean independence activist and politician, who ran for president in the South Korean presidential election in 1956. He is a member of Changnyeong Cho Clan (창녕조씨/昌寧曺氏), a clan which is originated from Changnyeong County, Southern Gyeongsang Province. He was a founding member of the Korean Communism party (조선공산당/朝鮮共産黨) and the Progressive Party (진보당 進步黨), a moderate socialist democratic party in South Korea that was one of the country's major political forces.

Cho Bong-am studied in Japan and the Soviet Union. In the 1920s, he was active in the Korean Communist Party. Post Japanese Rule though, Cho defected from the Communist Party in 1946, criticizing it for its subservience to the Soviet Union. After the end of the United States Army Military Government in Korea in 1947, Cho became the Minister of Agriculture under Syngman Rhee's presidency.

In 1952, Cho ran for presidency for the first time against sitting president Rhee, and Yi Si-yeong. He gained only 0.8 million votes out of 5.2 million. The Progressive Party was founded in the aftermath of the Korean War under Cho's leadership. Cho and his followers were able to build a wide coalition with the country's leftist forces. Cho also successfully created coalitions right-wing forces opposed to Syngman Rhee's dictatorship.

The party's founding and moderate success in Korea's hostile political environment is considered a large result of Bong-am's personal charisma. The Progressive Party advocated peaceful unification with North Korea, through strengthening the country's democratic forces and winning in a unified Korean election. Cho called for both anti-communist and anti-authoritarian politics, as well as advocating for social welfare policies for the peasants and urban poor.

In the 1956 election, Cho ran against Rhee, the anti-communist strongman previous president. Cho lost with 30% of the vote, which exceeded expectations. Following the election, the Progressive Party broke apart due to factionalism. Three years after the election, Cho was charged with espionage, and receiving funds from North Korea. He was executed on July 31st 1959 in Seodaemun Prison. Before he escorted to an execution chamber, Cho Bong-am reportedly said, “If I committed something wrong, it was that I entered politics. Please give me something alcoholic to drink.” He buried at Mangu Park Cemetery, Seoul Jungnang-gu after his execution on the gallows.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

I'll Never Die. 난... 죽지 않아.

This is a song about my situation. I've gone hiatus for almost four months because of my work as draftsman but.... my dream of spreading moe love in Korean Peninsula will go on. I'm still alive and will never die meaninglessly. I'll give you a song entitled "I'll Never Die" by Lee Jung-hyun.

뭐라고 했어 기가막혀 말도 안 돼 뭐야/Mworago haesseo gigamakhyeo maldo an-dwae mwoya 
어떻게 네가 먼저 네가 대체 뭐야/Eotteoke nega meonjeo nega daeche mwoya
하던데로 성질데로 맛좀 볼래 콱/Hadeondero seongjildero matjom bollae kwak
열받아 분통터져 미치겠어 뭐야/Yeolbada buntongteojyeo michigesseo mwoya

왜냐고 따져묻진 않겠어/Waenyago ttajyeomutjin angesseo
절대로 매달리진 않겠어/Jeoldaero maedallijin angesseo
어차피 내가 싫어가는 널 붙잡기는 싫어/Eochapi naega shireoganeun  neol butjabgineun shireo

추한꼴 보여주진 않겠어/Chuhankkol boyeojujin angesseo
다시는 전화하지 않겠어/Dasi-neun jeonhwahaji angesseo
참겠어 눈물 따윈 잊겠어/Chamgesseo nunmul  ttawin itgesseo
비참해질 태니까/Bichamhaejil taenikka 

너를 만나서 사랑한 만큼/Neoreul mannaseo saranghan mankeum 
이별후에 너무 아팠어/Ibyeolhu-e neomu apasseo  
하지만 잊을래 작은 기억까지 모두 가져가/Hajiman ijeullae jag-eun gieok-kkaji modu gajyeoga

너 때문에 아팠던 얘길 적어 둘꺼야/Neo ttaemune apatdeon yaegil jeog-eo dulkkeoya
혹시 또 너와 헤어진걸 잊어버릴까봐/Hoksi tto neowa he-eojin-geol ijeobeorilkkabwa
너 때문에 잃었던 나를 다시 찾겠어/Neo ttaemune ireotdeon nareul dasi chatgesseo
이제는 너의 모든것을 잊겠어/Ije-neun neo-ui modeungeos-eul itgesseo

I'll never cry I'll never die 
난 죽지 않아 너 하나때문에/Nan jukji an-a neo hana-ttaemune

며칠 집에 막혀 이런 저런 생각 고민해 봤지/Myeochil jib-e makhyeo ireon jeoreon saenggak gominhae bwatji
어쩌다 우리 이 지경이 되버리고 만건지/Eojjeoda uri i jigyeong-i doebeorigo mangeonji 
그런데 왜 나 보다 더 네가 불쌍해 보였지/Geureonde wae na boda deo nega bulssanghae boyeotji 
나 보다 멋진 여잔 없을 태니까지/Na boda meotjin yeojan eobs-eul taenikkaji 

함께한 사진 모두 찢겠어/Hamkkehan sajin modu jitgesseo
니가 또 그리워질 태니까/Niga tto geuriwojil taenikka 
다시는 취하지도 않겠어/Dasi-neun chwihajido angesseo
널 찾을 태니까/Neol chaj-eul taenikka 

잊으려 애를쓰진 않겠어/Ijeuryeo aereulsseujin angesseo
그게 더 힘이 들게 할 태니/Geuge deo him-i deulge hal taeni 
오히려 네가 떠나 준 것이/Ohiryeo nega tteona jun geos-i
다행일지도 몰라/Dahaeng-iljido molla 

어차피 우린 맞지 않는걸/Eochapi urin matji anneungil
네가 먼저 깨달았을뿐/Nega meonje kkaedarasseulppun 
너 같은 사랑은 이제 없을 태니 정말 고마워/Neo gat-eun sarang-eun ije eobs-eul taeni jeongmal gomawo 

너 때문에 아팠던 얘길 적어 둘꺼야/Neo ttaemune apatdeon yaegil jeog-eo dulkkeoya
혹시 또 너와 헤어진걸 잊어버릴까봐/Hoksi tto neowa he-eojin-geol ijeobeorilkkabwa
너 때문에 잃었던 나를 다시 찾겠어/Neo ttaemune ireotdeon nareul dasi chatgesseo
이제는 너의 모든것을 잊겠어/Ije-neun neo-ui modeungeos-eul itgesseo

너 때문에 이렇게 아파하는건 아냐/Neo ttaemune iroge apahaneun-geon anya 
널 위해 보낸 시간들이 안타까운거야/Neol wihae bonaen sigandeur-i antakkaun-geoya 
너 때문에 잃었던 나를 다시 찾겠어/Neo ttaemune ireotdeon nareul dasi chatgesseo 
이제는 나를 내가 사랑하겠어/Ije-neun nareul naega saranghagesseo 

I'll never cry I'll never die 
난 죽지 않아 너 하나때문에/Nan jukji an-a neo hana-ttaemune

다시는 아픔도/Dasi-neun apeumdo
다시는 이별도/Dasi-neun ibyeoldo 
다시는 고통까지도/Dasi-neun gotongkkajido
아픔도, 고통도, 꺼져버려!/Apeumdo, gotongdo, kkeojyeoboryeo!

Sumi: Whoa. I'm still alive?

Friday, 8 April 2016

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa: The Most Prestigious Award in the Republic of Korea

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa (Hangul/Hanja/Romanization/Abbreviation: 무궁화대훈장/無窮花大勳章/Mugunghwa Daehunjang/GOM) or also known as The Grand Order of the Rose of Sharon in English is the highest order awarded by the government of the Republic of Korea. It can be awarded to the individuals who are serving or have previously served as the Head of State of the Republic of Korea and its allies, as well as to the spouse of a head of state. The order is instituted on August 13th 1949 and presented for 'Outstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea.' The order is traditionally awarded to the President of the Republic of Korea and his/her spouse after their inauguration. At the same time, the President becomes the Grand Master/Mistress of this Grand Order.

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa takes its name from the national flower of Korea, the Rose of Sharon a.k.a hibiscus syriacus. The Rose of Sharon is a cultivar native to the Korean peninsula and has great cultural significance in Korean history. During the Japanese colonial period, the Mugunghwa was engraved in Korean people’s minds as a symbol of the undying soul and spirit of Korea. After all, in Korea, the Mugunghwa has been the flower that gives hopes and dreams even when a person is experiencing pain and sorrow.

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa consists of an insignia of The Royal Crown of Silla Kingdom (57BCE - 935CE) worn from a collar around the neck, a badge suspended from a sash, and a breast star. A lapel badge is also available. The sash of the order is worn from the left shoulder to the right hip. The Grand Order of Mugunghwa is made of gold and silver and includes ruby and amethyst gemstones. The decoration costs approximately 20 million won, or $19,000 U.S. dollars.

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa is traditionally awarded to the incoming President of the Republic of Korea shortly after their inauguration. Before the inauguration, President Roh Moo-hyun decided not to accept the award as is traditional, but to receive it from the incoming president upon his own departure from the office. After their conviction for treason in 1996, the former presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, were ordered to return the award along with other State decorations that they were awarded. While Chun agreed to return the awards, he and Roh have yet to actually return them.