Posted June. 24, 2011 01:07,
Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00
Saturday marks the 61st anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. Even after the 60th anniversary last year, the war continues to draw historical and cultural attention in South Korea. Preparation is well underway for filming of the Hollywood blockbuster 17 Days of Winter about the Battle of Jangjinho, the most intense conflict in the Korean War. The National Theater of Korea is staging anew the play Forest Fire, which is set in a mountainous village of widows whose husbands were killed or left during the war. This play was once criticized as an anti-communism drama but is now being recognized for its value as play of realism that details human greed and love.
A bigger problem is that though North Korean forces inflicted the worst atrocities on the Korean people, voices at large in the South actively seek to side with the North`s communist regime and ridicule anti-communism. The English musical Battle of Jangjinho, whose screenplay was written by novelist Bok Geo-il, is also being staged. Cultural commemoration of the Korean War is necessary even just to allow the younger generation who did not experience the Korean War to learn and get a feel for the war.
In the academic community, Yonsei University professor Park Myung-lim, a scholar of the war, recently published the book, History, Knowledge and Society Understanding the Korean War and Korean Society. In the book, Park criticized American historian Bruce Cumings, who questions if the war was caused by an invasion by North or South Korea. Once deeply sympathetic to Cumings, Park said, Whether the war was caused by invasion by the North or South is not a matter of whether you`re a conservative or progressive, but a matter of facts, adding, After documents in Russia and China were declassified in the 1990s, it became clear that the Korean War was triggered by the Norths invasion.
Despite this, forces in South Korea who disguise themselves as progressives say they are unsure if the war was caused by invasion by the North or South or it was a civil war, trying to deny facts. Certain teachers even go as far as instilling students with distorted views of the Korean War. As a result, a new generation emerges who seek to inherit such beliefs and side with the North`s communist regime, which has been dubbed the worst government in the world. The Korean War has long been confirmed not to be a civil war like the American Civil War, but an international conflict started by Kim Il Sung under the backing of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong.
Cumings also committed the fallacy of bias by emphasizing massacres of civilians by South Korean and American troops, but lightly speaking of the North when it did the same. The parrots of Cumings must disappear from this country. MBC TV will broadcast a documentary on the Korean War titled Nogeun-ri Remains Unresolved Saturday. Massacres of innocent civilians by the North Korean military should not be glossed over while those erroneously committed by South Korean and American soldiers are highlighted. The Republic of Korea proudly exists and prospers as the worlds 13th-largest economy because it overcame the disaster of the Korean War with global support, including from the U.S. South Korea`s younger generation must keep this in mind.