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A ceremony in memory of Yuh Woon-Hyung view
A ceremony in memory of Yuh Woon-Hyung
Date 2008-07-23 오후 4:05:49 View 1712
A ceremony in memory of Yuh Woon-Hyung

A ceremony to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the death of Korean nationalist Yuh Woon-hyung was held in front of his grave in Seoul at 10 a.m. of July 19th.
Organized by the Association of Memorial Service for Yuh Woon-Hyung, the memorial service was attended by nearly 150 persons including government officials, members of independence movement organizations and his bereaved family.

Yuh Woon-Hyung (April 24, 1885 – July 19, 1947) was a Korean politician who argued that Korean independence was essential to world peace. His pen-name was Mongyang, the Chinese characters for "dream" and "light." He is rare among politicians in modern Korean history in that he is revered in both South and North Korea.
Yuh was born in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, the son of a local yangban magnate. At age 15, Yuh enrolled in the Baejae School but in less than one year moved to Heunghwa School. After moving to yet another school and leaving that school before graduation, Yuh began in 1907 to study the Bible and befriended the American missionary Charles Allen Clark, who helped him found Kidok Kwangdong School in 1909. In 1910, Yuh dramatically parted from Korean tradition by freeing slaves owned by his household. In 1911, Yuh enrolled in Pyongyang Presbyterian Theological Seminary and, in 1914, went to China where he studied English literature at a university in Nanjing. In 1917, he moved to Shanghai. In 1918, he organized the Mindan (Korea Resident Association) in that city, to provide a base for pro-independence activities. Yuh took part in the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in 1919 and served as a member of that body`s Legislative Assembly.
Like many in the Korean independence movement, Yuh sought aid from both right and left. In 1920, he joined the Corea Communist Party and, in 1921, attended the First Congress of the Toilers of the Far East in Moscow. However, he joined the right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party in 1924 and worked for Sino-Korean cooperation. In 1929, he was arrested by the British police for criticizing Britain’s colonial policy and handed over to the Japanese for imprisonment in Korea. After being released from prison in 1932, Yuh took on a variety of anti-Japanese activities in areas of the media and sports. During the Berlin Olympics a Korean marathon runner, Sohn Kee-chung, won the gold medal. Sohn, however, was running for the Japanese. The Chungang Daily News, of which Yuh was the editor, ran the photograph but removed the Japanese flag from his jersey. The Japanese closed down the newspaper and arrested Yuh for the action. In addition to serving as editor of the Chungang Daily News, he also served as the president of the Choson JungAng Ilbo and other sports associations.
In anticipation of Japan’s defeat in the Second World War, Yuh organized in 1944 the Korean Restoration Brotherhood, a nationwide underground organization. When Japan finally surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945 and Deputy Governor General Abe transferred his government to Yuh in exchange for safeguard of Japanese in Korea, it enabled him to promptly form the Committee for Preparation of Korean Independence. In September of 1945, Yuh proclaimed the establishment of the Korean People`s Republic and became its vice-premier. In October, he stepped down under pressure from the United States military government, and organized the People`s Party of Korea, becoming its chairman. For the following months of the anti-trusteeship movement and other political changes, Yuh took a line of action in concert with the communists.
When a movement to unify the political left and the political right arose in May 1946, Yuh represented the center-left and occupied a position on the center between the left and the right. Yuh’s political stance was, however, attacked by both the extreme right and the extreme left, and his efforts to pursue a centrist position was made increasingly untenable by the political realities of the time. On July 19, 1947, Yuh was assassinated in Seoul by a 19-year-old man named Han Chigeun, a recent refugee from North Korea and an active member of a nationalist right-wing group. Yuh`s death was widely mourned.

To honor his contribution to the State, the Korean government posthumously conferred on him the Presidential Medal in the Order of Merit to Naitonal Foundation in 2005.

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