1991 in South Korea

Events from the year 1991 in South Korea.

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1991
in
South Korea

Centuries:
Decades:
See also:Other events of 1991
Years in South Korea
Timeline of Korean history
1991 in North Korea

IncumbentsEdit

EventsEdit

Kim Hak-sun "Comfort Women" TestimonyEdit

Until 1991, the international community largely had never heard the tragic stories of the "comfort women." "Comfort women" is the euphemistic phrasing referring to the women who endured sexual slavery until 1945, at the hands of the Japanese military in Japan and abroad up until the Pacific War ended (Soh, 1996).[2] In 1991, survivor and eventual activist Kim Hak-sun publicly testified of the horrors she experienced as a military "comfort woman." Kim's public testimony paved the way for not only fellow Korean women to speak out about their abuse but global victims as well.

           In her late sixties, Kim Hak-sun gave the first public testimony of the life of a "comfort woman" in August 1991. In December 1991, she then filed a lawsuit against the Japanese government for their crimes during the Pacific War (Soh, 1996).[3] Kim was joined by many other "comfort women" as they too filed lawsuits against the Japanese government. Their demands often included a "formal apology, compensation, construction of a monument, and correction of Japanese history textbooks to teach the truth about the 'comfort women'" (Soh, 1996).[4]

           Many of the women that came forward after Kim's testimony shared similar horrific accounts of their times at these so-called "comfort stations." While in these camps, many women suffered from sexually transmitted diseases and would also be subjected to forced abortions (Luck, 2018). Due to the inhumane conditions and violence inflicted on these women, many died during their enslavement.

           The long-standing silence of the "comfort women" was due to many various factors. Many of the women, enslaved for these "comfort stations" were taken from "poor, rural families," thus leaving very few avenues for them to pursue justice later in life (Soh, 1996).[5] Similarly, in the patriarchal society of Korea at the time, coming forward with such claims of sexual slavery would have been seen as bringing shame on her family. Many were left to bear the burden of their pain and injustice alone. The injustice only furthered as some of the survivors took their lives.

           Even after Kim Hak-sun's testimony, there was no formal acknowledgment, apology, or reparations given by the Japanese government until 1993. In 1993, the then Chief Cabinet Secretary, Kono Yohei, issued an apology and admitted to "the Japanese government's responsibility for the comfort station operations" (Young, 2014).[6] However, many view the Japanese government's acknowledgment as "half-hearted" (Luck, 2018).[7] Director of Asian studies at Temple University, Japan, Jeff Kingston, stated (while referencing the pledge of teaching about "comfort women" in the Japanese school curriculum), "…But this latter pledge has been broken. Twenty years ago, all of Japan's mainstream secondary school textbooks covered the comfort women, and now none of them do, at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's behest." (Luck, 2018).[8]

BirthsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ko:SBS TV#역사 (Korean language) Retrieved January 2017.
  2. ^ Soh, Chunghee Sarah (1 December 1996). "The Korean "Comfort Women": Movement for Redress". Asian Survey. 36 (12): 1226–1240. doi:10.2307/2645577. ISSN 0004-4687.
  3. ^ Soh, Chunghee Sarah (1 December 1996). "The Korean "Comfort Women": Movement for Redress". Asian Survey. 36 (12): 1226–1240. doi:10.2307/2645577. ISSN 0004-4687.
  4. ^ Soh, Chunghee Sarah (1 December 1996). "The Korean "Comfort Women": Movement for Redress". Asian Survey. 36 (12): 1226–1240. doi:10.2307/2645577. ISSN 0004-4687.
  5. ^ Soh, Chunghee Sarah (1 December 1996). "The Korean "Comfort Women": Movement for Redress". Asian Survey. 36 (12): 1226–1240. doi:10.2307/2645577. ISSN 0004-4687.
  6. ^ Kim, Mikyoung (January 2014). "Memorializing Comfort Women: Memory and Human Rights in Korea-Japan Relations: Comfort Women, Monuments, Memory, Human Rights". Asian Politics & Policy. 6 (1): 83–96. doi:10.1111/aspp.12089.
  7. ^ Luck, Annemarie (April 2018). "No comfort in the truth: It's the episode of history Japan would rather forget. Instead comfort women are back in the news". Index on Censorship. 47 (1): 19–21. doi:10.1177/0306422018770099. ISSN 0306-4220.
  8. ^ Luck, Annemarie (April 2018). "No comfort in the truth: It's the episode of history Japan would rather forget. Instead comfort women are back in the news". Index on Censorship. 47 (1): 19–21. doi:10.1177/0306422018770099. ISSN 0306-4220.
  9. ^ "Profile". redvelvet.smtown.com (in Korean). Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Seunga PARK – Olympic | Republic of Korea". International Olympic Committee. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Seongyeon KIM – Olympic | Republic of Korea". International Olympic Committee. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Bokyeong JEONG – Olympic | Republic of Korea". International Olympic Committee. 27 September 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Jandi KIM – Olympic | Republic of Korea". International Olympic Committee. 11 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  14. ^ "SUNG Ji Hyun | Profile". bwfbadminton.com. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  15. ^ III, Harris M. Lentz (2015). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2014. McFarland. p. 290. ISBN 9781476619613.
  16. ^ "Jungeun SEO – Olympic | Republic of Korea". International Olympic Committee. 14 June 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2019.