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At the same time, they participated in the anticommunist and anti-trusteeship movement in their attempts to be regarded as anticommunist patriots. In this disguised transformation of the collaborators, the coalition between the United States, which wanted to establish Korea as an anti-Soviet and anticommunist buffer zone and Syngman Rhee and other anticommunist right-wing leaders, who tried to gain political hegemony in liberated Korea, found common ground in the formation of the Cold War structure within the context of a changing international environment.

The coalition between these two is at the heart of the suppression and distortion of the people's zeal to build a national spirit and enforce social justice through a purge of the collaborators in a new and liberated Korea. The forces behind the enactment of this law were neutral and independent representatives of a younger generation.

They took the initiative in legislating the law based on their judgment that it was imperative to punish the traitors of the nation in order to rectify the spirit of the nation and solidify the foundation of a fledging nation. The people's enthusiastic support of the law greatly assisted in its establishment. People who were frustrated and outraged at the collaborators as they were watching them "making endless crafty excuses and walking shamelessly on the street" under the protection of the USAMGIK, instead of repenting of their collaboration with Japan, warmly welcomed this legislation.

On the eve of the establishment of the South Korean government on 14 August , the social organizations and the progressive press that enthusiastically supported the enactment of the law issued statements declaring that "as we recover our national sovereignty, what is most needed today is a national spirit" O ; Yi Gang-su The task of punishing collaborators was from then on carried out under the leadership of the National Assembly.

The legislators formed the Anti-Collaboration Committee for the Investigation of Collaborationist Activities against the Nation hereafter referred to as the Anti-Collaboration Committee and appointed a special judge and a special prosecutor to carry out the preparatory investigation of collaboration and to enforce the special law. These new institutional devices began to seriously enforce the Anti-Collaboration Act to punish collaborators, starting with the arrest of comprador capitalist Bak Heung-sik on 8 January and the prosecution of the son of King Gojong's cousin Yi Gi-yong.

As the Anti-Collaboration Act was enacted and the task of punishing collaborators began to be actively carried out, Syngman Rhee, the Korean Democratic Party, collaborators, and other anticommunist right-wingers feverishly voiced their opposition. The collaborators were, of course, the foremost leaders of this opposition. They hindered the legislation process and the activities of the Anti-Collaboration Committee through slander, instigation of mass demonstrations, distribution of leaflets, and terrorist acts.

There was even an attempted assassination of a member of the Anti-Collaboration Committee by some high-ranking police officers who had collaborated with imperial Japan. As this case demonstrates, the fiercest objection to theAnti-Collaboration Committee's activities came from the Korean police, which is not surprising since many former colonial police officers remained in power after liberation, despite their notoriety for pursuing and torturing nationalist activists and the general populace.

Syngman Rhee also held the Anti-Collaboration Committee in check because it threatened his own political support groups. Early on he expressed his opposition to the National Assembly's legislation and made public statements aimed at blocking further activities by the Anti-Collaboration Committee. The National Assembly Communist spy incident, which occurred at an opportune time for Rhee and others who were opposed to purging collaborators, became a useful instrument for Rhee to use in attacking the younger generation of legislators who were active in enacting the Anti-Collaboration Act and carrying out the tasks of the Anti-Collaboration Committee.

Rhee tried to hinder the activities of the Anti-Collaboration Committee by accusing some young legislators of their involvement in the incident while they were leading the Committee's activities. Rhee's animosity toward the Anti-Collaboration Committee climaxed over an incident in which collaborator, high-rank police officials were arrested for their government-inspired conspiracy to slancherone of the Anti-Collaboration Committee members as a communist after it was revealed that they had instigated a demonstration behind the scenes. In a flagrant abuse of hispowers, Rhee had the police force violently attack the Anti-Collaboration Committee over this incident.

After these two shocking incidents, the Anti-Collaboration Committee's activities were curtailed to a significant degree, and the Anti-Collaboration Act was revised to reduce the period during which collaborators could be prosecuted up to one year. As a result, the task of the Anti-Collaboration Committee to punish collaborators came to an end in less than a year O ; Kil Jin-hyeon As shown above, the task that was led by the Constitutional National Assembly completely failed to accomplish its goal of purging collaborators due to the former collaborators and Syngman Rhee government's systematic and persistent opposition and interference.

Only twelve were sentenced to penal servitude, while five were placed on probation with a stay of execution, and the remaining seven were released the following spring by commutation of their sentences upon a filing of appeal or by a termination of execution O Collaborators further achieved legal exemption upon the termination of the official activities of the Anti-Collaboration Committee. In the First Republic under Syngman Rhee, as much as 34 percent of ministers and 68 percent of chief justices and justices of the Supreme Court were collaborators, and there were even collaborationist legislators in the National Assembly, though the number itself is relatively small compared to the other two branches.

Statistics compiled by a private research organization indicate that among the highest public officials in Korean society, had been collaborators, including the president, chief justice, prime minister, chiefs of the staff in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, prosecutor-general, senior superintendent, mayors, and provincial governor.

Collaborators have occupied major positions in the economy, media, education, culture, art, and religion in postcolonial Korean society. Cheongsan haji motan yeoksa Unresolved Issues in History [14] includes articles on 60 collaborators and their personal backgrounds, most of whom were in positions of leadership in every area of Korean society after liberation.

In particular, they played crucial roles in maintaining the anticommunist dictatorship and in the modernization process in South Korea. Indeed, many of those collaborators are buried in the National Cemetery as national heroes who contributed to the nation under the anticommunist dictatorial regimes Jeong Un-hyeon So, it is no exaggeration to say that the collaborators dominated the South Korean society.

Former President Park Chung-hee, an officer in the Japanese imperial army during the colonial era and a long-term developmentalist dictator who gained political hegemony through a coup d'Etat, is the epitome of this historical irony. As collaborators became members of the ruling class in every sector of society, there were frequent incidents which would be impossible in a society ruled by common sense. First, there was no small number of cases in which collaborators acted as judges to determine who had contributed to the independence movement, and received awards as national heroes of the liberation.

The judges and the recipients of the March First Award which was established with the intent of celebrating the spirit of the March First Independence Movement, also included many collaborators.

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Third, the descendents of the most notorious collaborators, such as Yi Wan-yong and Song Byeong-jun, filed lawsuits to recover the ownership of their ancestors' property, which had been accumulated during the colonial era at the expense of the interests of their countrymen and confiscated as state property following liberation.

Some of the plaintiffs, in fact, won their cases Jeong Un-hyeon What kind of rationale did the collaborators use to justify themselves and to gain the protection of the USAMGIK and the right-wingers in the process of raising themselves up to the status of the ruling class?

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The foremost excuse was a passive and defensive position, pointing to the colonial environment and the logic of "all Koreans as collaborators. As argued by Syngman Rhee or Yun Chi-ho, the logic of "all Koreans as collaborators" was the idea that all Koreans were collaborators unless they had fought against the Japanese imperialists while physically residing in Korea.

The theory of "merits and demerits" was based on the logic of the former justification, and was used to defend figures who had originally participated in the nationalist movements, yet later collaborated with the imperialist regime. Many of these collaborators rose to positions of social leadership in various areas after liberation.

This position argued that, despite their mistakes, these collaborators should get full credit for their initial participation in independence movements prior to their betrayal, and for their contribution to the construction and maintenance of the anticommunist nation as well as its modernization. The theory of "national integration against Communism" stemmed from the propaganda of "unconditional solidarity of all" that Syngman Rhee had used to bring about immediate unity of the nation. This logic later became the most aggressive defense for collaborators, as it was developed into propaganda for national solidarity and consensus in order to maintain the system of division under the anticommunist dictatorship.

This idea advocated that, given the situation where solidarity was imperative in order to secure the foundation of an anticommunist social structure, all activities that caused division and national insecurity would eventually benefit the Communists in the north. Accordingly, the advocates of this rationale worked to paint all organizations that initiated or supported the issue of punishing collaborators as Communist while presenting themselves as patriots fighting against Communism.

The two core ideas behind the aforementioned defense strategies of the collaborators were anticommunist nationalism, which became the rationale for the ruling class in the system of division under dictatorship and modernization supremacy, in which capitalist modernization was the ultimate goal. Anticommunist nationalism was the rationale that enabled collaborators to disguise and transform themselves into a ruling class within the domestic and international political context, and brought forth the alliance between the collaborationist forces and the right-wingers.

These two key values became integrated into one that advocated modernization for the sake of fighting against Communism, and enabled collaborators and the right-wingers to meet and complement each other only to justify their rule over the rest of Korean society. Korean society, burdened by both the colonial legacy and national division, fell into a quandary through the breakout of the Korean War. The streets were filled with masses of people suffering starvation and illness after the total destruction of their livelihoods. The national economy was heading toward complete bankruptcy.

In addition, during the civil war, the vicious circle of assault and revenge aggravated social distrust and hatred, and further intensified the ideological confrontation and conflict not only between the North and South but also within South Korean society. The Cold War in the twentieth century had its first vicious outcome in the Korean War, and destroyed Korean society by fostering extreme ideological confrontation in every corner of society and in the heart of every Korean.

In particular, the extreme right-wing forces propagated the idea that the cause of poverty, sickness, and social disorder was the evil Communists in the North who had provoked the war, and that leftists and their families as well as those who supported them, and any who criticized the existing political regime were all pro-Communists who collaborated with the North.

This powerful propaganda paralyzed the judgment of the people in the South, thus allowing South Korean society to be manipulated by the system and ideology of the Cold War. As the Cold War structures hardened, the collaborators, who were able to disguise themselves as anticommunists and thus patriots, rose to higher and more influential social positions than during the colonial era in every realm of society. The unresolved issue of punishing collaborators quickly disappeared from the public and became taboo, even among progressive intellectuals.

Even the progressive journal Sasanggye World of Thought was no exception despite the fact that it was founded by the progressive nationalist and democracy fighter Jang Jun-ha in and abolished by government forces under the regime of Park Chung-hee in There was no article that discussed the problem of collaborators, let alone problematize it until the first half of the s.

In contrast, many of the authors for the journal were themselves collaborationist writers, and some of them, including Choe Nam-seon and Yi Gwang-su, were considered the best writers in the journal despite their collaborationist past Yi Heon-jong b, The memoir of Im Jong-guk, who is considered the "father" of research on the problem of collaborators, clearly reveals how completely the issue of collaborators was buried even until the mids.

When the first and the most representative of Im's works Chinil munhangnon Treatise on Collaborationist Literary Writings was published in , the response of readers and the literary world was so indifferent that it took ten years to sell the 3, copies of the first edition. The indifference to the issue of collaborators was to the degree that college students at the time threw out the question, "Collaborationist writings? Is this a book about Korea-Japan Friendship through Literature? It was the April Revolution that first dug out the unresolved issue of punishing collaborators, which had been buried in oblivion.

There were two interrelated factors that made this possible. First, through the uprising, the nationalist democratic movement advocating national sovereignty, democracy, and reunification and rejecting the Cold War ideology based on anticommunist nationalism and dictatorship began to take root. Second, a military regime was established by a coup after crushing the uprising, and despite strong opposition from the people, the new regime pursued normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan for the sake of the American foreign policy toward East Asia and the tactical needs of the new military regime.

These two factors revealed the insecure domestic base for the military regime and its tendency to rely on foreign power. The issue of settling the matter of former collaborators took on a new meaning as the deep-rooted cause of these problems with the contemporary South Korean political regime. The statements of the organizations participating in the uprising called for the recognition of the problem of collaborators, and research on the pro-Japanese collaborationist organization Advancement Society or the work of Im Jong-guk were the first fruits of this renewed interest in academia.

Nevertheless, it was not until after the establishment of the Park Chung-hee regime that the problem of collaborators began to be actively examined again. Following the reopening of Korean-Japanese diplomatic relations, the overdependence of Korean economy on Japan was revealed. At the same time, after the emergence of Park's military regime, which was the embodiment of an extreme anticommunist dictatorship, the forces of the student-led Nationalist Democratic Movement increasingly heightened its fierce resistance to the current regime.

These forces criticized Park's government not only as anti-democratic and dictatorial, founded against the will of the people, but also as anti-nationalist in its pursuit of overdependence on foreign countries, especially Japan, fostering of comprador capital, and revival of colonialist education.

Beginning with Kim Dae-sang's work on the process of purging the collaborators and the unsuccessful attempt by Anti-Collaboration Committee in the National Assembly to settle the issue, several studies on other related topics were conducted until the end of the Park regime. In particular, Kim argued that the failure to punish collaborators after liberation allowed colonial legacies to remain, and as a result, brought about the long-term dictatorship of Syngman Rhee and a treacherous path for the ensuing constitutional government, thus "preventing the democratization of Korean society.

Following the fall of the Park regime, the collaborator issue received full public attention, resulting in serious studies on the topic. In particular, Im Jong-guk and the Institute for Research on Anti-National Activities renamed as Institute for Research on Collaborationist Activities in took the initiative to collect and examine historical documents regarding the issue of collaboration.

This Institute was founded by Im Jong-guk's students to carry on Im's work and spirit. Aimed at "building up the spirit of the nation by revealing the crimes of those who worked against the nation and making their systems and rationale known as well as setting history straight," the institute has led activities such as collecting and organizing source materials, academic research, and publishing books targeting the general public.

As a result, there have been studies on the scope, substance, and rationale of the collaborators' activities in each time period across the political, social, cultural, and religious realms of Korean society, detailed activities of individual and organizational collaboration with the colonial regime prior to liberation as well as their activities in liberated Korea, and case studies on the efforts to purge imperialist collaborators in foreign countries.

In addition, all the fruits of these projects became available in publication either as general reading materials or as academic articles according to a general readership. This issue has received enough social interest and attention that recently, a progressive on-line newspaper OhmyNews , that is as influential as, if not more than, printed newspapers, wrote about this issue as its special column of the year.

As public attention and examination of the problem of collaborators increased, a popular idea emerged that the unfinished task of punishing collaborators was at the very root of the pain and misfortune that Korean society has gone through for almost a century. The perspective grew that "pro-Japanese collaborators became advocates of the national division, who gave birth to the Cold War ideologues, who then became anti-North Koreans, anti-reunificationists, anti-pacifists," and "the roots of the collaborationist legacies remain in almost all corners of unreasonable and absurd aspects of our society.

The problem of collaborators is the root of all evil in Korean society. This problem is so difficult and urgent that unless it is solved, Korean society will not survive, much less progress. The national division originated from this problem. The economic dependence on foreign countries began from here.

Military dictatorship was the illegitimate child of the collaborators, and social confusion is the outcome of the very same problem. There is no social problem in Korea that is not related to the issue of collaborators. In sum, this currently popularized view reflects the idea that the root of all the negative legacies of a hundred years of modernity in Korea-colonialism, national division, war, dictatorship, dependence on foreign powers, and social injustice stem from the problem of collaborators.

This new way of understanding the issue goes hand in hand with the critical view the Nationalist Democratic Movement participants had the of anticommunist dictatorship and extreme right-wing forces. Their criticism stems from their efforts to realize the ideals of progressive nationalism, including democratization, reunification, and autonomy of the nation in Korea.

Executive Summary

Above all, as the Nationalist Democratic Movement forces have had to confront the anticommunist dictatorship, their perspective on the collaborator issue, based on their progressive nationalism, could not but conflict with the anticommunist nationalism and modernization-supremacy ideas of the defenders of the collaborators. The structure of the anticommunist dictatorship collapsed in the s, thanks to the progress in the Nationalist Democratic Movement. As political power has been transferred from a military government to a civilian government, from a civil government to the people's government, the democratization of Korean society has been making gradual progress.

The North-South summit meeting in June was a manifestation of the accomplishments in North-South exchange, and the mode of peace is extending to the Korean peninsula that is the last bastion of the Cold War in the world.

Table of contents

Korean society presently is at a turning point from authoritarianism to democracy, and from national division to reunification. In a crucial time like this, the conservative anticommunist forces are making an anachronistic attempt to turn the direction of history backward whenever there is an opportunity, so that they can maintain their status and influence, which they enjoyed in the past under the patronage of the anticommunist dictatorship. For instance, there have been frequent attempts to glorify collaborators, such as the anticommunist dictators Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-hee, and to justify their pasts.

Various social movement organizations, including progressive research groups, civil and labor movement organizations and others, have been carrying out a campaign called "setting history straight" in order to uncover these anachronistic attempts of the conservative anticommunist forces and to bring about social reforms. In this sense, this is a social reform movement to settle the "past" which is an obstacle to reforming the present society. Since the problem of collaborators is considered "the root of all evil" in Korean society this issue has always been treated as critical in the movement to set history straight.

The social movement organizations proved successful in counteracting the actions of collaborationist advocates through various methods such as petitions, advertisements, protests, campaigns, and academic reports. The Press Reform Movement, carried out by social movement organizations, progressive intellectuals, and the press, can also be understood in the context of the current trend toward removing collaborationist legacies. This movement mainly targets conservative family-led newspapers, the Chosun Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo , that grew through cooperation with the Japanese authorities at the end of the colonial era as well with the consequent dictatorial political regimes.

Instead of repenting for their shameful past wrongdoings, these newspapers have supported and initiated commemorative events to honor and glorify collaborators, abusing their powerful influence in society. Furthermore, they have stood at the center of the conservative anticommunist forces while slandering reform-minded and progressive groups as pro-North Communist forces and distorting true history through the manipulation of public opinion and twisted false reports.

Considering the importance of mass media in society, the success of the Press Reform Movement against conservative family-led newspapers will determine not only the direction of the movement to eradicate the collaborationist legacies, but the future of Korean society. The campaign to compile the biographical dictionary of pro-Japanese collaborators deserves particular attention since it is a fresh attempt to support the movement to remove collaborationist legacies. Since its inception in , the institute has focused on the publication of the chinilpa inmyeong sajeon biographical dictionary of pro-Japanese collaborators and the Pro-Japanese Collaborators Series by researching, collecting, and examining relevant documents.

Publications, such as Sillok chinilpa The True History of Pro-Japanese Collaborators , chinilpa 99 in 99 Collaborators , Cheongsan haji motan yeoksa Unresolved Issues in History , chinilpa -ran mueosin-ga What are Pro-Japanese Collaborators , and others are exemplary research results that the institute produced as part of the project for the Pro-Japanese Collaborators Series. Despite the fact that the institute has made these publications top priority, the compilation project for the biographical dictionary of pro-Japanese collaborators has not made any significant progress due to financial difficulties.

Nevertheless, this project was revived after the institute successfully carried out a campaign to collect the signatures of 10, professors supporting the compilation project in with the cooperation of participants within Korea and abroad. Following the announcement of the statements, a decision was made to form a foundation to oversee the finances and practical matters related to the dictionary compilation project and research. Finally, approximately million won was collected at the end of , and the National Culture Foundation of the Unification Era was established, which formed the Compilation Committee for the Biographical Dictionary of Pro-Japanese Collaborators.

The Committee is presently carrying out its compilation project with an ambitious vision to publish the dictionary with over 3, entries before The active movement to remove the legacy of collaborators in South Korean society, begun by this private research institute, gained renewed momentum when 29 younger generation bipartisan lawmakers formed the Korea Parliamentary League on National Spirit KPLNS within the National Assembly, aimed at the very task of removing the Japanese colonial legacies in Korea.

Following a media report that pointed out that many collaborators were buried at the National Cemetery, the KPLNS began a project of compiling a list of collaborators in July with the help of the Korea Liberation Association, composed of people who contributed to national independence. As a result, on 28 February they unveiled their first list of the names of collaborators who allegedly helped the colonial authorities at the expense of their fellow Koreans during the colonial period. It was an historic event as the legislators selected and announced the names of collaborators for the first time since the foundation of the constitutional government.

Fifty-three years earlier, the strong objection of the collaborationist force had halted the initial Anti-Collaboration Committee at the National Assembly. Among the labeled as pro-Japanese were 16 prominent figures from many segments of society, including the founders of two daily newspapers, Chosun Ilbo and Dong-a Ilbo , and influential leaders of Korean society in media, culture, arts, and feminist activism. It was a big shock for many Koreans. The conservative anticommunist politicians and the two newspaper companies reacted vehemently to their inclusion in the list while many other politicians reserved comment for fear that the two conservative family-led presses might damage their careers.

The conservative anticommunist groups questioned the political intentions of those 29 lawmakers and attempted to invalidate the list arguing that the legislators of KPLNS were not experts on the issue of collaboration.

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It goes without saying that the typical defense positions arose time and again to advocate and justify the collaborators in this debate. They praised it as it a "heroic venture 57 years after liberation," which will "bring forth animated discourse on the issue of collaborators," and "open a way to an historic punishment of collaborationist activities. The majority of Korean citizens also supported the KPLNP's statement: 66 percent supported the announcement of the list and 58 percent reacted positively to the enactment of a special law for the issue of collaborators.

In particular, a progressive labor movement organization, the Korean Teachers and Educational Worker's Union, issued a statement that it would pursue "education on pro-Japanese collaborators' activities" as their major project for and launch a program to research and produce teaching materials on the issue. Above all, the success of such efforts as the campaign to compile the biographical dictionary of pro-Japanese collaborators and the statement of the list of collaborators, despite the strong reaction by the conservative anticommunist forces, demonstrates that the social movement to settle the unresolved problems of the past and to rectify history is becoming increasingly vigorous.

Although the issue of collaborators is not yet completely resolved more than half a century after the end of the colonial era, it is important to recognize that there has been enthusiastic support for this overdue task within Korean society. In a sense, these movements can be interpreted as an indication of the positive interim result of the long and hard struggle with the negative legacies of national division, war, dictatorship, and political oppression in twentieth century Korea. In this regard, the recent movements deserve special attention in terms of Korean as well as world history.

Another point of attention is that, through the project to remove collaborationist legacies as a part of the movement for "setting history straight," a new direction has been taken for this specific issue of dealing with collaborators. The new vision is stated in the explanation of the need to settle the collaborator issue in carrying out the dictionary compilation. The first goal is to prevent same kinds of mistakes from being committed in the future through a historical assessment of their collaborationist actions, since most of the collaborators have already died making punishment impossible.

The second is to remove colonial legacies, the fascist ruling structure and ideology formed under Japanese colonial rule and solidified under the Cold War system. The third is to build a sound and healthy society where justice and common sense rule by issuing a solemn warning to our present society which has long been incapable of acknowledging past mistakes. The fourth is to block the attempts to justify past wrongs such as celebratory and commemorative events for collaborators. The fifth is to prepare a true beginning of a history of the nation for truth and reconciliation while building consensus within the whole nation toward a democratic and peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula.

The sixth is to work toward establishing positive relation with Japan while reminding Japan and other former imperialist countries of their past wrongs and urging them to take responsibility Yi Man-yeol , The vision above indicates the new direction of the movement to settle the matter of punishing collaborators; it should be based on the principles of making a historical assessment toward repentance and reconciliation inside and outside Korea, reforming society to promote justice and progress, and moving toward an open nationalism that will contribute to peaceful national reunification and sound and positive international relations.

In other words, the movement to punish collaborators should stand on a balanced axis of cleansing the "past," aiming at repentance and reconciliation through historical reflection, and of reforming the "present" reality, aiming at social justice, reunification of the nation, and sound and friendly international relations. There are two major points in this discussion.

The first is the series of transformations of the collaborators, from their initial formation during the colonial era, to their disguise as patriots within the context of the Cold War and national division, to their rise to the ruling class through the war and within the later political context of dictatorship.

Given that the long-lasting problem of collaborators has developed along with the historical processes of colonialism, the Cold War, national division, civil war, and political dictatorship, the transformation of the collaborators can be seen as a reflection of the negative aspects of the refracted modernity in twentieth-century Korea. Simultaneously, this overdue problem of collaborators in Korea manifests international contradictions, since it was strongly influenced and shaped by the American Military Government and the Cold War structure.

The second is the process through which the movement has developed. There was enthusiastic initiative and support within Korean society for their punishment during the colonial period and immediately following liberation. This resulted in a project to bring them to justice, led by the neutral political forces between the left and right during the era of the American Military Government and the subsequent Constitutional National Assembly.

The movement then became animated and invigorated when the nationalist democratic movement forces took the initiative to settle this important matter after the April Revolution of The continuing efforts toward the settlement of the issue reveals the potential power of Korean citizens who have pursued the movement for the sake of national liberation, a unified nation-state, democratization, and reunification, despite Korea's tragic history. In these regards, the unfolding processes and layers of the movement to settle the matter of collaborators shows the refracted modernity in the history of Korea in which both the negative and positive aspects of modernity have become dramatically interwined.

The second core point of the discussion involves the link between the collaborators' rationale for their collaboration and the basis for their defense. It was the idea of the supremacy of modernization that was at the heart of the rationale for the collaboration, their defense, and the justification of the anticommunist dictatorship.

Anticommunist nationalism was the ideological instrument that made possible the transformation of the collaborationist force and their growth into a ruling class in the domestic and international political context of the Cold War and national division. This anticommunist nationalism also brought about the integration between the collaborators and the anticommunist right-wingers, especially forces on the extreme right. The logic behind collaboration and its defense are ideologically similar in that they both ignore or reject the democratic value of social justice and the importance of an independent unified nation.

The third point concerns the unfolding path of the discussion of the movement to remove collaborationist legacies. Behind the movement flows anti-Japanese sentiment and Korean cultural pride. These sentiments became the basis for anti-Japanese nationalism during the colonial era, rejecting collaboration and its rationale, and also laid the foundation for the recent movement aimed at recovering social justice and a national spirit.

This pattern of thought led to a critical awareness that the negative legacies of a hundred years of Korean modernity were rooted in the collaborator problem, in the development of the nationalist democratic movement toward progressive nationalism after the April Revolution of The "setting history straight" movement in the s transformed the mode of criticism of the "present" society into a reform movement for the future with the goals of settling the "past," striving toward reflection and reconciliation on one hand, and social justice, national reunification, and constructive international relations on the other.

Lastly, an important point needs to be reemphasized regarding the characteristics of the movement to punish collaborators. The movement does not aim toward hatred and exclusion, but toward reflection and reconciliation not only within South Korea, but also between the North and the South and between Korea and its neighboring countries.

The Ends of Cold War

In this way, the movement to punish collaborators moves toward reconciliation within South Korea, the Korean peninsula, and East Asia. However, one should remember that this movement does not believe in reconciliation without reflection and repentance. Therefore, the movement to remove the collaborationist legacy cannot but confront the conservative anticommunist forces, who have refused to reflect on their past wrongdoings and have been obsessed with maintaining their privileged social status. The movement does not expect a meaningful reconciliation with Japan when it justifies and glorifies the history of invasion and domination, nor a friendly relationship as diplomatic equals with the United States when the U.


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Above all, this is a social reform movement to overcome the conservative extreme right-wingers' logic of domination and the rationale for their self defense through a struggle over memories. At the same time, it is a peace movement to bring about and maintain reconciliation and friendly relations through reflection and forgiveness within South Korea and the Korean peninsula as well as the East Asian region.

Bak, Chan-seung. Chung, Youn-tae Jeong, Yeon-tae. Seoul: Chungnyunsa. In chinilpa -ran mueosin-ga What are Pro-Japanese Collaborators? Seoul: The Asian Culture Press. Ha, Won-ho. In chinilpa -ran mueosin-ga. Heo, Jong. Im, Jong-guk. Seoul: Chungyunsa. Seoul: Dolbegae. Institute for Research on Anti-National Activities.