Over at my own blog I’ve decided to mark the anniversary of the events of June 1987 in South Korea by following contemporary reports from the British newspapers on a day-by-day basis. Twenty years ago today, the real action of the June events was getting under way with serious violence on the streets of central Seoul, and the famous siege of Myŏngdong Cathedral began.
Personally I find something exciting about looking back at an event that happened within my memory (at least I have vague memories of the TV news reports) and seeing it as ‘history’. It is also interesting to see how perceptions of the event here and in Korea may have changed since the correspondents first filed their reports from the scene.
All the posts will be accessible from this link.
Meanwhile, at Japan Focus, Paik Nak-chung has an article on the June Struggle and its legacy.
That’s a fantastic idea.
In June ’87 I was a rising Junior in college, a Japanese language major preparing to embark on a year abroad. I didn’t have the slightest clue what was happening in Korea at the time.
I thought it would be a good learning process for me too – there’s little chance that I’d wade through the press reports from the time unless I had a purpose in doing so. And it’s an event that has strangely dropped out of history in Europe (and the US I guess) in a way that the events of 1989 (Tiananmen, Eastern European revolutions), and perhaps even the overthrow of Marcos in 1986, have not. I will be honestly surprised if I see a single anniversary article in any of the UK press.
Owen, I really enjoyed reading through all your entries so far last night. It is a great idea. I was inspired enough that I almost thought about going through Japanese newspapers reporting on the events but decided I have enough on my plate…