With Liberation, the Korean peninsula was full of revolutionary waves. Against the will of Korean
people, however, the USA that occupied South Korea and created the USAMGIK tried to
maintain the status quo and build a bulwark against the communist USSR in South Korea. To
accomplish its policy, the USAMGIK found the rightist paramilitary youth organizations necessary
for illegal missions to smash their rivals by violence that it could not perform by legal method.
The USAMGIK and the Rhee-KDP group supported and encouraged the rightist paramilitary
youth corps to exercise their violence without any restrictions. By this method, the United States
and the Rhee-KDP group finally succeeded in establishing a divided government, the ROK, in
South Korea. There remained two features in South Korea. One was the division and the other
was a reactionary and anticommunistic Cold War country waiting for the Korean War.
paramilitary politics, USAMGIK, rightist paramilitary youth organizations, Cold War, Korean War
History , Political Science
About the author(s)
Kim Bong-jin is Professor of Jeju College of Technology. He has been writing articles on the paramilitary
politics and the rise of Nazism in Weimar German history. He is now interested in the paramilitary
politics under the USAMGIK and the establishment of the ROK in South Korea. He is preparing an article
on the Jejudo Uprising in the context of the paramilitary politics. E-mail: email@example.com.
Paramilitary Politics under the USAMGIK and the Establishment of the Republic of Korea
Paramilitary Politics under the USAMGIK and the Establishment
of the Republic of Korea
* I am very grateful to professors James Matray, Kim Jin-wung and Mrs. Barbara
Myers for their helpful comments on earlier versions. The Exchange Professor
Program of Jeju College of Technology aided this project.
With Liberation, the Korean peninsula was full of revolutionary waves. Against
the will of Korean people, however, the USA that occupied South Korea and created
the USAMGIK tried to maintain the status quo and build a bulwark against the
communist USSR in South Korea. To accomplish its policy, the USAMGIK found the
rightist paramilitary youth organizations necessary for illegal missions to
smash their rivals by violence that it could not perform by legal method. The
USAMGIK and the Rhee-KDP group supported and encouraged the rightist paramilitary
youth corps to exercise their violence without any restrictions. By this method,
the United States and the Rhee-KDP group finally succeeded in establishing a
divided government, the ROK, in South Korea. There remained two features in
South Korea. One was the division and the other was a reactionary and anticommunistic
Cold War country waiting for the Korean War.
Keywords: paramilitary politics, USAMGIK, rightist paramilitary youth
organizations, Cold War, Korean War
When the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the USSR occupied the part
of the Korean peninsula north of the 38th parallel while the USA occupied the
southern part. In the U.S. occupation zone, the United Army Forces in Korea
(USAFIK) established the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK),
which ruled southern Korea from its landing on September 1945 to its transfer
of control to the ROK in August 1948. During this important era, Korean political
groups contested each other sharply to take leading roles in establishing their
A significant phenomenon arose in this vital process that pushed the political
situation to the brink of ruin: the "illegal" paramilitary politics
led by both rightist and leftist youth organizations closely related to political
forces. Party politics became paralyzed and paramilitary politics took their
place. Syngman Rhee and the Korean Democratic Party (KDP) made the most effective
use of this ruinous situation. They encouraged and utilized rightist paramilitary
youth organizations as their vanguard to win the political struggle against
The intent of this study is to analyze the interrelationship between paramilitary
politics under the USAMGIK and the establishment of the ROK. Three questions
can be raised and answered herein. First, by whom and for what reasons was the
normal party political system replaced by the abnormal paramilitary political
system under the USAMGIK? Second, how did paramilitary politics come to function;
namely, which political groups benefited by the situation, and what did they
do to promote this situation? Third, how can the nature of the ROK be defined?
These questions can be addressed by examining at each stage the origins and
growth of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations and their detailed activities.
The Incipient Stage (August 1945-December 1945)
With liberation, the Korean peninsula was a tumult of revolutionary waves.
Koreans wanted socioeconomic changes by liquidating Japanese colonial legacies.
This revolutionary fervor was faithfully reflected in politics. At first, the
revolutionaries dominated the political scene by winning the Korean people's
favor. The Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CPKI), led
by Yeo Un-hyeong, came to prominence. People in the whole country spontaneously
organized people's committees and these became CPKI branches within ten days
of liberation. The CPKI was not a communist organization, but rather a kind
of national coalition that included all political forces except the pro-Japanese
Koreans. It soon evolved into the Korean People's
Republic (KPR). From 15 August, when Korea was liberated, until 8 September,
when the U.S. Army first landed in southern Korea, the CPKI ruled the extent
of the country. It virtually exercised its sovereignty in the region.
In this revolutionary atmosphere, the United States occupied South Korea
and created a military government. The United States, however, had no proper
information on or long-term plan for the occupation of Korea.
Given the turbulent climate, it was hardly surprising that John R. Hodge, the
Commanding General of the USAFIK, from the outset placed a premium on the maintenance
of law and order in South Korea.
The USAMGIK only acted according to the Cold War logic. It tried to foster
its partners, Syngman Rhee as well as the pro-Japanese KDP group, whom most
Koreans wanted to eliminate, to maintain the status quo and build a bulwark
in South Korea against the USSR. Naturally, members of the KDP held the highest
bureaucratic positions in the USAMGIK, including the Korean National Police
(KNP). In its incipient stage, however, it was very difficult for the USAMGIK
and its partners to overcome the overwhelming revolutionary fever of the Korean
The first youth organization appeared in South Korea on 16 August, the day
after Liberation. Yeo Un-hyeong instructed Jang Gwon to organize the Committee
for the Preparation of Korean Independence Youth Security Group (CPKIYSC) in
order to overcome the chaos that came as a result of liberation's abruptness.
Jang mobilized about 2,000 youths and students to maintain public security in
Seoul and sent over 200 to the countryside to organize local branches.
The organization created over 140 local branches by 25 August.
Regardless of their political inclinations, all youth groups worked together
under the name of the CPKIYSC.
After the USAFIK landed in South Korea and the KDP began to muster rightist
political forces, however, the youth movement began to split into right and
left wings. Rightists began to encourage and use the rightist paramilitary youth
organizations to compete against the powerful leftists. The rightist factions
used the paramilitary both passively to protect themselves from leftist attacks
and actively as a means of political propaganda and violence against leftists.
Most leaders of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations had fervent
political ambitions. Though they were too young to have had any certain political
experience to bolster their authority, they sought an active role in establishing
a new nation. They wanted to translate their leadership of paramilitary youth
into rightist political authority. Eventually, after the Rhee regime was established,
many of these youth organization leaders became political leaders in the ROK.
On the other hand, the rank and file of the youth organizations were recruited
from the unemployed. At the time of Liberation, Japanese war industries ended
abruptly and the unemployment swept through the country. Numerous returnees
from abroad made the situation more difficult. They had no prospects for the
future. Thus joining the rightist paramilitary youth organizations presented
them with answers to their problems, for it provided them with means for making
a living as well as a cause for participating in nation building.
Youths from North Korea were another important factor. According to the ROK
Ministry of National Defense, from September 1945 to January 1948, about 803,000
refugees came from North Korea. These may be
divided into "negative refugees" and "positive refugees."
The former came to South Korea to study or to find work while the latter fled
North Korea for their anticommunistic inclinations. Many of the positive refugees
became members of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations. Most of them
were middle-class youths who escaped North Korea as the communists took power
in the region. They called themselves "experimental anticommunists"
and formed the most aggressive anticommunist rightist paramilitary youth organizations,
ultimately organizing a strong corps, the Northwest Youth Association (NWYA),
on 30 November 1946.
On 29 September 1945, the first rightist paramilitary youth organization,
the Korean Young Men's Association for National Construction (KYMANC), was formed.
Numerous other rightist paramilitary youth organizations were created subsequently
but it proved difficult for any of them to challenge the leftists who had their
own strong youth corps, the General Alliance of Joseon Youth (GAJY).
To compete with the GAJY, some KDP leaders like Yun Bo-seon
and Yu Jin-san tried to form a large coalition
of rightist paramilitary youth organizations.
On 21 December, their efforts found fruit and the General Alliance of Young
Men for Korean Association of Independence (GAYMKAI), composed of 43 organizations,
was established. Jeon Jin-han was the leader
and Syngman Rhee and Kim Gu were made president and vice-president.
Most rightist paramilitary youth organizations that were formed thereafter
had Rhee and Kim as their political leaders. As a matter of fact, all the rightists
enthusiastically welcomed the return of rightist nationalist Kim Gu and the
Korean Provisional Government (KPG) group. Even the Rhee-KDP group wanted to
approach Kim. For only by cooperating with the Kim-KPG group could the Rhee-KDP
group conceal its reactionary character and certify its rightist nationalist
Anti-trusteeship Stage (December 1945-May 1946)
The year 1946 began with an earthshaking event in South Korea. Soon after
the Moscow Conference in December 1945, Koreans came to know of the trusteeship
plan for their country. Koreans unanimously opposed it seeking as they did a
unified and independent country. The main force that led the anti-trusteeship
movement was the Kim-KPG group. On 31 December 1945, it tried to usurp the power
of the USAMGIK but after Kim Gu met Hodge on 1 January 1946, he gave up the
nationalistic coup bid. Kim suffered "a serious loss of face" from
which he and the KPG never really recovered.
Naturally, the Rhee-KDP group took over the initiative in the anti-trusteeship
movement, shifting the nature of movement from Kim-KPG group's rightist nationalism
to Rhee-KDP group's anticommunism.
This change in leadership of the anti-trusteeship movement gave the Rhee-KDP
group an enormous boost. Leftists and moderates that supported the trusteeship
plan could not overcome anti-trusteeship fever of the Korean people; subsequently,
they began to lose support of those who had not yet aligned themselves with
any of the organizations. On the contrary, the Rhee-KDP group began to take
advantage of the situation to the utmost and began to attack leftists and middle-of-the-roaders
as "antinationalists" who wanted to sell their country to the USSR.
To overcome the crisis, on 15 February the leftists and moderates formed
a coalition named the Democratic National Front (DNF) and a related new youth
corps, the Joseon Democratic Youth Alliance (JDYA). At the same time, the rightist
paramilitary youth organizations, to continue to make the most of this situation,
began to challenge leftists and established such large organizations as the
Korean Young Men's Association (KYMA), the Korean Rehabilitation Young Men's
Association (KRYMA), the Korean Democratic Youth Alliance (KDYA), and the Youth
League for National Society for Acceleration of Korean Independence (YLNSAKI).
Among these, two major organizations were closely related to the Rhee-KDP group.
The first was the YLNSAKI. As the name implies, it was the only rightist paramilitary
youth organization officially subordinated to Rhee's political party, the National
Society for Acceleration of Korean Independence (NSAKI). As the NSAKI extended
its power to local areas, it also enlarged its power in direct proportion. For
this reason, it had most local branches nationwide among the rightist paramilitary
youth organizations. As it was a subsidiary organization of the NSAKI, its most
important missions were mobilizing and guiding audiences and guarding meetings
of the NSAKI. Therefore, its members were
called Rhee's "royal guards."
The other was the KDYA, led by Yu Jin-san and Kim Du-han. Kim had been the
notorious leader of an organized crime syndicate during the Japanese colonial
period. After he became the KDYA's Inspection Committee Chief, he mobilized
his 600 subordinates to form a "Special Squad" of the KDYA. In line
with its criminal roots, the squad stood at the forefront by crushing leftist
movements by force.
The Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC) produced a long report on a murder case
involving Kim Du-han:
. . . In this instance, CIC took pains to secure the punishment of the men
who had committed a crime while fighting an enemy that also was the America's
rival, communism. . . . Kim's best friend was another young thug named Chung
Chin Yong [sic] . . . . Kim and Chung were legal terrorists and informants for
the Japanese. When they saw their position dissolved with the end of the war,
they became unemployed thugs, and consequently gathered up their youth group
and hired out as strong arms in short notice for political parties. The only
trouble was that Chung took his Chosun Chun Wi Dai [sic] (Korean Advance Guard)
to work for the South Korea Labor Party and Kim hired out to the party of the
rightist, Chang Duk Soo [sic]. . . . In April 1947, . . . Chung Chin Yong and
his thugs had been called upon to distribute pamphlets denouncing Rhee as a
gangster and self-interested politician. On 20 April, Kim sent out some of his
men to pick up the men distributing the anti-Rhee literature. . . . They had
rounded up thirteen leftists, including Chung, . . . He asked his old friend
to recant, but Chung refused. Kim administered another blow which apparently
started an internal hemorrhage, and soon Chung was dead. . . . On 26 June 1947,
the members of the KDYA were brought to trial in the Seoul District Court. .
. . Completely ignoring the statements of the victims and the judge and jury
maintained that there was insufficient evidence of the murder. Kim Doo Whan
[sic] was fined the equivalent of the two cartons of cigarettes on the black
market. . . . The incident pointed up the fact that with the right political
backing, in Korea one could get away with almost anything. . . . During the
interrogation. . . . CIC had quite a problem with their interpreters, who were
all of rightist sympathies. . . . The feeling seemed to be that as long as Kim
was a rightist, CIC should let him go without investigation. . . . General Hodge
then ordered retrial before a Military Commission, . . . Kim was given a death
sentence which was commuted to life imprisonment by General MacArthur . . .
by 15 August 1948, Korea was a sovereign nation under the Rhee government. Early
in April 1948, shortly afterward, Kim was freed. . . . After the Korean War,
Kim Doo Whan [sic] became the Chief of the Investigation Section of the Korean
Youth Corps and the personal bodyguard of Syngman Rhee.
It is clear from this report that the Korean National Police (KNP) and the
USAMGIK had close relations with the KDYA. First, the CIC expressed its "pains"
to punish Kim Du-han who was fighting for "America's rival." Second,
the case involved two "old friends" who belonged to different ideological
youth corps. The only reason for Kim to kill Jeong was to protect Rhee from
the latter's criticisms. Third, the Korean judicial system and Korean interpreters
within the Rhee-KDP membership unilaterally sided with Kim to issue an irrational
judgment. Fourth, the USAMGIK conducted a retrial and gave Kim a death sentence.
According to the CIC, this was a case in which the USAMGIK sought justice even
for its political opponents. However, if
we trace Kim's political career thereafter, it is evident that the case only
helped him to further his career as a rightist politician and eventual member
of the National Assembly in the 1960s.
Another CIC report on this case further illustrates the relationship between
the Rhee-KDP group, the USAMGIK, and the KDYA. Here is a CIC translation of
a handbill distributed by the KDYA:
So until now . . . has acted with the assistance and cooperation of A.M.G.
and National Police (especially with the CIC), . . . The inauspicious event
. . . is not one which the KDYA did individually, but . . . with the consent
of national police. . . . Kim Doo Whan [sic] said, "Tonight we should sweep
away some young men with assistance and instructions of Mr. Chang Taik Sang
[sic], Chief of Police Headquarters. . . . We cannot understand the deeds of
CIC either. . . . And we hope for the removal of Chang Taik Sang, who made the
KDYA terrorize and betrayed us.
Subsequently, the Civil Administration, in Executive Order No. 1, ordered
the KDYA to dissolve itself on 22 April 1947.
While this seemed to be a fair decision it was in actual fact a pretext to disband
the only remaining leftist youth corps, the JDYA, on 16 May 1947 with Executive
Order No. 2. Yu Jin-san later reorganized
the KDYA by simply changing its name to the Alliance of Youth Joseon (AYJ).
Coalition Stage (May 1946-August 1947)
Trusteeship brought everything to a deadlock. In order to break it, Washington
decided to support moderates Kim Gyu-sik and Yeo Un-hyeong, instead of the Rhee-KDP
group, to form the Coaltion Committee (CC). Most Koreans heartily welcomed this
new policy. As a study pointed out it, "this new policy, if implemented
in September 1945, might have contributed to the emergence of a united, democratic,
and independent Korea."
Rhee, however, began to harass the CC. On 3 June, in the so-called "Jeongeup
Speech," he made a bombshell declaration:
Even South Korea alone has to establish somewhat like Provisional Government
or Committee to get rid of the USSR from the 38th parallel. So you (the people
in South Korea) have to decide. . . .
This was the first time that he announced his plan to establish a separate
government in South Korea. He also visited the United States from 7 December
1946 to 21 April 1947, where he proposed that South Korea be given an independent
government status and be admitted into the UN.
At this time, the USAMGIK and Washington had already declared that a unified
Korea was a cardinal principle. It was therefore obvious that Rhee's mission
was contrary to the aims and purposes expressed by America and further surprising
to find that he was given air priority for his trip, granted a long conference
with General MacArthur and in other ways favorably treated.
The Rhee-KDP group mobilized rightist paramilitary youth organizations to
propagate the separate government plan to the Korean people. But the Koreans
did not support the Rhee-KDP group; most Koreans still wanted a unified country.
This was revealed by an opinion poll compiled by the USAMGIK. In August 1946,
70% of South Koreans preferred socialism, while 14% supported capitalism and
7% communism. Also, 85% of them favored a parliamentary government. As for the
proper time to establish the constitution, only 27% answered "immediately,"
while 71% favored "after unification."
1) Split into Factions
At that time, the split among rightists grew worse. While the Rhee-KDP group
urged the establishment of a separate government, other rightists including
the Kim-KPG group and moderate Kim Gyu-sik bluntly opposed it and wanted unification.
The rightist paramilitary youth organizations were also divided according to
their leaders' political line.
The first case was that of the KYMANC. On 12 September 1946, those members
who wanted shared the Rhee-KDP group's views seceded from the organization to
form the KIYMP. While a large-scale, nationwide organization that followed the
Rhee-KDP group already existed in the GAYMAKI, it was not an independent organization
but a coalition of over 300 independent organizations based in local areas.
Now Rhee wanted a strong independent organization based in Seoul and the KIYMPI
was the fruit. Those who seceded from the KYMANC and other 15 rightist youth
organizations joined it. Its leader, Seo
Sang-cheon, was a member of the KDP. While
the new group did not unify all the rightist paramilitary youth organizations
as Rhee had hoped, it did nevertheless follow the Rhee-KDP group's separate
government line and was based in Seoul.
As antipathy among rightist politicians deepened, the KIYMP, the YLNSAKI,
and the GAYMKAI made it clear that they would follow the Rhee-KDP group. But
six other rightist paramilitary youth organizations that decided to follow Kim
Gu and Kim Gyu-sik's unification line announced their support for the seven
points made public by the CC on 12 December.
They established a loose coalition named the Young Koreans' Party (YKP),
however, it barely remained in existence after the failure of the coalition
Next was the split in the GAYMKAI. Between 19 and 21 December 1946, the GAYMKAI
held the second national delegates' conference to change the style of the organization
from a coalition of independent rightist paramilitary youth organizations to
a single organization that fell in line with the Rhee-KDP group. Some rank and
file, who were also members of the YKP, disagreed and attempted to voice their
opposition but were denied the opportunity and left the hall to establish a
preparatory committee to form the Young Koreans' Alliance (YKA).
The two conflicts between the rightist paramilitary youth organizations showed
that the supporters for a separate government no longer needed to cooperate
with supporters for unification.
2) Auxiliary KNP Functions
The USAMGIK's full-scale oppression of leftists began in May 1946, soon after
the US-Soviet Joint Commission (JC) adjourned. In so-called "Jeongpansa
Incident," the USAMGIK arrested executive
members of the Joseon Communist Party (JCP), suspended its bulletin, Haebang
ilbo (Liberation Daily), and arrested many leftists. After 15 August, it put
on the wanted list of executive members of the JCP, including Bak Heon-yeong,
and prohibited publication of leftist newspapers like Joseon inminbo (Joseon
People's News), Hyeondae ilbo (Modern Daily), and Jungang ilbo (Central
In July 1946, protesting this ever increasing oppression, the JCP proclaimed
a "New-Policy" and announced a change in its strategy:
Until now we have cooperated with the USAMGIK. When we criticized it, we
used only indirect methods. But from now on, we should use counterblows for
self-defense against terrorism of the USAMGIK and its subordinated bodies. Repay
terror by terror, blood by blood.
Against this background, the KNP also announced a change in its own line.
On 3 September, the Metropolitan KNP Chief, Jang Taek-sang, proclaimed:
Now we have to oppress individuals and organizations that alienate people
from the authorities. We will use all the organizations that can be our ears
and eyes. The KNP alone cannot do this. Supports of the judicial authorities
are the first prerequisite. We already obtained them. Now we will use a new
Extreme antagonism between leftists and the KNP led to the "September
General Strike" and "October Uprisings." On 23 September 1946,
in Busan about 8,000 railroad laborers began to strike. Word soon spread through
the entire country and 40,000 railroad laborers participated in the general
strike, paralyzing railroads throughout the country. The strike expanded to
printing, electric, postal and other industries. Students also participated
in the movement. Hodge declared that the strike was led by a small number of
agitators and on 26 September ordered its
suppression by force. The USAMGIK and the KNP did not hesitate to use the rightist
paramilitary youth organizations to smash the strikes. They were mobilized to
conduct single-handed or joint operations as auxiliary KNP units.
On 30 September, Jang Taek-sang led 3,000 heavily armed policemen and 1,000
members of rightist paramilitary youth organizations to oppress strikers in
Yongsan, Seoul. Kim Du-han recalled that Jang gave the KDYA 300 stands of training
rifles and 3 boxes of KNP Academy hand grenades. During the operation, he personally
killed a demonstrator with a bamboo spear and buried him.
On the same day, rightist paramilitary youth organizations jointly assaulted
a leftist newspaper building, Jayu sinmun (Free News), beat the staff and destroyed
property. They also attacked the headquarters of the JCP. The next morning,
they gathered again and terrorized most important leftist organizations such
as the executive office of the DPF, Central People's Committee, and the JDYA.
That afternoon, 200 members of the KDYA independently assaulted the largest
leftist labor organization, the National Council of Korean Labor Union (NCKLU),
seizing important documents and destroying property.
Next were the oppressions of the October Uprisings, starting initially in
Daegu, Gyeongsangbuk-do province, but soon spreading throughout the country.
Here again, the USAMGIK and the KNP openly exploited the rightist paramilitary
youth organizations. Kim Du-han recalled that he was dispatched to Daegu with
60 special squads consisting of 3,000 members of the KDYA armed with guns that
the KNP provided. With the KNP, they recaptured Yecheon, Yeongcheon, Waegwan,
Goryeong, and Seongju. On the day of their departure to Daegu, his 3,000 members
held a ceremony at Yongsan railroad station and received 4,000 U.S. Army work
clothes and shoes and 3,000 weapons and armbands. He also received a subsidy
from "some organization." Kim concluded:
"As a matter of fact, I was a white terrorist. . . . At that time, I thought
that only by smashing the communists by terror, could I rescue my fatherland
from serious crisis."
By suppressing the two uprisings, direct and official linkages were strengthened
between the USAMGIK, the KNP and the rightist paramilitary youth organizations.
Now the rightist paramilitary youth organizations became the vanguard of the
Rhee-KDP group to oppress all its rivals by violence with the direct help of
the USAMGIK and the KNP. They acted as the auxiliary KNP units.
3) The USMGIK's Control
A. Korean National Youth Corps
Amidst this chaos, Yi Beom-seok, the former Commanding General of the Restoration
Army in China, asked the USAMGIK for aid to establish an anticommunistic youth
corps in preparation for an anticommunist army. General Hodge, who wanted to
cope with anti-Americanism and disturbances among the Korean people by mobilizing
paramilitary forces, agreed and began to establish the Korean National Youth
Corps (KNYC). On 6 October 1946, the KNYC was established with the help of the
Hodge was tying to secure consent from General MacArthur and the Department
of State to establish the KNYC. But this was only ex post facto approval: the
KNYC had already been established on 6 October while his requests began on 28
October. That day, he cabled General MacArthur for permission to "Build
up a Rightist Youth Army to augment and assist occupation forces and the KNP
and constabulary." But John Carter Vincent,
Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs, clearly opposed his plan.
General MacArthur was also doubtful: "This suggestion is believed to be
But Hodge had already established the KNYC and supported it without instructions
from Washington. The direct sponsorship, counseling, financing and supply of
the KNYC was a notable exception to USAMGIK's policy against sponsoring Korean
organizations. Besides cash, the USAMGIK
supplied the KNYC with equipment and facilities for its training program, offered
it buildings and land (such as the National Training School at Suwon) and many
forms of support. Taken together, USAMGIK
support for and investment in the KNYC was overwhelming and unprecedented.
At that time, two major Korean organizations received financial support from
the USAMGIK. They were the CC and the KNYC. In 1946, the former received 3 million
won and the latter 5 million; in 1947, the former received 3 million won and
the latter 19 million. The USAMGIK supported
the KNYC secretly through a false-name account, Ha Chung-sik.
"Ha" came from the name of General Hodge, "Chun" from Chungok,
pseudonym of Won Se-hun, a member of the CC, and "sik" from the name
of Dr. Kim Gyu-sik. It is suggestive that
the USAMGIK invested much more money to the KNYC than the CC, which clearly
reveals where its real interest lied. It demonstrates that the USAMGIK preferred
illegal paramilitary politics to legal party politics.
General Hodge exercised tight control over the KNYC by dispatching an officer
in active service, Lieutenant Colonel Ernst Voss, as the advisor of General
Yi. Voss submitted a "Weekly Activity Report" to CIC every week.
It is interesting to note that Voss tried to guarantee "the Budget for
the Fiscal Year of 1948-1949" for the KNYC,
revealing as it does that the USAMGIK already had blueprints for the KNYC. These
reports clearly distinguish the KNYC as an auxiliary organization of the USAMGIK.
General Yi had an interesting military career. He served in the military,
both the Chinese and exiled Korean, and concurrently in Tai Li's vast, reactionary
intelligence network. After Tai and the OSS reached an accord, he began to work
for the Americans. He was involved for a time in Jiang Jieshi's Samminzhuyi
Youth Corps and was also linked to the Blue Shirts, a group that was close to
fascism. His experience with them had a lasting influence, apparently dictating
the blue color of the KNYC uniform and his jeep.
He learned his youth corps concept from Hitler Jugend or Hitler Youths. He
said in an interview, "We base our instruction on the German youth movement
because the Germans are the only people who really know how to organize young
men." In another interview, he also
told of the proposed curriculum:
"Also" he said "the method of combating strikes. And history
of Hitler Youths." One of Lee's right-hand men, it appeared, had been an
enthusiastic member of Hitler Jugend in Germany for three years.
Mark Gayn has remarked:
This topped it all - a Korean "School for Leaders," teaching the
history of Hitler Youths, operating on a subsidy from the American Military
Government, and assisted by a colonel [sic]
of the U.S. Army.
As a man of fascist ideology, in the early days, General Yi tried to make
link the KNYC with other rightist political groups. He also actively participated
in the Aid Association for the Korean National Representatives (AAKNR) that
supported Rhee's proposal in Washington for a separate South Korean government.
As the USAMGIK completely controlled the KNYC, General Yi had to act with
Hodge's permission. Ironically Hodge did not set him loose until November 1947,
when the U.S. openly took steps towards establishing a separate government in
South Korea. Until then, the USAMGIK had officially supported the CC. In order
not to agitate the leftists, the USAMGIK refused to allow General Yi to pursue
the Rhee-KDP-oriented policy, persuading him instead to follow its "neutral"
policy. It made the KNYC display a "nonpartisan" policy.
This led General Yi to refuse Rhee's request to support his anti-trusteeship
movement. He sent letters to branch offices
to make them keep silent about the JC and prepare them to support the provisional
government when it was formed. He even changed
his plans to include the history of Hitler Youths in the curriculum of his training
In its supposed nonpartisan policy, the KNYC had a unique character. Unlike
other rightist youth organizations, the KNYC did not advocate direct violence
against the leftists. This difference naturally alienated the KNYC from other
rightist paramilitary youth organizations, leading to clashes
which culminated in September 1947, when General Yi refused to participate in
the United Young Men's Corps (UYMC). G-2
even reported that the UYMC held a secret meeting to assassinate General Yi.
There were other reasons for their conflicts. Besides jealousy over the official
support of the USAMGIK, its rapid growth
through overactive recruiting methods was a major point of contention.
Sometimes it absorbed local branches of other rightist paramilitary youth organizations.
The KNYC tried to expand its power across the nation and in the process membership
of the KNYC grew rapidly. In June 1948, membership numbered 873,310 and in late
fall of that year it totaled 1.3 million.
After the United States decision to support the Rhee-KDP group's separate
government policy, however, the KNYC changed its position completely. Contrary
to its previous neutral policy, it declared in February 1948 its support for
Rhee Syngman's bid for political control of South Korea.
On 1 March, General Yi was elected vice-chairmen of Rhee's political party,
Following this reversal, the KNYC actively participated in the separate government
policy that the USA and the Rhee-KDP group pushed ahead. It played an active
role in the 10 May general elections, mobilizing its members to promote movement
with other rightist paramilitary youth organizations. Its leaders ran for the
Assembly: among 20 candidates nominated by the KNYC, six won seats. Eight other
members also won the election in the name of independents or Rhee's NSAKI. A
total of 14 KNYC members were elected to the National Assembly.
This made Yi Beom-seok the first Premier and Minister of National Defense
in the Rhee regime. His "Hitler Youths Dream" was finally realized
when his "right-hand man," An Ho-sang
established the Student Defense Corps (SDC) in all high schools and universities.
The SDC system reorganized students into military-style units and mandated anticommunist
practices and curricula. Greeting seniors or teachers took the form of military
salutes with slogans such as "Smash Communism" or "Anticommunism."
Students were to learn gyoryeon or Military and Spiritual Training as a compulsory
subject in regular school curriculum. The system that strove to make all Korean
students a vanguard against communism lasted all the way to the 1980s.
B. Northwest Youth Association
The NWYA was established on 30 November 1946. Refugees from North Korea had
formed several independent youth organizations immediately after Liberation
but over the course of their struggles with the leftists, they realized the
need to establish a unified anticommunist organization. The name "Northwest
Youth" was meant to encompass young refugees from all over North Korea:
as "north" means Hamgyeong-do province and "west" means
Pyeongan-do province and Hwanghae-do province, the word "northwest"
means all the North Korean areas. Its membership totaled about 300,000.
In addition to general anticommunist activities that it undertook with other
rightist paramilitary youth organizations, it engaged in specialized missions.
First was anti-North Korean activity. On every Sunday, Seonu Gi-seong, head
of the NWYA, aired anticommunist messages to the people of North Korea at Seoul
Central Broadcasting Station. It also infiltrated
its members into North Korea to perform special espionage missions.
CIC admitted it in a report titled "CIC Sends Korean Agents North Korea."
The USAMGIK also gave it counterespionage missions.
The USAMGIK tacitly used the NWYA as its auxiliary organization.
Second, it helped the USAMGIK and the KNP in controlling civilian lives,
principally by censoring refugees from North Korea. Its goal was to ferret out
the communists among them. While its tactics were illegal, the USAMGIK and the
KNP approved and even encouraged them. It
also engaged in "enlightening" people on the conditions of North Korea.
When it sought to crush suspected leftists in a village, it called together
(usually in a coercive manner) meetings for "enlightenment" in which
it would identify leftists and eliminate them with deadly force.
Third, it enlarged its realm to schools and factories. The NWYA acquired
the right to publish school certificates for youths from North Korea to enter
or transfer to schools and universities without examination.
In spring 1947, it published 3,600 certificates and 6,000 by September.
In this process, not a few intentionally misrepresented their school careers
to enter more prestigious schools and universities. Naturally, many of them
became repeaters or dropouts. This was trivial
to the NWYA, however, as long as they engaged in undermining leftist student
power. The organization also arranged jobs for refugees from North Korea and
used them as the main force to attack leftist trade unions. They actively struggled
to destroy the September Strike in the Seoul-Incheon area.
Fourth, it expanded its power to the Korean Constabulary. On 23 October 1947,
NWYA members comprised two thirds of the cadets in the fifth term of Military
Academy. On 6 April 1948, after six months of training, they were commissioned
as second lieutenants. They later made up the core of anticommunist military
officials sent to suppress the Jeju Insurgency of April 3, the Yeosu Revolt
of 1948-1949, and to fight in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. On 16 May
1961, some of them participated in the military coup led by Park Chung-hee.
As the USAMGIK and the KNP supported the NWYC and used it as their auxiliary
organization, the NWYA could exercise its violent practices without any restriction.
Besides its independent activities, the
NWYA performed joint terrorist activities with other rightist paramilitary youth
organizations. The CIC portrayed it
as "the vanguard of rightist terrorism,"
and specifically identified 26 activities from 1 September 1946 to 18
April 1947. As late as 31 July 1947,
the CIC reported that the NWYA was still at the top of the list for terrorist
By 1947, it had enlarged its power to local areas. It established a local
base in Daejeon under the name of the South Korean Detachment (SKD), and amassing
50,000 members. It then extended its range to cover Chungcheong, Jeolla, and
Gyeongsang provinces, establishing 57 branches in these areas alone.
Its repressive hand gripped virtually all around the territory south of
the 38th parallel.
The NWYA suffered division when General Yi Cheong-cheon tried to organize
a unified rightist youth organization, the UYMC. In September 1947, the NWYA
divided into separate factions over the problem of joining the UYMC. Seonu Gi-song,
head of the NWYA, and other members agreed with the UYMC's cause of uniting
the right into a single organization and joined it. But Mun Bong-je, head of
the Rebuilt NWYA (RNWYA), and others followed the Rhee-KDP group's separate
government line and stood against joining it.
The RNWYA enlarged its power to the remotest
island, Jejudo, where it provided the major spark for the local uprising. As
a study presented it, "Nowhere else did such a violent outpouring of a
popular opposition to a postwar occupation occur."
It proved to be the most tragic incident that the USAMGIK experienced
in South Korea. It lasted for six years and six months from 3 April 1948 to
21 September 1954. During this period, the uprising claimed at least 30,000
dead, about 10 percent of the island's population.
The late General, Kim Ik-ryeol, commander of the ninth Regiment that commanded
the ground troops in Jejudo island during the incipient phase of the uprising,
left a posthumous manuscript on the uprising.
In this manuscript, he wrote about the main cause of the uprising:
At the beginning, the USAMGIK and I agreed that the main cause of the uprising
was illegal violence of the NWYA. Its violence against innocent islanders enraged
them. And the KNP that only sided with the NWYA aggravated the situation to
explosion. . . . The main cause of the uprising
was innocent islanders' revenge for the KNP and the NWYA that did nothing but
illegal arrests, tortures, murders, rapes and property confiscation. . . .
Hugh Deane, an American reporter, also mentioned that "the KNP and their
allies in the NWYA savaged the village and the hatred thus engendered led to
riotous demonstrations that climaxed in an island-wide rebellion."
During the uprising, the NWYA members participated in the massacre partly
as members of the NWYA and partly as hurriedly organized members of the KNP
and constabulary. This was done at the request
of both Syngman Rhee and the USAMGIK. Rhee personally attended a general meeting
of the NWYA to encourage its members to participate in the massacre.
G-2 also indicated that "the assistance furnished the police and constabulary
by the NWYA on Cheju-do [sic] has been commended by several American officers."
Final Stage (September 1947-December 1948)
The JC met again in the summer of 1947, but it soon reached another deadlock.
Finally, in September the United States referred the Korean issue to the UN.
On 14 November, the UN resolved to establish the United Nations Temporary Commission
on Korea (UNTCOK). When communists prevented the UNTCOK member from operating
in the north in early 1948, the UN changed the Commission's mandate to only
oversee elections south of the 38th parallel.
After the United States decided to establish a separate government in South
Korea, white terror by the rightist paramilitary youth organizations became
a part of daily life. Violence was not concentrated on leftists alone but covered
all of Korean society. But while most of the victims were innocent civilians,
and while G-2 and CIC reports recorded countless acts of violence, no appropriate
actions were taken by the USAMGIK.
In April 1947, Yi Cheong-cheon, who
was the former General Commander of the Restoration Army, returned to South
Korea. He wanted to unite all the rightist paramilitary youth organizations
under his command. His military career gave him enormous clout with almost all
the members of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations. In September 1947,
he unified 26 organizations to establish the UYMC.
There appeared a great stir in rightist paramilitary youth organizations
about whether to join the new group. The KNYC, under the USAMGIK's control,
and the Korea Independence Young Men's Party (KIYMP), under the KDP's control,
refused to participate in it from the beginning. Further, the AYJ, the RNWYA,
and the YLNSAKI did not join the UYMC, principally because Rhee opposed it.
When Yi first wanted to unify all the rightist paramilitary youth organizations,
Rhee publicly supported his action. But in September, Rhee changed his mind
and attempted to put all of them under his own control. That month, the United
States finally changed its policy and agreed to support the Rhee-KDP group's
separate government line. The path to becoming the first president of the separate
government was now open and it was incumbent on Rhee to undermine any competitors.
As he already suspected that General Yi was a Kim Gu partisan, Rhee did not
want him to assume power over the largest and most powerful youth organization.
In actual fact, Rhee wanted to make that powerful coalition of the rightist
paramilitary youth organizations blindly obedient to his leadership. At his
request, the AYJ, the RNWYA, the KIYMP, the YLNSAKI unified to make a new organization,
the Salvation Young Men's Alliance (SYMA).
It began to practice the Rhee-KDP group's policy with the open aid of the KNP.
Though there were some members who wanted to follow the unification line
to establish the YMAFU, leaders of the
UYMC finally decided to follow Rhee-KDP group's line and betrayed Kim Gu on
31 July 1948. "Until now we have followed Kim Gu's political line,"
it announced, "But now unification has become impossible. So we have to
participate in the elections." On
1 March 1948, Yi Cheong-cheon personally participated in the NSAKI as one of
the five vice-chairmen with Yi Beom-seok of the KNYC, Mun Bong-je of the RNWYA,
Yu Jin-san of the AYJ and Sin Ik-hui,
who also was a cabinet member of the KPG under Kim Gu.
Establishing a Divided Country
At the beginning of 1948, all the large rightist paramilitary youth organizations
pushed ahead with the 10 May general elections. In addition to the SYMA, the
UYMC and even the KNYC worked together without friction under the Rhee-KDP group's
To say nothing of the communists, almost all the political groups opposed
the elections to establish a separate government, with the exception of the
Rhee-KDP associated group. On 7 February 1948, the DPF and the South Korean
Labor Party (SKLP) agitated for a general strike. In April, the Kim Gu/Kim Gyu-sik
group and many other parties and social organizations that opposed the separate
government went to North Korea to participate in a meeting called the "North-South
Conference." On 7 May, the SKLP pushed once again for another general strike.
In this final stage, the rightist paramilitary youth organizations that followed
the Rhee-KDP group's line employed violent means to oppress its opponents. They
arrested, beat, and even killed whomever they thought were their rivals. The
KNP directly supported them without hesitation. In April, one month before the
elections, the USAMGIK ordered the establishment of the Neighborhood Defense
Corps (NDC) as an auxiliary KNP unit.
Members of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations joined it voluntarily
to help the KNP.
As a result, on 10 May, some 7,036,750 of the 7,837,504 (90 percent) registered
voters cast their ballots. This seemed to be an indication of real enthusiasm
on the part of the people. It would be blindness, however, to overlook considerable
counts of violence and threats of violence in connection with the elections.
Besides Jejudo island, where two of the three electoral districts were invalidated
by the uprising, 323 persons including 32 policemen were killed in various riots
and raids in the ten days leading up to the elections.
Following an observation tour for the elections, UNTCOK delegates noted that
one reason for the very high registration was a threat by the KNP to withdraw
individual ration cards from Koreans who did not register. Some delegates also
feared that "youth organization" and block leaders or "gun chiefs"
were playing a large part in the election.
Their protests elicited from General William F. Dean, the Military Governor,
an affirmation that orders had been given to prevent any pressure involving
ration cards, that rightist paramilitary youth organizations were not to participate
in election arrangements and that any misuse of authority by the KNP would bring
The rightist paramilitary youth organizations intervened in the elections
in two ways. First, they helped candidates of their own organizations.
If they had no candidate of their own, they helped the Rhee-KDP candidates.
Second, they participated in "enlightenment" programs such as election
promotion movements. As most prominent political parties boycotted the election,
their most significant intervention was the attempt to prevent abstentions by
compelling people to register.
The RNWYA tried to have Rhee elected without a vote. Rhee's counterpart was
Choe Neung-jin or Daniel Choe. The RNWYA
and the KNP systematically opposed Choe's registration as a candidate from the
beginning and intimidated his supporters into giving up their recommendations.
Just two days before the closing date for candidate registration, Choe received
from the National Election Committee (NEC) a report stating the nullification
of his candidacy on the grounds that 57 of his 217 signatures (200 required)
were forgeries or were obtained by misrepresentation.
Mun Bong-je visited him to convince him to drop his opposition to Rhee.
But Choe, despite violent measures by the RNWYA and the KDP (beating campaign
workers, stealing bags of signatures),
managed to secure the necessary replacement signatures and tried to register
again. The NEC, however, refused to receive the documents on the pretext of
the chairman's absence. Choe was unable to register and raised a protest to
General Dean, who extended the closing date. But once again the RNWYA and the
KNP intimidated his supporters into saying that they had not recommended him
voluntarily. Finally, Choe failed to register and Rhee won the seat without
opposition. Choe now took the case to
the UNTCOK and the USAMGIK. General Dean appointed a committee of three to investigate
and by late May it reported that 18 of Choe's recommendations were spurious,
reducing the number to 199, one less than the minimum required.
Clearly, Rhee would not have been able to be elected a member of National
Assembly without violence of the rightist paramilitary youth organizations and
the KNP. Many candidates of the KDP also registered as independents, because
an absolute majority of Koreans disliked the political line and terrorist methods
associated with the group.
It was by this course that Rhee became the first president of the ROK. No
one supported him except the Rhee-KDP group, the KNP and rightist paramilitary
youth organizations. Soon after, even the KDP began to break away from him as
an outcome of their displeasure over the appointment of cabinet members. Then
communists rebelled in Yeosu in October 1948 and guerilla activities followed.
From the beginning, due to the opposition of the vast majority of South Koreans,
Rhee could not govern the ROK by normal methods. On 19 December 1948, Rhee moved
to unite all the rightist paramilitary youth organizations into one creating
the Korea Youth Association (KYA).
Rhee made the KYA an official government organization and paid its expenses
from the government budget. Its leaders
began to participate in politics as high-ranking bureaucrats or members of the
National Assembly. Rank and file regarded themselves as cornerstones of the
ROK and tried to control all the activities of the Korean people.
With Liberation, the Korean peninsula was a tumult of revolutionary waves.
Koreans wanted socioeconomic changes by settling Japanese colonial legacies.
This revolutionary fervor was reflected faithfully in a political field. The
revolutionaries acted in South Korea with the support and acquiescence of the
The United States occupied South Korea and imposed a military government
onto its fragile situation. Against the revolutionary will of Korean people,
the USAMGIK tried to foster its partners, Syngman Rhee and the pro-Japanese
KDP group, to maintain the status quo and to build a bulwark against the communist
USSR in South Korea. The USAMGIK and its partners, however, could not overcome
the overwhelming revolutionary fever of Korean people through the legal party
political system alone. They found the rightist paramilitary youth organizations
necessary to eliminate, usually by force, problems and rivals that could not
be addressed through conventional politics. This was the sine qua non that a
paramilitary politics could appear in South Korea.
The USAMGIK and its partners pulled the wires of the rightist paramilitary
youth organizations. The support and encouragement was tacit until the USAMGIK
officially used them as auxiliary KNP units in suppressing the September Strike
and the October Uprisings in 1946. This was the point that the normal party
political system flipped over to an abnormal paramilitary political system.
Following this, even the USAMGIK established its own auxiliary youth organization.
After the United States decided to support the Rhee-KDP group's policy to
establish a separate government in South Korea, the rightist paramilitary youth
organizations were able to exercise their violence without any restrictions.
Violence was not directed towards the leftists alone but extended to all of
Korean society. Innocent civilians were objects of their violence. The repression
was so extreme that it can be seen as constituting a civil war. The elections
to establish the ROK were held in this atmosphere of white terrorism.
Through these means, the United States and the Rhee-KDP group managed to
establish a divided government, the ROK, in South Korea against the will of
the Korean people. This left two marks on the South Korean political landscape:
peninsular division and a reactionary, anticommunist government poised for war.
Kim Bong-jin is Professor
of Jeju College of Technology. He has been writing articles on the paramilitary
politics and the rise of Nazism in Weimar German history. He is now interested
in the paramilitary politics under the USAMGIK and the establishment of the
ROK in South Korea. He is preparing an article on the Jejudo Uprising in the
context of the paramilitary politics. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-suk, "Geonjun-ui jojik-gwa hwaldong" (The Structure and Activity
of the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence), Haebang jeonhusa-ui
insik (Recognitions of History before and after Liberation), vol. 2 (Seoul:
Hangilsa Publishing Co., 1985), p. 105.
2. James Irving
Matray, The Reluctant Crusade: American Foreign Policy in Korea, 1941-1950
(Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985), p. 50; Grant E. Meade, American
Military Government in Korea (New York: King's Crown Press, Columbia University,
1951), p. 225. Meade analyzed that the United States occupation of South Korea
proved to be a fatal "operation trial and error."
Nam-heon, Haebang samnyeonsa (Three Years' History after Liberation),
vol. 1 (Seoul: Kachi Publishing Co., 1985), p. 391.
gyeongchal 28" (National Police Division of the USAMGIK 28), Kyunghyang
Daily News, 15 February 1977.
Minguk Gukbangbu Jeonsa Pyeonchan Wiwonhoe (Republic of Korea, War History Publishing
Committee of the Ministry of National Defense), Haebang-gwa geon-gun
(Liberation and the Establishment of the Army), vol. 1 of Hanguk jeonjaengsa
(History of the Korean War) (Seoul: Ministry of National Defense, Republic of
Korea, 1967), p. 81.
7. Yi Gyeong-nam,
Bundan sidae-ui cheongnyeon undong (Youth Movements in the Age of Division),
vol. 1 (Seoul: Samseong Idea Gongmo-guk, 1989), p. 145.
later succeeded Rhee as president of the ROK.
9. He later
became the president of the largest opposition party in Park Chung-hee period.
Gi-song, Hanguk cheongnyeon undongsa (History of Youth Movements in Korea),
2d ed. (Seoul: Geummunsa, 1976), pp. 652-657.
11. He later
became the first Minister of Social Affairs in the Rhee regime.
12. Bruce Cumings,
The Origins of the Korean War: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes
1945-1947 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), pp. 220-221.
17. Kim Du-han was a notorious
boss of political hoodlums. He was chosen to be a member of National Assembly
twice. He was one of the symbolic persons to show the political disorder in
the incipient ROK.
Report 9 (30 April 1947): pp. 2-3.
19. George M. McCune, "Post-War
Government and Politics of Korea," The Journal of Politics 9.4 (November
1947): p. 616.
Shinmun Daily, 18 May 1947. The USAMGIK explained the reasons of dispersing
the KDYA for its anti-USAMGIK and antinational characters.
Yu-seok, "Migunjeongha-ui u-ik cheongnyeon danche-e gwanhan yeongu: 1945-1948"
(A Study on the Right Wing Youth Corps under the American Military Government:
1945-1948) (master's thesis, Ewha Womans University, 1988), p. 44.
Nam-heon, Haebang samnyeonsa (Three Years' History after Liberation),
vol. 2 (Seoul: Kachi Publishing Co., 1985), pp. 412-421: On 5 May 1946, the
USAMGIK published that the KNP had been investing a counterfeit-bill case. It
pointed that the Joseon Communist Party (JCP) picked up a printing house, the
Jeongpansa, where the Japanese issued Korean money. At the printing house, the
JCP issued counterfeit notes and used them as its secret fund. Though the JCP
bluntly denied all the indicted facts, the accused persons were sentenced guilty.
After this, the JCP stopped its legal activities and went underground.
of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the Chief of Staff (Eisenhower), 28 October
1946, vol. VIII of Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers
(hereafter, FRUS), ed. U.S. Department of State (1946), p. 751.
of the Office of the Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent) to the Secretary of State,
memorandum, 29 October 1946, FRUS (1946), Vol. VII, p. 752.
of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the War Department, memorandum, 1 November
1946, FRUS (1946), Vol. VIII, p. 753.
43. Hugh Deane,
The Korean War: 1945-1953 (San Francisco: China Books & Periodicals, 1999),
44. Im Jong-myeong,
"Joseon minjok cheongnyeondan yeongu" (A Study on the Korean National
Youth Corps) (master's thesis, Korea University, 1994), p. 8.
Cheol-su, "Minjok cheongnyeondan" (The Korean National Youth Corps),
in Cheolgi Yi Beom-seok pyeongjeon, ed. Memorial Project Meeting for General
Cheolgi Yi Beom-seok (Critical Biography of Cheolgi Yi Beom-seok) (Seoul: Hangru,
1992), p. 49; Cf. XXIV Corps G-2 Weekly Summary (hereafter, G-2 Weekly Summary)
105 (18 September 1947): p. 18. G-2 reported that the KNYC in the current fiscal
year received budget grant of 20 million yen as compared with 5 million last
46. To perform
this secret mission, the USAMGIK used two employees of the Joseon Bank. One
was Baek Du-jin, the 4th Premier and the other was Yu Chang-sun, the 15th Premier
of the ROK.
can find at least twice the "Weekly Activity Report" submitted by
Voss in CIC Weekly Information Bulletin 35 (22 December 1947): pp. 3-6; CIC
Weekly Information Bulletin 40 (20 January 1948): pp. 7-9.
Information Bulletin 35 (22 December 1947): p. 5.
G-2 Periodic Reports we can easily find them. About frictions with the NWYA,
see G-2 Periodic Report 617 (26 August, 1947): p. 2 and G-2 Periodic Report
884 (14 July 1948): p. 2; frictions with the KIYMP, see G-2 Periodic Report
824 (3 May 1948): p. 1 and G-2 Periodic Report 862 (17 June 1948): p. 1; frictions
with the UYMC, see G-2 Periodic Report804 (9 April 1948): p. 3 and G-2 Periodic
Report 809 (15 April 1948): p. 3, etc.
Summary 105 (18 September 1947): p. 19: Besides rank and file, even General
Yi Cheung-cheon, leader of the UYMC, made no effort to conceal his dislike of
Report 635 (17 September 1947): pp. 2-3. G-2 commented that assassination, and
for as little reason as appeared here, was an ever present possibility in Korea,
either with or without political aspirations (both these groups deny them),
Summary 105 (18 September 1947): p. 19.
Ik-ryeol, "Kim Ik-ryeol janggun sillok yugo: 4?-ui jinsil" (Posthumous
Manuscripts of General Kim Ik-ryeol: Truth about Jeju Insurgency of April 3),
in vol. 2 of 4.3-eun mal-handa: Daeha sillok jeju minjung undongsa (April 3 Says:
Records of the History of People's Movement in Jejudo Island), ed. Report Team
of Jejudo Peoples' News (Seoul: Jeonyewon, 1994), pp. 271-357. General Kim died
in 1988, but the manuscript was not published until 1994, according to his dying
wish to publish it without any retouching by governmental authority.
Shinmun Daily, 10 May 1948. Actually, the KIYMP and the AYC tried to support
their leaders, Seo Sang-cheon and Yu Jin-san. The KNYC and the UYMC nominated
many candidates to win seats in the National Assembly. The KNYC and the UYMC
nominated 20 and 87 candidates and won 6 and 12 seats, respectively. But the
KNYC had 8 more members who ran the election by name of other political parties.
So the KNYC won total 14 seats in the election.
Nam-heon, op. cit., vol. 2, pp. 384-387. After the September Strike and October
Uprisings, the "Joint American-Korean Conference" was held to investigate
the reasons and solve the pending questions of the two riots. At this conference,
Jo Byeong-ok, head of the KNP, praised the "patriotic policemen's noble
sacrifices," however, Choe Neung-jin, Chief of Detective Bureau of the
KNP, who was sent to the spot to investigate the reasons for the riots by the
USAMGIK, analyzed differently. He found reasons in the KNP system. He vainly
suggested to get rid of the pro-Japanese policemen to prevent another spontaneous
uprising. As the result, the USAMGIK ironically purged him instead of adopting
Yu-sik, "Yi Seung-man jeonggwon chogi daehan cheongnyeondan jojik-gwa hwaldong"
(Organization and Activities of the Korea Youth Corps in the Incipient Period
of the Syngman Rhee Regime) (master's thesis, Busan National University, 1996).