Chairperson’s Message

Yang Jo-hoon Chairperson of Jeju 4·3 Peace Foundaion

A Greeting from Jeju 4·3 Peace Foundation’s Chairman

“ May global citizens share the value of peace and human rights learned from Jeju 4·3.”

Welcome to our website commemorating Jeju 4·3, and thank you for your interest in Jeju and the Jeju uprising and massacre.
Jeju 4·3 is a tragedy in modern Korean history that victimized nearly 30,000 people.
It is also a world historical event that stemmed from national division and the Cold War.
70 years ago, countless Jeju locals lost their lives for objecting to the division of their nation.
Ideologically framed, the case had long been sealed, hidden away from the public for over half a century, until some sensible activists began a struggle of memory against forgetting.
Thanks to their efforts, Jeju 4·3 could set on a journey for truth, under the bright light at the end of the dark tunnel.

In 1988, the 40th anniversary of Jeju 4·3 ignited the struggle of memory.
On the 50th anniversary in 1998, activists led a movement to legislate the Special Act on Discovering the Truth of the Jeju 4·3 Incident and the Restoration of Honor of Victims, although from 2008, the resolution of the case endured a long and rocky road spanning two conservative governments.
The 70th anniversary in 2018, however, underwent monumental change with the newly launched Moon Jae-in regime.

President Moon attended the 70th anniversary memorial service and declared, “Spring is coming to Jeju.”
People gathered at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul to remember Jeju 4·3 through cultural performances.
The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History held a memorial exhibition on Jeu 4·3.
Pope Francis sent a message of healing to Koreans commemorating the 70th anniversary of Jeju 4·3.
Other religious groups also joined in the repentance and reconciliation movement.
The campaign for wearing a camellia flower badge (in memoriam of Jeju 4·3)
drew public attention nationwide.
Considering the currently thawing inter-Korean relations, the day might be near that all Korean people recognize Jeju 4·3 as part of their national history.

Under the various underpinning circumstances stated above, another task remains to be accomplished with regard to Jeju 4·3:
sharing the universal value of peace, human rights and mutual benefit learned from the case.
In this sense, the Jeju 4·3 Peace Foundation created this site on the Internet, a medium that connects global citizens with each other.

Over the past decades, the Jeju public has made concerted efforts for reconciliation and healing within their local community.
Although remembering the fratricidal tragedy, they sublimated their pain and scars to achieve reconciliation and human rights for the greater good.
Embracing both the victims and the victimizers for the ‘restoration of their community’ is an unprecedented effort even in world history.

Hopefully, this website will offer global citizens information about the event, and a chance to see what has been learned from Jeju 4·3.
I also anticipate that your interest in Jeju 4·3 will motivate you to visit the island, especially the Jeju 4·3 Peace Park and historic sites related to Jeju 4·3.

Once again, thank you for your visit.
May you share the value of peace and human rights here.