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The Massacres at Mt. HallaSixty Years of Truth Seeking in South Korea$
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Hun Joon Kim

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452390

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452390.001.0001

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The Struggle of the Periphery

The Struggle of the Periphery

(p.83) 4 The Struggle of the Periphery
The Massacres at Mt. Halla

Hun Joon Kim

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks at how the inauguration of President Kim Young-sam resulted in drastic reforms during his early years of presidency. Kim supported the prosecution of former presidents Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo. However, despite all the reforms, the advocacy only advanced within Jeju itself—a periphery in South Korean politics. Attempts to push the issue onto the national agenda were foiled by a lack of political will and public interest. To make things worse, President Kim made a change in his policy and he had successfully suppressed civil society by the end of his tenure. Two political issues explain this sudden turn. First, North Korea's announcement to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty provoked the conservative and military facets of society. Second, Kim pushed for a retrogressive revision of the Labor Law, but had to withdraw because of a nationwide strike.

Keywords:   Kim Young-sam, Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo, Jeju, South Korean politics, North Korea, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Labor Law

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