The Army has begun demolishing the ‘Independence War Heroes’ Room at the Military Academy, which commemorates Generals Hong Beom-do, Kim Jwa-jin, and Ahn Jung-geun. The Army plans to change the space that commemorated the generals of the anti-Japanese struggle into a study room on the ‘history of overcoming national crises,’ including the Goguryeo-Sui War, the Korean War, and the dispatch of troops to Vietnam.
According to the response data received from the Army on the 20th by the office of Democratic Party of Korea Rep. Jeong Sung-ho, the Army stated, “Construction began on the 16th to reorganize the Independence War Hero Room, and is scheduled to be completed by the 2nd of next month.” The intention is that from the beginning of this week, work has begun to remove plaques and posts with the names of generals in the anti-Japanese independence struggle.
In 2018, the ‘Independence War Hero Room’ named after seven generals굿모닝토토 도메인, including Hong Beom-do, Ahn Jung-geun, Kim Jwa-jin, and Lee Hoe-young, was set up at Chungmugwan, a comprehensive education facility for cadets on the Korean Military Academy campus. However, in an on-site discussion held last November, the Army mentioned the ‘Independence War Heroes’ Room’ as an example where “concerns about duplication and bias related to specific periods and groups” were raised, and that it was “a space for improving cadets’ views on nation, security, and history.” He announced his plan to “utilize it.” After reporting the demolition plan to Army Chief of Staff Park Jung-hwan in January and May of this year, a budget of 372 million won for demolition and reorganization work was allocated to the Military Academy in July.
Accordingly, the ‘Independence War Heroes’ Room’ will be transformed into a learning space that introduces war history from ancient times to the Joseon Dynasty, the anti-Japanese armed struggle during the colonial era, and the Korean War. The intention is to use it as “a space to learn about the history of overcoming national disasters by era (rather than a space to commemorate a specific person)” (data from a field discussion on the development of a Korean military school in November of last year). The posts introducing the activities of generals in the anti-Japanese struggle, which were previously installed in the ‘Independence War Heroes Room’, will be replaced with a chronology of the Goguryeo-Sui War, the Japanese Invasion of Korea, volunteer army activities at the end of the Joseon Dynasty, and the dispatch of troops to Vietnam.
Even after the controversy over the relocation of the Hong Beom-do bust, the army pushed ahead with erasing the ‘history of the anti-Japanese struggle’, raising voices of criticism from the opposition party. Rep. Jeong Seong-ho said, “The Korean Military Academy’s erasure of the history of the independence army is becoming a reality,” and “The Korean Military Academy must immediately stop demolishing the Independence Hero Room, which the public does not agree with.”