Author: Koo Kim
Editor: Jin-soon Doh
456 pages | 223*152mm
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|>>>This book is written in Korean only.|
About This Book
Kim Koo (August 29, 1876 – June 26, 1949), the sixth and last president of the
Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, was a Korean patriot who has
struggled against Japanese occupation of Korea that lasted from 1910 to 1945.
After Empress Myeongseong of Korea was assassinated by Japanese swordsmen, he killed a Japanese military officer for a revenge in 1896. He was arrested but succeeded to escape from prison. Kim Koo exiled to Shanghai after a nationwide non-violent resistance movement that started on March 1, 1919 was violently quenched by the Japanese imperialist government. He participated in the exiled regime with figures like Syngman Rhee and Yo Un-hyung.
In Shanghai, Kim joined the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, which vowed to liberate Korea from Japanese occupation. After serving the Police Minister, Kim Koo became the president of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in 1927. He was re-elected to the office many times by the Provisional Assembly.
In 1931 he organized a nationalist group, Korea Patriotic Legion. One of the members, Yoon Bong-Gil, ambushed and eliminated the Japanese military leadership in Shanghai on April 29, 1932. The commander of the Japanese Army and Navy died instantly. It was a great victory for the Korean cause. Another member, Lee Bong-chang, tried to eliminate the Japanese emperor Hirohito at Tokyo in January 8 the same year. After escaping to Chongqing where Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Government was established, Kim established the Korean Liberation Army, commanded by General Ji Chung-chun. When the Pacific War broke out on December 8, 1941, Kim Koo declared war on Japan and Germany, and committed the Korean Liberation Army to allied side, who took part in warfare in China and Southeast Asia. Kim organised for the Korean Liberation Army to advance to Korea in 1945, but days before the departure of the leading unit, the war ended.
He returned to Seoul upon the Japanese surrender to the Allied in 1945. When the United States and the Soviet Union set out to establish two Korean governments, respective in the southern region and the northern region, he was determined not to participate in either of the efforts.
As the division of the newly-independent country became obvious, he led a team of former independence activist to Pyongyang, later to become the capital of North Korea, to hold unification talks with Kim Il-sung, later becoming the president of North Korea, but failed drastically after being humiliated by Kim Il-Sung.
In 1948, the inaugural Parliament of the Republic of Korea nominated Kim as a candidate for the office of the first president of the Republic. In the election by the National Assembly, Kim was defeated by Syngman Rhee, the first president of the provisional government, with result of 180-16. He also lost the election for vice presidency to Lee Si-young, with the result of 133-59. Kim himself didn't know about his nominations until after the election, and he certainly did not approve the nomination, as he considered this a ploy to discredit him.
In 1949 Kim was assassinated by Ahn Doo-hee in his office. Although some suggest there may have been a right-wing conspiracy to assassinate him in which even president Rhee could have been involved, no details of the assassination have been revealed. Moreover, Ahn Doo-hee was murdered by Kim's follower in 1996, thus further obscuring the prospect of finding the motive of assassination.
He is still revered by many Koreans to have been deserving of being the first Korean president after the liberation rather than Syngman Rhee, who was favored to lead South Korea by the US government. He was posthumously awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of National Liberation of Korea. His autobiography, Journal of Baekbeom became a bestseller in Korea when published.
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