On this edition of Parallax Views, we discuss the little-known-to-U.S.-audiences history of South Korean dictator Chun Doo-Hwan, the Gwangju uprising and massacre, and the U.S. complicity in this history. Joining us to unpack it all are returning guest and long-time journalist Tim Shorrock as well as first time guest In Jeong Kim, who has worked as an investigative journalist for the South Korean public broadcasting station Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC). In Jeong Kim is also the co-director and co-producer and two documentaries, 2017’s His Name Is… and 2017’s Candle Light Movement. His Name Is… dealt with the Gwangju massacre directly and Kim’s work has led to the discovery of documents about U.S. complicity in Chun Doo-Hwan’s bloody legacy. In this conversation we discuss who Chun Doo-Hwan was and how both Tim Shorrock and In Jeong Kim became interested in the subjects of Doo-Hwan and the Gwangju massacre. We discuss how Chun Doo-Hwan came to power as well as the story of the Gwangju uprising that pitted armed citizens against state officials like the police and soldiers. Kim discusses the memos she has uncovered documenting U.S. complicity in all of this during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter and his campaign for re-election. Additionally, Kim fills us in on the horrors faced by survivors of the massacre, in particular highlighting the story of Lee Gwang-yeong, A Buddhist monk and survivor of the Gwangju massacre who took his own life at the age of 68. We also discuss the key issues surrounding South Korea and the Gwangju uprising and the massacre that people in the U.S. may miss and how all of this relates to the 20th century Cold War. There’s also some discussion of how we talk about North Korea and Kim Jong-Un in America and Tim particularly takes aim at a recent report in the New York Times alleging the murder of k-pop music listeners in North Korea that seemingly relied solely on claims made by the U.S. government-funded National Endowment for Democracy. While both Kim and Shorrock believe there is a humanitarian crisis in regard to North Korea, they both feel that some of the discourse around North Korea and South Korea in America is problematic. In particular, Tim points towards the racism and colonialism when South Korea and North Korea are discussed in media. Tim points towards a rather racist piece by P.J. Rourke and J.G. mentions comments made by Zbigniew Brzezinski concerning U.S. foreign policy in Korea. We also cover the conspiracy theories and the right-wing in South Korea attempting to whitewash the massacre, Chun Doo-Hwan’s death and the fact he never made an apology for his actions, Chun Doo-Hwan’s memoir and fake news, Chun Doo-Hwan’s arrest and the lack of accountability for the Gwangju Massacre, destruction of Gwangju uprising documents under Doo-Hwan’s reign, the U.S. and the mentality of Empire, the need for the U.S. to declassify documents about Doo-Hwan and the Gwangju uprising, the CIA claiming documents referenced by U.S. General John A. Wickham do not exist, the Iran hostage crisis, and much, much more!
“Chun Doo-hwan’s bloody Gwangju legacy is America’s problem too” by Tim Shorrock and In Jeong Kim – Responsible Statecraft – 12/14/21