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Draft of old Korean Independence Declaration to be unveiled

National 17:12 January 31, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Yonhap) -- A draft of Korea's first independence declaration, written during Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century, will be made public for the first time later this week, Seoul city government said Thursday.

"The handwritten draft of the Korea Independence Declaration, made by Korean independence fighter Cho So-ang, will be disclosed at Seoul City Hall on Friday during a ceremony to mark the centennial of the Declaration," a city official said.

The Declaration was announced in China's northeastern Jilin Province on Feb. 1, 1919 by Cho (1887-1958) and 38 other independence fighters, who were active in Manchuria and Russia at that time. Japan occupied Korea between 1910-45.

The Declaration, the first of its kind in Korean history, served as the basis for the Feb. 8 and March 1 Independence Declarations that year and independence fighters' declarations of war against Japan.

Cho's draft originally consisted of five pages, but two of them have disappeared, according to the official.

The draft sternly condemns Japan's forceful occupation of Korea, and urges independence fighters to rise up against Japan, the official said.

The vanished pages designated Japan as an enemy of mankind and declared Japanese annexation of Korea null and void, the official added.

The draft has been handed down to Cho's descendants.

The handwritten draft of 1919 Korea Independence Declaration (Yonhap)

The handwritten draft of 1919 Korea Independence Declaration (Yonhap)


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