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[Newsmaker] Investigation, trial records of 1974 student movement to be revealed

The investigations and trial records of the Federation of Democratic Young Students affair in 1974 are set to be revealed more than 40 years after the incident took place.

National Archives of Korea on Monday announced that it received the records from the Ministry of National Defense in November. A total of 105 volumes, about 77,000 pages, of records include investigation reports, evidence, arrest warrants, written arraignments and trial reports of 180 people involved in the affair. 

Records of former President Yun Po-sun (National Archives of Korea - Yonhap)
Records of former President Yun Po-sun (National Archives of Korea - Yonhap)

For some key figures of the affair, the records have detailed information about the person. There are more than 4,000 pages of records of democracy activists Chang Chun-ha and Baek Gi-wan, while information about Bishop Ji Hak-soun, former President Yun Po-sun and pastor Park Hyung-kyu were written in 2,000 pages of records respectively.

In April 1974, former president Park Chung-hee declared his fourth emergency measure and investigated 1,024 people who opposed the Yushin Constitution. Among them, about 180 were referred to an emergency court-martial.

In 2005, the Korean government considered the affair to be the most severe case of student movement suppression in Korea.

Due to the lack of records, there had been not much research conducted on the affair. The government said the documents would help researchers discover the process of how people were placed under arrest for violating the emergency measures.

National Archives of Korea said people would be able to use the records as early as January 2019, when it finishes categorizing the records’ list.

By Park Ju-young (