Lee Beom-seok (third from the left in the middle row), Chief of Staff of the Korean Liberation Army and members of the 2nd Zone. Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs
During the Pacific War, the first document published by the Korean Liberation Army specifically proposing military solidarity to the US government.
The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs announced on the 12th that it had unearthed the ‘Official Documents for Proposal of Military Solidarity with the US’ prepared by the Liberation Army to deliver to the US federal government on June 30, 1942. The public data is a 10-page report document prepared by Lee Beom-seok, then chief of staff of the Liberation Army (1900-1972).
The Ministry of Veterans Affairs said, “This document describes in detail the reasons for Korea’s need for independence, the mission of the Korean Liberation Army and the role it can play in the Pacific War, and the matters that require negotiations with the United States in the future.” In particular, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs explained that it is significant in that it is an official document that shows the early activities of the liberation army’s participation in war diplomacy with the United States.
Chief of Staff Lee stated in the document that “The Korean Liberation Army will form the basis of the Korean Armed Forces after the establishment of an independent state in the future” and “The mission of the Korean Liberation Army is to go beyond the achievement of Korea’s independence, to achieve peace for mankind together with the Allied Powers.” . He also proposed a specific military regiment, saying, “We will send the Korean Liberation Army to the Pacific War and nurture a Korean guerrilla unit in China with the support of the United States to disrupt the rear of the Japanese army.”
Chief of Staff Lee also mentioned in the document details such as the size of the dispatch that needs to be negotiated with the United States, operational points, and supply issues. The document was actually delivered to the US side, the Ministry of Veterans Affairs said.
The Ministry of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs explained that this material was discovered from materials donated by George McAfee Matthews stored at the Institute of Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii, USA. He is the son of American missionary and independence activist George Shannon Matthews, who was awarded the Order of Independence in 1963. After the outbreak of the Pacific War, he worked as an expert on Korea at the US Strategic Intelligence Agency (OSS) and the State Department, and it is known that he possessed many documents related to the Korean independence movement.
Kim Gwang-jae, a researcher at the National History Compilation Committee, a researcher in the liberation army, said, “This document is of great historical significance as it is a rare material that is being published for the first time at home and abroad.”