South Korean President Moon Jae-in mentioned “Squid Game,” “Parasite” and K-pop group BTS in his March First Independence
Moon declared that he was “filled with very deep emotions” as he looked back on what Koreans who were involved in the March First Independence Movement and the Korean Provisional Government (KPG) envisioned 100 years ago, according to Yonhap News Agency.
“All of us have raced forward without rest to create a free, egalitarian and unrepressed country, a peaceful and cultured nation,” Moon said.
The 103rd anniversary of the March First Independence Movement coincided with the opening of the National Memorial of the Korean Provisional Government, a four-story museum that shows the KPG’s struggle to reach independence, The Korea Herald reported.
Moon then proceeded to thank Kim Ja-dong, the president of the Commemoration Association for the Korean Provisional Government, and other individuals who helped establish the museum.
The March First Independence Movement, also known as the Samil Independence Movement, was a wave of demonstrations across South Korea that began in Seoul on March 1, 1919, calling for Korean national independence from Japan.
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Around 2 million Korean nationals were involved in more than 1,500 demonstrations that occurred throughout a span of 12 months before Japanese authorities suppressed the movement. Around 16,000 people were injured, while around 7,000 were killed during the clampdown.
Japanese authorities reportedly arrested around 46,000 demonstrators, 10,000 of whom were imprisoned. They also set fire to two school buildings, 47 churches and 715 private houses.
“Ours is the history of a genuine democratic republic that has achieved great advancement by bringing ordinary people together,” Moon said in his speech.
“On March 1, 1919, the nameless gathered and held aloft the Taegeukgi – our national flag,” he continued. “The streets reverberated with loud chants of ‘manse.’ As they called for independence, they met others like themselves who dreamed of a liberated world. They showed that non-violent, peaceful resistance could usher in a new era.”
Midway through his speech, Moon said South Korea has become a “prosperous and powerful country,” an “advanced country officially recognized by the world.” He also praised South Korea’s global influence, notably the Korean Wave known as Hallyu, with specific references to BTS, “Parasite” and “Squid Game.”
“With K-pop leading the way, Hallyu is sweeping the world. Regarding the BTS craze, Forbes said it was a ‘new normal,’” Moon said. “The film ‘Parasite’ won the top prizes at Cannes and the Academy Awards. Our games, webtoons and animation are loved by the world, and our dramas such as ‘Squid Game’ are hitting home runs one after another.”
Meanwhile, the hit Netflix series “Squid Game” just won three out of the four historic nominations it received at the SAG Awards on Sunday, as NextShark previously reported.
“In such fields as Western classical music and ballet, the talents of Koreans are also being extolled by people around the world,” Moon declared in his speech. “This outcome has been made possible by the harmonious mingling of the passion and spirit of our culture and arts figures in each field.”