Oct. 1: South Koreans urged to celebrate China’s 70th birthday, but not their Armed Forces Day

by WorldTribune Staff, September 27, 2019

Seoul’s City Council Hall is decked out in decorations celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

“Are we China’s vassal state? Have we ever celebrated another country’s founding day?” one South Korean resident asked, according to a Sept. 27 report by the East Asia Research Center.

Seoul City Council Hall decorated with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. / East Asia Research Center

Conservative critics of South Korea’s leftist President Moon Jae-In have charged that he is incrementally subordinating the traditionally anti-communist nation’s sovereignty to Chinese economic and political control while mouthing North Korean talking points.

Banners, posters, photos and booklets are on display in the hall to mark the PRC’s founding, which occurred on October 1, 1949.

U.S. forces under UN command came to South Korea’s defense following communist North Korea’s invasion in 1950. Communist Chinese forces joined the fighting. The Korean War was suspended with an Armistice Agreement in 1953. UN forces are still stationed at the Demilitarized Zone, and more than 23,000 American forces are still based in South Korea.

One poster on display reads: “The Communist Party of China led the Chinese people and together they walked on a shiny path. The ethnic Chinese people (Joonghwa Minjok) made a great leap by rising and becoming wealthy and strong! China made a great leap by establishing, progressing, and completing its distinct socialism!”

Oct. 1 is also a significant day in South Korean history and is recognized as Armed Forces Foundation Day.

There are no signs in Seoul’s City Council Hall marking the South’s Armed Forces Foundation Day, the report noted.

The report’s author, Tara O, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force (Ret.), wrote: “North Korea crossed the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, invading South Korea and taking most of the Korean Peninsula with the exception of the Busan perimeter, but the successful Incheon landing in September 1950 drove the North Korean forces northward. On October 1, 1950, South Korean forces broke through the 38th parallel north, so it is also a meaningful day for South Korea. October 1st is also the day the South Korean Air Force, the third branch of the military, was formed, completing the formation of South Korea’s military.”

Anchor Choi Dae-heon of PennMike asked “how can the City of Seoul hold such an event?”

Yeo Myeong, Seoul City Councilwoman representing the Liberty Korea Party, stated: “I really wondered if [the City Council Hall] was North Korea…The day after tomorrow (Sept. 28) is the day we recovered Seoul [1950, during the Korean War] with blood…If they thought about how the South Korean forces, who lost their lives to China’s forces, and about the Korean War…If they did, one doesn’t dare hold such an event, especially at the [public building of the] Seoul City Council.”

Yeo further stated: “President Moon Jae-in is a key example of pro-China in the Minjoo Party. The free countries, including the U.S., are now coming together and are vigilant in the realm of diplomacy, security, and economy against China, but [South Korea] is the only country in which the president is in the forefront betraying our ally and trying to please China.”

The report noted that, in Busan City, there was a banner across a pedestrian bridge congratulating People’s Republic of China’s 70th anniversary of its foundation. The banner also showed the PRC flag.

A Busan citizen was quoted as saying:

“How can they celebrate People’s Republic of China’s foundation, especially on the Armed Forces Foundation Day? [China] fought against our military during the Korean War.”

“How can they hang the PRC flag in Busan, where the joys and sorrows of the Korean War veterans of the UN and the Displaced Persons are resting?”

Tara O wrote: “President Moon Jae-In, of course, has committed South Korea to China’s demand of ‘3 Nos’ of 1) no additional Theater High Altitude Air Defense (THAAD) deployment, 2) no joining of the U.S. missile defense system, and 3) no South Korea-U.S.-Japan trilateral alliance.”

“With views and actions like that, it is not surprising that the ruling party sponsors or approves celebrations in South Korea of China’s founding day and dishonors those who fought in the Korean War to defend South Korea against Chinese and North Korean forces. The South Korean public, however, is dismayed,” she wrote.

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