Rhee, Syngman

Rhee, Syngman

Syngman Rhee

1 June 2003Feature

Syngman Rhee fled his homeland as a 19-year-old in 1950 and found himself at the heart of the US civil rights movement in the Sixties. Here he speaks about his work for reconciliation between North and South Korea.

I was born and raised in Pyong Yang, now the capital city of North Korea. At that time, the early 1930s, the Korean people were under Japanese rule, which brought us great suffering and pain. It created a deep sense of hostility and enmity towards the Japanese. The cooperation between Korea and Japan, as co-hosts of the soccer World Cup, shows that there is always hope of reconciliation between former enemies.

Soon after our liberation from Japanese occupation at the end of the…