A ceremony to mark the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government is held outside the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Yongsan-gu District, Seoul, on April 13.

A ceremony to mark the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government is held outside the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Yongsan-gu District, Seoul, on April 13.

By Kang Gahui and Kim Young Shin
Photos = The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs
Seoul | April 13, 2018

Ninety-nine years ago, the Korean Provisional Government was established, proclaiming the name “Republic of Korea” for the first time and stating its democratic identity, national flag and national anthem.

Some 1,000 people, including Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs Pi Woo-jin, and families and descendents of independence patriots gathered outside the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Yongsan-gu District, Seoul, on April 13 to celebrate the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government.

For the first time in nine years, the event was held outdoors. Paying respect to the nation’s fallen heroes, there was a reenactment of the establishment of the Provisional Government, a reading of the provisional constitution, a pledge of allegiance to the nation, and a commemorative address, all conducted quite solemnly.

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Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon delivers a commemorative speech during the ceremony to mark the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government, at the Kim Koo Museum & Library in Seoul on April 13.

“The Korean Peninsula was quite volatile until we managed to gain the opportunity for conversation between South and North Korea,” said Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon. “Just as our patriotic martyrs wished, let us bring forward a united country where all the people in both South and North can enjoy peace and prosperity.”

He announced that there has been a suggestion by some historians that the anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government should fall on April 11, the actual date in 1919 that the name of the country was publicly announced and when the provisional charter was enacted. Starting next year, the Korean government plans to revise the statute and hold a ceremony on April 11.

Finally, the Korean government plans many commemorative projects to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the March First Independence Movement and the establishment of the Provisional Government next year. In particular, a memorial hall will be built near the Seodaemun Independence Park in Seoul by 2021.

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Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (center) along with descendents and family members of independence patriots cheer during a ceremony to mark the 99th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government, in Seoul on April 13.

kgh89@korea.kr